elWatusi is happy to include the catalog of CESTA RECORDS, the label formed by the esteemed band-leader JOE QUIJANO in the 1960s. Joe was born on September 27, 1935, at Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico, his family relocating to New York City in 1941. Over the years he has contributed greatly to the development of Latin music in New York City.
His complete catalog is available in high quality mp3/320 or audiophile FLAC formats.
Click to view the Cesta catalog with audio clips
Musicians are a breed of their own. In most cases they come and go; some reach the top charts and become unforgettable and others go unnoticed and fall through the cracks. We know who the unforgettable ones are because, we as human beings identify our special moments through their music and lyrics.
Joe Quijano is one of the unforgettable orchestra leaders, composer and cinger of our time, and, oh, how he can woo the ladies, with his romantic melodies and sexy voice. He started his career as a boy, in 1950 in the back streets of the Bronx, NY, with such known artists as Eddie Palmieri (pianist) Orlando Marin (timbale player), Chiqui Perez (conga player) and Larry Acevedo, (trumpet player). He formed his first band known as the Banana Kelly’s Mambo named after Kelly Street where most of these artists grew up. Later, he changed the group’s name toEl Conjunto Cachana, and the band is still very active today.
Throughout his career, he has had many accomplishments. He has recorded 14 albums and over 300 songs. In 2003 he recorded his latest album, in english, entitled Salsa- Natra In Clave, a tribute to Frank Sinatra. He was an innovator of La Pachanga, a Cuban-Nuyorican rhythm, and the Cha Cha Cha, and is most famous for his interpretation of La Pachanga Se Baila Asi, which inspired other great artiest such as Tito Rodriguez, Frank Grillo (better known as Machito) and Tito Puente to incorporate La Pachanga in their big band orchestras in the late 1960s.
Many of us will remember his very famous song, A Cataño, which became popular for the verse Aguanta La Lancha ue voy pa Cataño. Joe was a founder of the Cesta All Stars with Al Santiago and Charlie Palmieri.
Joe Quijano is an all-around artist. He not only composed, sang, and conducted his orchestra; he was also an accomplished pianist, and played flute as well as the timbales, congas, and bongos.
In 1992, Joe Quijano was still going strong until fate turned things around. He had a motor-cycle accident, here in Puerto Rico, which left him in a wheel-chair for several years. He has had over 12 surgeries, but his love for music, and his unbelievable stamina, has brought him right back to where he was, and to us. He is still performing and going strong, his most recent performances being in Cali, Columbia.
I have just skimmed the surface of this great artist. To do him justice, I would have to write a book, which, by the way, is being done today. His music has inspired many great musicians throughout the years, and his legacy will live on for as long as we have, and enjoy music. I am proud to call Joe Quijano my friend. He is an unbelievable human being, and a great artist.