To enjoy an artist’s music recorded in a studio is one thing, but to hear (or actually see) a singer’s live performance on stage is another thing altogether.

Especially when that artist is Héctor Lavoé. As so many of Lavoé’s fans continually remind me, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with Héctor on stage and sharing a personal friendship with him. That is why I got so excited upon getting an email informing me that someone had found a quality recording of Lavoé live on stage. Upon receiving a copy of the tape, I immediately took it to Fania Records.

They liked it and released the CD Héctor Lavoé “Live” in 1997, to great public acceptance. However, many knowledgeable Lavoé fans informed me of inconsistencies in the liner notes I had written. And they all wanted to know more facts about the recording.

At the time, I didn’t have a clue as to when or where the recording took place or who made it. But I’m now finally able to reveal the unknown historical facts behind this wonderful Lavoé performance. At the center of it all is Albertico Rodríguez, a well known Miami radio DJ (currently with La Kalle 98.3 FM). During the ’80s, Albertico was Súper Q’s director of salsa music and hosted live radio broadcasts every Friday night from the La Clave club in Hialeah. Lavoé was booked for the evening of February 19th, 1988. On that night, Club La Clave was packed wall to wall with Lavoé fans hoping to see El Cantante de los Cantantes.

It was a time when Héctor was known to arrive either very late or not at all. There was a great deal of speculation among the large crowd, and the fans went wild as word spread that Lavoé had indeed arrived. According to Albertico, Héctor did not appear to be high and went about in his usual style – joking around with everyone he encountered. Most surprising of all and to Albertico’s great relief, he actually arrived quite early. As you listen to this CD, try to imagine yourself among the lucky ones who attended Club La Clave on the night of February 19, 1988. Enjoy it as much as I have.

Written By Izzy Sanabria