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PuertoRicans.Com - Exclusive Special Edition

By Hector Le Guillow -
President of Metro Talent Group, Inc.

1(718) 456-2253

(Scroll down to see exclusive photos)

El Cantante Del Pueblo
Interpreta A
Hector Lavoe - El Cantante De Los Cantantes
Returns to Puerto Rico-Ponce

September 30th, 2006 And October 1st, 2006

We were contacted in the first week of August by Eric Rivera- President of the COMITE PRO MONUMENTO HECTOR LAVOE. We spoke and reached an agreement for VAN LESTER to perform for this Major event. The additional purpose of this event was also to raise funds for the Creation and Completion of the 6 foot Monument – Sculpture of HECTOR LAVOE, the artist Severo Romero commissioned to create this Monument is a well known artist- who sculpts various artistic sculptures pertaining to the Island of Puerto Rico. To request more info on this event and upcoming events feel free to e-mail also check out the web page for future updates.
As everyone knows September 30th is HECTOR LAVOE’S birthday and this was also part of the Festival Program. Eric Rivera is also a singer and bandleader of Orquesta La Classica and he had his band rehearse and accompany Van Lester for this event.

When we departed from New York- Thursday September 28th and arrived on Friday -4:00 AM – September 29th we were received and picked up by Gregorio Sanci (Makris) one of the committee members that helped with the event he helped us with our luggage and took us to eat at the famous spot called El Monstro de Los Sandwiches, from there at 6:30 Am in the morning we were driven to Hilton Hotel in PONCE. We checked into the hotel and commenced to work on the day’s itinerary. On Friday we spoke to some of the press that we were scheduled to speak with and finally met with Lucy Echeveria from El Municipio Autonomo de Ponce.

We were taken Friday evening to a gathering of a night dedicated to Hector Lavoe in LA COSILGA located in the area of El Barrio Belgica arriving we saw people singing and reciting poetry and sentiments dedicated to Hector Lavoe in attendance were Priscilla (Lavoe’s Sister) with her husband, Leslie (Lavoe’s daughter) and other family members. The organizers were told that Van Lester had arrived and he was asked to step up to the microphone and he spoke to the crowd and sang a part of EL CANTANTE accapella the people responded with a tremendous applause.

On Saturday we were picked up by Lucy Echeveria and Gerardo Vargas Morales (Lucy’s assistant) our driver and were taken to Cementerio Municipal de Ponce were Hector Lavoe, his wife Puchi and son Hector Jr. are all buried. The press was there waiting for us which we did not expect they had found out Van Lester had arrived in Ponce and was at the Cemetery, we went to Hector Lavoe’s plot which and viewed his headstone. Van Lester wanted to pay his respects and at the same time spiritually connect, this was a moving moment felt by everyone. They took us to the outside front of the Cemetery were there is a wall of fame being created and there is a Mural freshly painted of HECTOR LAVOE, the press took advantage and took many shots of us in front of the mural.

Afterwards Lucy and the rest of the staff continued on to drive us to eat at LA CASA DE LAS TIA’S RESTAURANT which we were invited to by the Owner and Staff who were so excited in having Van, myself and the rest of the entourage. We all enjoyed and had a tremendous Lunch/Dinner of authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.

Van Lester then wanted to go to CUAMO to speak to the musicians of Orquesta La Classica rehearsing and introduce himself and give them a pep talk and spiritually connect with them, he expressed his feelings on returning to the Island and also expressed to them that on the night of the performance that all the musicians performing with him on stage are like his family and as such he expects them to back him up with all their enthusiasm and talent. They all demonstrated their approval and respect.

We returned back to the PONCE – HILTON to relax and prepare for Saturday’s- 9-30-06 performance. We were scheduled to perform at 11:30 PM closing the evening’s shows. Gerardo (Our driver) picked us up and surprised VAN LESTER and myself with a POLICE ESCORT to the concert at LA GUANCHA we had Two (2) Motorcycle and One (1) Jeep full of Police escorting us and stopping all traffic on the way to let us through. We were told that there has been no Musical Artist in the History of Ponce that this treatment has been extended to and done for. All this was arranged by Lucy Echeveria and Gerardo Vargas Morales from El Municipio Autonomo de Ponce.

We arrived to the now called TARIMA HECTOR LAVOE en LA GUANCHA and was amazed at all the people that were attending this grand event. ANDY MONTANEZ and PAPO COCOTE had already performed earlier and were asking for VAN LESTER but we were not scheduled to arrive until a later time so VAN LESTER who wanted to see ANDY and all other performers was not able to see and share with them a moment to possibly even perform together on stage, ANDY had to leave for another performance elsewhere on the island, which Van and myself felt very disappointed, for this would have been also a historical event and chapter for the history of SALSA for all these artist to be together on this eventful evening.

