Ismael Rivera – Esto Si Es Lo Mío

Ismael Rivera - Esto Si Es Lo Mio album cover

This album is one of Ismael (Maelo) Rivera’s finest recordings. And that’s saying a lot considering the super catalog of albums recorded by Maelo. He began his career as lead singer for Cortijo’s orchestra and recorded a number of albums with Cortijo y su Combo. Ismael Rivera has been recognized as one of the very best interpreters of Afro- Caribbean music. His warm and swaggering voice was one of the most adored of all Puerto Rican soneros by fans from all of Latin America. His uncanny ability to improvise his soneos awarded him the title “El Sonero Mayor.” This album includes the smash hit “Las Caras Lindas,” and other gems which include “Dime Porque” and “Mi Negrita Me Espera.” On September 27, 2001, the Puerto Rican Senate approved a law declaring October 5 as “Ismael Rivera Day”. In Villa Palmeras there is a plaza named “Plaza de los Salseros” which displays a statue and plaque dedicated to Ismael. Ismael Rivera was posthumously inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2000. —Bobby Marin