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Tuesday, February 7, 2023


Oct. 7, 2001 – The V.I. Carnival Committee continues its 50th anniversary celebration with La Gran Fiesta Latina, a show at Lionel Roberts Stadium Saturday at 8 p.m. Performing will be Bobby Valentin and Nelson Mendoza and his merengue group, La Banda Chula.
The evening promises to be a feast for your ears and your feet. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. They are available on St. Thomas at International Records and Tapes, Modern Music/Havensight, Parrot Fish, Nisky Pharmacy, T&P Cash and Carry, Family Health Center, Krystal & Gifts Galore, Celsa's House of Beauty and Belkis Bakery; and on St. John at the Drug Center.
Bobby Valentin has a reputation as a "foremost salsa bandleader and one of the genre's top-of-the-range arrangers," according to his Internet site. He's been one busy musician. Known as El Rey de Bajo ("King of the Bass"), he also plays trumpet and trombone. He moved from Puerto Rico to New York City at age 17, and by age 24 formed his own band. He returned to live in Puerto Rico in 1968, continued to release records, and formed his own label, Bronco Records. His musical breadth promises lots of surprises during the evening.
The Dominican Republic's Nelson Mendoza, better known today as "Nelson de la Olla," founded La Banda Chula (sometimes translated as "The Insolent Band") while very young. He is the group's composer, arranger and lead singer. The band has a number of merengue recordings and has successfully toured abroad, especially in Germany. It played at the 4th annual Globe Awards (Premios Globo) at the Latin Quarter last March. This group also promises a lot of Latin variety.
This is the Carnival Committee's offering for October. Watch in November for a circus and the opening of the Carnival Museum, with more to come. It's all part of the 50th anniversary celebration of modern-day carnival on St. Thomas.

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