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Jose Luis Feliciano Vega , (Ponce, Puerto Rico, July 3, 1935 – San Juan, April 17, 2014), better known artistically as Cheo Feliciano >, was a Puerto Rican singer and musician of salsa and bolero.
He was the son of the marriage of Margarito Feliciano and Crescencia Vega de Feliciano, who lived on the father’s humble work as a carpenter. Being a recognized artist, several years later, he would recognize that his childhood was poor, although happy. On Sundays, when the father was free, he dedicated himself to cooking and singing a bolero from that time, being accompanied by the mother and this family routine became his first musical influence. He started in music through the bolero as a percussionist in his hometown and in 1952 he moved to New York with his family working initially as a messenger, without finishing his studies and then as a musician for various orchestras. In 1955, he was working as an atelier in the orchestra of the musician and singer Tito Rodríguez and he noticed Feliciano’s percussionist and singer talent. Thanks to this, Rodriguez offers him the opportunity to sing along with his orchestra in the New York nightclub, now defunct, Palladium. Feliciano is successful in the test and Rodriguez recommends the musician Joe Cuba his inclusion in his sextet, which began his career independently around 1957. Two years later, he married a girl he had known during those performances called Socorro Prieto After ten years in this orchestra, he was part of Eddie Palmieri’s group as vocalist between 1967 and 1969. His drug addiction problems arose during this stage in which he consumed marijuana and heroin and although he continued to work, he realized that damage that caused his family so he temporarily withdrew from music and helped by his friend and colleague Tommy Olivencia entered one of the headquarters of Hogares Crea to rehabilitate, in Puerto Rico, being supported by Tite Curet Alonso and the lawyer and American businessman Jerry Masucci, who was interested in the artist being hired for his company Fania Records. Once he was rehabilitated, he returned to artistic activity in 1971 and consolidated himself as one of the Latin American icons of salsa. This is how he started his discography independently by signing a contract with the subsidiary of Fania Records, called Vaya Records.
In 1983, he started as a record company when he founded his own label called Coche Records with an office in Puerto Rico, but the seal disappeared and he signed a contract with the company RMM Records & amp; Video of the businessman Ralph Mercado with whom he recorded five albums. Later, he reached an agreement with the Venezuelan group La Rondalla Venezolana and the Venezuelan record company Palacio de la Música to record the album Son inolvidables (1995) and two years later, with the same group he performed Le Cantan al Amor. He kept active doing Presentations and recordings in an occasional way. His last musical work was as a participant in the Salsa Giants project, developed by music producer Sergio George in which he met with colleagues his veteran exponents of salsa such as La India, Oscar D’Leon, Andy Montanez, Tito Nieves, José Alberto ” El Canario “, Ismael Miranda and Willy Chirino. With this group he recorded and made the video of the song “Bajo la Tormenta” that was presented in March of the year 2013. This song is part of a compact disc in EP format of 5 songs that would be presented the following month.
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