Joe Quijano's CESTA RECORDS Inc
Joe Quijano is the proprietor the recording company, Cesta Records
which he formed 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.
Book Joe and his Orchestra
iBuenas Noticias! Una vez mas el conocido musico Joe Quijano esta disponible para amenizar todas sus actividades
en San Juan o en la isla.
El Conjunto Cachana, se compone de 11 musicos para su deleite, o si prefiere el sonido del
"Big Band" de antano para sus galas y convenciones, La Gran Orquesta de Joe
Quijano, cuenta con 20 musicos para tocarles la musica de ayer y de
Llamenos al (787) 726-4621 • (939) 645-8930
Contact via web
Dear Music Lovers,
Good News! Renowned musician Joe Quijano is now available for all your social activities.
Dance to the music of El Conjunto Cachana, composed of 11 members. If you prefer the Big Band sound for your gala affairs
and conventions, The Joe Quijano Orchestra, with 20 musicians will delight you and take you back in time. Whether in San Juan
or the Island, we can be there!
Call us at (787) 726-4621 • (939) 645-8930
Contact via web
JOE QUIJANO I
JOE ON YOUTUBE I
'On my Lunch Hour'
|ON MY LUNCH HOUR
My musical career started in 1950, when I was in Junior b High School, P.S. 52 in the Bronx. I joined a group of amateur teenage musicians -
Orlando Marin (Timbales), Eddie Palmieri (Piano),
Larry Acevedo (Congas), Albert (Nappy-Hair) Ramirez (Bongos), and I became
Joe Baya, as Vocalist and Maracas.
We played our first gig at the Hunt's Point Palace (what is now a huge furniture store). After five hours, we were paid a dollar each, a dollar! As this was just the beginning of our career, we were ecstatic. We knew three tunes, "Abaniquito", "La Toalla", and Rafael Hernandez's "El Cumbanchero'; which we repeated all night.
About a year later, we added three trumpets, Louis Robles, Larry Acevedo and
Claude, and we became the Orlando Marin Conjunto, with
Mandin and me on vocals. We played as assortment of places: The Sunnyside Gardens, St. Anthanasuis Church (on Tiffany Street in the Bronx) and The Tropicana Club, booked by Federico Pagani. He gave us a break and we made $10.00 each, big money in those times. We also played funky places like the PAL Gym, and P.S. 52...the band was HOT!
Back in those days in the Bronx, our neighbors were such greats as
Machito, Tito Rodriguez (Roger's Place), Manny Oquendo (Kelly Street),
Tito Puente (163rd Street), Chicky Perez (Tiffany Street) and the
Palmieri's (Home Street). We all had three things in common - our love for music, our heritage and our culture.
When Orlando Marin, our leader, was inducted into the Army, I inherited the band and we began to play in the Catskills, Grossinger's, Young's Gap, and Pine Hill Lodge in New Jersey.
While at Manhattan's High School of Industrial Arts studying commercial art, I worked part-time at the Trans-Lux Corporation. My boss and dear friend, Douglas Sterling Paddock, let me take "My Lunch Hour" whenever there was an orchestra rehearsing around the corner on 53rd Street and Broadway. This was the original Palladium Ballroom, The Home of The Mambo.
In 1956 I worked out a great deal with Douglas. On my vacation (a trip to Cuba), I would represent Trans-Lux and its products (projectors and photographic slides) for television. I made two sales, one to CMQ TV, the other to Gaspar Pumarejo. During the rest of my two weeks vacation, I went to see all my favorite bands. I met
Benny More, Roberto Faz, Abelardo Barroso, Miguelito Cuni, Jose Fajardo, Celia Cruz, with La Sonora Matancera, La Orquesta De Los Hermanos Castro (no relation to the other Castros) and a rehearsal of
Orquesta Aragon and El Grupo Guaguanco Matancero de Alberto Zayas with Joseito Fernandez on vocals. I was ecstatic at what I was hearing. I also heard a different sound - The
Senen Suarez Group, that consisted of one trumpet and a flute, as a free form. I returned to New York with many stock arrangements, one conga quinto (made by Vergara, of El Barrio Las Marias in Havana), one pair of Maracas Socatas, one guiro, and a pair of Timbalitos (Bongos) like
La Sonora used.
Joe 'Mr Pachanga' Quijano Y Su Orquesta
I returned with an idea for a new sound for the band. I worked with my friend
Charlie Palmieri, and asked him if he could make musical arrangements using a combination of two trumpets, flute and a rhythm section playing a Charanga feel with the singers in unison. (Somewhat like the
Orquesta Aragon sound.) Charlie argued that since the two instruments tune differently, there would be a clash, but I insisted, and he persisted, and a few months later, he came up with the instrumental version of
"Amor'." It was then that the sound of the "Conjunto
Cachana" was born.
