New York (NY), USA – Music impresario Ralph Mercado is in good and stable condition after undergoing surgery. In a statement, the Mercado Family thanked everyone for their well wishes and prayers for his rapid recovery.
“As a family, we could feel the universal prayers and positive sentiments from friends around the world wishing my father a quick recovery,” stated Debra Mercado. “This was a very intense time for the family but we are now relieved and joyful that he has pulled through and is doing well. We are grateful for all of the good wishes.”
The family will be collecting any emails or cards to share with him. Electronic correspondence can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.From mambo to salsa, Ralph Mercado’s name is engraved on the exciting world of Latin music. For more than 30 years, Mercado has led the industry in staging spectacular musical events worldwide as well as building an enviable Latin music roster of talent and acts, a recording and publishing label, a video and film production arm and a catalog of award winning international hits that has changed the industry in the past 15 years.
A visionary, trailblazer, and pioneer, Ralph Mercado redirected his energy toward his 20 year-old company that specializes in dynamic concert presentations “Ralph Mercado Presents.” Following the sale of RMM Records to Universal Music in June 2001, Mercado turned to his passion of producing and staging Latin music events worldwide. Catapulting the company with an inaugural Fania All-Star Concert reunion, Mercado took the birth of “salsa” at the legendary 1970s Cheetah Nightclub full circle in a 30-year anniversary tribute to the former Fania Label President, Jerry Masucci.
Always entrepreneurial, Mercado maintains the Latino Nouveau Restaurant, LQ (Latin Quarter) in midtown New York, as well as, RMM Filmworks producing the Internationally recognized and acclaimed documentary on the history of Latin Music, Yo Soy del Son A La Salsa. He also maintains his publishing companies, Caribbean Wave and Crossing Borders, affiliated with ASCAP & BMI providing music for major feature films, television, soap operas, etc.,
The recipient of countless awards and proclamations, Ralph Mercado was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute by Billboard Magazine in 1999 and a proclamation from the Mayor of the City of New York in 2005.
Born in 1941, Mercado was organizing parties and dances as president of a neighborhood social club while still a teenager.
By the mid-60s, Mercado tried his hand at R&B and soul music show with his company called Showstoppers. He presented R&B acts such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Stylistics, the Chi-lites, and others starting a Salsa/Soul music trend. Other shows mixed soul music with Latin coupling salsa’s Eddie Palmieri with soul’s Jr. Walker promoting these shows throughout the East Coast
From Brooklyn, Mercado ventured into Manhattan helping to create the Fania All-Stars while promoting dances at the Cheetah Nightclub and presenting Latin jazz at the Red Garter, and later at the Village Gate and other downtown venues. It was Mercado’s partnership with Jack Hook, (longtime manager of Mongo Santamaría) where they both managed the late Tito Puente that maintained the Salsa Meets Jazz Series at the Village Gate and the Latin Jazz Jam as part of the JVC Jazz Festival.
Always an innovator, Ralph Mercado was the first promoter to bring salsa music to Africa, South America, the Orient and Israel. He was also one of the first to bring Latin music concerts to such prestigious venues as Radio City Music Hall with Julio Iglesias’ New York performance; Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall; the Beacon Theater; and Madison Square Garden. In 1976 Mayor Beam presented Mercado with a proclamation establishing the September concerts, currently in its 31st year, as the “Official New York Salsa Day.”
Mercado’s background efforts made the Fania All-Stars the most influential salsa group of its time while refining the concepts of promotion, performance and touring that would become the industry standard.
Mercado’s knack for finding and developing budding talent chiseled the careers of Latino vocalists such as, Marc Anthony, the fiery India, talented Domingo Quiñones, dynamic Tony Vega, and Tito Nieves. And Mercado is responsible for developing the entrepreneurial spirit of today’s young promoters. With a keen sense for knowing what the market needs, Mercado’s success is defined through his many relationships with radio people, press outlets, distributors, and so many others that make up the infrastructure of the Latin music industry. Throughout the years, Mercado has seen the development of Latin music, while playing a dominant role in the evolution of Latin-jazz, merengue, bachata, and tropical music underlining the growth of the Latin Music Grammy Awards. Among his many positions, Mercado has served on the Board of Governors for NARAS.
In his later years he has been promoting artists such as Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Juan Gabriel, Marco Antonio Solis, Carlos Vives, the rock group Juanes and has been instrumental in moving the new wave of reggaeton shows throughout New York City. He continues to present the best of Latin music’s talent in prestigious venues such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Author: World Music Central News Department
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