SONIDOS LATINOS: Putting his trimmings on the holidays
With 13 albums of straightforward commercial salsa under his belt, Victor Manuelle decided to do something different. His holiday-themed release “Una Navidad a Mi Estilo (Christmas My Style)” is a true roots album, aimed at the audience that craves the Fania “Asalto Navideño” albums. Featuring songs written by Conjunto Clásico’s Ramón Rodríguez, traditional trovador Casiano Betancourt and Manuelle himself, the album makes its own claim to classic status.
Although Manuelle, unlike New Yorkers Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe, calls Puerto Rico home, the thrust of their holiday music is the same. Traditional religious themes are always present in their Christmas celebrations, but Puerto Ricans (like many other Latino and ethnic cultures) use the holidays to celebrate their own cultural identity.