I landed a job with Tico Records handling the Export Department and tried to record for the label, but the stock arrangements that I recorded did not appeal to
Ralph Seijo, the A&R (Artists and Repertoire) person, and were never released. Leaving
Tico, I went to work for Good One Stop, a wholesaler distributor, servicing retail stores and juke boxes. I convinced my bosses, Al Deustch and Artie
Schrift, to be my backers so I could record a 45 RPM. At the One Stop I had enough influence (because the Latin Department Records I was managing were selling), to persuade them to hire
Hector Rivera for the stock department, to work along with me. During one of my famous "Lunch Hours" the band and I recorded two numbers on the
AQA label called "Rumba En Navidad" and "Descarga
Charanga"; with Hector on piano. Now things began to happen!
That 45rpm was in every Juke Box in New York, thanks to Paramount Vending and their operators. The record began to make some noise! I was then approached by Jack Goodman of Spanoramic Records. Urged on by my good friend Yomo Toro, we completed two LP's "A
Catano" and "Volvi a Catano". These recordings became hits in South America, (Thanks to the Merchant Marines that would bring the records down there) and the orders kept pouring in. Jack wanted more recordings, but by that time (On My Lunch Hour), I was roaming the hallways of CBS looking for someone to listen to my recordings and offer me a contract.
That someone turned out to be an angel sent from heaven, Mr. Ernie
Altshuler. Ernie interviewed me at the same when Johnny Mathis ("Chances Are") and
Tony Bennet ("I Left My Heart in San Francisco") were sitting in his office... I was ecstatic!
In the summer of 1960, the band (now known as "Joe Quijano y su Conjunto
Cachana") was performing every Saturday at the Spring Rock Country Club in Spring Valley, New York. I asked
Ernie if he would come and see us play, and he did, accompanied by his wife. I was so nervous, that after I finished playing a swinging set of Pachangas (the dance craze back then), I went over to his table to say hello. Without any prompting from me, he said "Joe, come on down to the office on Monday, and we'll sign a contract." "On My Lunch Hour" I signed with CBS Records, and received a $1,000.00 advance just for the signing. I left the office, and too excited to wait for the elevator, I bounded down the stairs. I opened the door, and walked on to a freshly painted grey floor. I fell flat on my behind! The more I tried to get up from the floor, the more I rolled in the thick, wet and sticky paint, but I was so elated that I did not care, it was the happiest day of my life.
Joe Quijano and his Conjunto Cachana at the Village Gate
Subsequently, I recorded three LP's with Columbia - "La Pachanga Se Baila
Asi"; "Everything Latin, Yeah Yeah" and
"Latin Joe". I also contracted for CBS three LP's featuring my rhythm section, with Eydie Gorme and Trio Los Ponchos, which were international hits. Pete Rosaly was the A&R person for those recordings. My contract over with CBS, Ernie went on to RCA, where he recorded great things, one being "It's Impossible" for
I then decided to start my own record company. Being an amateur Jai-Alai player, I called the company
Cesta Records (a Cesta is the basket used in the game). Manny
Fox, my manager at that time, got me a session with MGM Records, and we recorded
"The Fiddler On The Roof Goes Latin".
These are the superb musicians I was lucky enough to work with: Alex Israel, Benny Bonilla, Doc
Severensen, Eddie Rivera, Jimmy Nottingham and Mel Davis. With the
Conjunto Cachana, there were guys like Charlie
Palmieri, Hector Rivera, Artie Arzenser, Macuchito, Jimmy Loro, Dave Tucker, Louis
Goicoechea, Chicky Perez, Mike Collazo, Ray Montilla, Joe
Grajales, Charlie Fox, Manny Oquendo, Bobby Valentin, Herman Gonzales, Rod Sanchez, Bobby Nelson, Willie
Pastrana, Benjamin Rosario, Joe Rosa and Manny Corchado, with singers that included
Chaguito Montalvo Jr., Paquito Guzman, Willie Torres, Chivirico Davila, Adolberto Santiago, Yayo El Indio, Ray Cruz and many more.
Thank you, guys!!
Outlets selling Cesta Records releases:
Discogs: Cesta Records at Discogs and Joe Quijano at Discogs
Musicstack: Cesta Records at Musicstack and Joe Quijano at Musicstack
CDandLP: Cesta Records at CDandLP and Joe Quijano at CDandLP
RecordsMerchant: Cesta Records LPs at RecordsMerchant and Joe Quijano LPs at RecordsMerchant
and Joe Quijano CDs at RecordsMerchant
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