The rise and fall of salsa singer, Héctor Lavoe (1946-1993), as told from the perspective of his wife Puchi, who looks back from 2002. In the early 1960s, Héctor arrives in New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Success comes quickly. "The more he grew as an artist," Puchi says, "the more he sank as a person." It's a tale of talent - creating salsa with Willie Colón, with the Fania All Stars, and as a soloist - and a story of disintegration - fueled by drugs, alcohol, partying, and depression. Puchi's voice - proud and querulous - dominates off-stage as Héctor's does on.Written by
In a 2016 discussion with SAG-AFTRA Jennifer Lopez cited El Cantante as the film she is most proud of in her career. See more »
In the scene where Hector Perez signs his contract with Jerry Masucci, and is given the name Hector La Voe. Willie Colon is standing behind him. On the wall behind Willie is a framed album cover of "The Hustler", the second album they made together. At this point in the story they have not yet recorded together. See more »
It was like the bigger Hector got, the more he grew as an artist, it was like the deeper he sank as a person, as a human being, you know what I mean?
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Aires De Navidad
Written by Roberto Garcia
Performed by Marc Anthony
Published by Fania Music (BMI) See more »
A music movie that is not perfect, but a must for music fans
Sure, this movie is not perfect. But the fact that it is a snap shot of the glorious high point of SALSA, makes it something special. The story is sad and clichéd, but the excitement of seeing Mark Anthony on the screen is real. Jennifer adds pathos, and really does quite well as the framer of the plot. But the movie wouldn't have been made with Mark Anthony as the center of the film. Then it would have been a concert movie, not a dramatic work. He is a stunning and unbelievable musical talent, and the form of the film is a classic one, where a great singer gets to make a movie. If you compare it to all the other films where this was done (think Elvis), this film far surpasses all of them. But the whole point of the movie is Mr. Anthony's dream,,,to show how a wonderful moment in musical history unfolded and sadly came to an end. This is a story beyond the life of Hector, and one that is classic in illustrating the rise and fall of popular music and culture. The great artists in our pop culture only have a short life before they are destroyed by a society and media that eats its young. If you love music, Latin culture, and reliving the 70's and 80's, this is a movie you will not soon forget. Viva!
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