Artist profile: Gilberto Santa Rosa – Old School Cool

Gilberto Santa Rosa, also known as “El Caballero de la Salsa” (The Gentleman of Salsa), is a well-known Puerto Rican salsa band leader and, as of 2010, held the record for the most number-one albums on the Billboard Tropical Albums chart.

Gilberto has been involved in making music since 1976, and due to his long and storied career, he is known as a bit of a chameleon – having a well-rounded repertoire in both romantic salsa as well as the classic salsa genres (though his most memorable hits are mostly in the romantic salsa realm).

Gilberto is also famous for his charisma when performing live, and his incredible ability to improvise lyrics on the fly. A great example of this happened when he was invited as the first salsa singer to perform at the Carnegie Hall Theater in New York, during which he performed a four minute improv addition to his song “Perdoname” (Forgive Me). The added sections proved to be so popular, that Gilberto later had to memorize his own new lines for future concerts.

Perdoname (Live) – Gilberto Santa Rosa

Gilberto has recorded with a number of orchestras, including Willie Rosario orchestra, as well as the famed El Gram Combo.

Here is a selection of his music:

Ella – Gilberto Santa Rosa

Conteo Regresivo (salsa version) – Gilberto Santa Rosa

Conciencia – Gilberto Santa Rosa


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