The Orquesta Classica kicked off with the beginning of the music of “EL REY DE LA PUNCTULIDAD” the massive crowd started to react with approval. As soon as it was VAN LESTER’s cue to come in upon his arrival and commencing of his Singing the CROWD of 45,000 people (this estimate of attendance given to me by the Committee members) reacted as if he indeed it was HECTOR LAVOE on stage they all displayed there approval and love and were even yelling out VAN LESTER’s name and were all singing along with VAN. Behind VAN and the Orchestra a Big screen was showing Movie clips of HECTOR LAVOE performances of the past. In between songs Van would talk to the crowd and many of the fans yelled out and displayed their approval of his performance.

After VAN performed his third song there was a ceremony of a presentation of a Birthday cake with HECTOR LAVOES picture on the cake. Since this was also the celebration of Hector Lavoe’s birthday on 9-30-06 the committee gathered all of LAVOES family surviving members, Priscilla (Lavoe’s Sister), Leslie, Van Lester, Carmen Ramirez (Hector Lavoe’s first love and Mother of Hector’s first biological son JOSE PEREZ) who was also in attendance with her cousin Ernie and people from the committee and people from EL Municipo Autonomo. The band commenced to play happy birthday and all of the fans in attendance began to sing which just added an additional emotional impact to this grand event. After the cutting of the cake Van commenced to finish the night’s performance with Songoro Cosongo and various other songs. Van finished with “MI GENTE” the fans overwhelmingly reacting to this song.

All involved with this event were Very, Very pleased with Van Lester’s performance and the public’s reaction. There were many press and fans waiting to speak and have a moment with Van which after the concert he spent time with the public giving out autographs and signing their t-shirts.

At the end VAN spoke to the crowd again letting them know that he was invited by friends and fans to CLUB SARABANDA in San Anton and he invited the public to show up the crowd reacted with approval and we went late that evening afterwards to the club and it was full of cars and people VAN along with myself and friends arrived and Van began to mingle and take pictures and give out autographs to the public there. He was asked to perform inside of the club and sang along with the band and fans – Owners of club and everyone was excited and pleased. We stayed about an hour and a half and returned back to the hotel arriving about 4:30 AM.

The next day on Sunday October 1st we went to the programmed 2nd day event at LA GUANCHA. We arrived late Sunday evening because during the day VAN connected with family members which he has not seen in years. Once again we were driven by Gerardo of El Municipio Autonomo de Ponce. Van and I went to speak with the committee members and members of El Municipio. We wanted to give and extend our thanks and appreciation to them for their support, love and dedication towards us and the LAVOE FEST Event.

Van Lester and Hector Leguillow of Metro Talent Group, Inc.-NY want to additional extend our thanks and gratitude to the following people involved with this event:

· The Honorable Francisco “Ico” Zayas Seijo – Alcalde de Ponce
· Geronimo Irrizarry Pastrana- Secretario Municipal
· Lucy Echeveria - Coordiandora Gubernamental
· Gerardo Vargas Morales- del Municipio Autonomo de Ponce
· Rafael SuFront – Secretario – Comite Pro Monumento a Hector Lavoe
· Raul Costas – Tesorero-Comite Pro Monumento a Hector Lavoe
· Andy Mercado – Sub-Tesorero
· Gregorio Sanci – Director Logistica
· Eric Rivera – Prsidente- Comite Pro Monumento a Hector Lavoe
· Victor Lopez & Mareldys Rodriguez of the Ponce- Hilton
· The Members of Orquesta La Classica
· Andy Montanez
· Papo Cocote
· Papo Lucca and La Sonora Poncena
· Elvin Torres and his Costa Brava
· Roberto Roena
· Jose Alberto “El Canario”

Van Lester and Hector Leguillow is currently programming a tour schedule for various events throughout the USA, South America, and Europe. Anyone interested in Van Lester performing for their upcoming events feel free to contact us at: 1(718) 456-2253 and/or
e-mail us at: also check out our web page:

** El Escultor y Fundidor Severo Romero, fundirá en bronce la escultura que se colocará junto a la tarima que lleva el nombre de Héctor Lavoe en La Guancha de Ponce, Puerto Rico. La misma tendrá un tamaño aproximado a los 6 pies de altura y por medio de esta página podrá observar el progreso de la misma. Para comunicarse: Tel. 787-413-5585 Email:


1. Lavoe Fest Flyer.

2. Crowd at La Guancha.

3. Van approving Lavoe Cake.

4.Van & Fernando Perez.

5.Van & Hector and Lavoe Headstone.

6. Hector Lavoe Mask Created by Fernando Perez.

7. F Perez at Lavoe fest

8. Hector-Priscilla Van& Fernando.

9.Van Fernando and Hector in Dressign room of Tarima H Lavoe

10. Van & Hector at Memorial wall on Cemetery Street-Ponce.

11. Ponce Cementerio Municipal

12. Van & Hector at Lavoe gravesite.

13.Lavoe Headstone.

14. Van Paying respets to Hector.

15. Van Lester Paying Respects.

16. Van Paying Respects and Blessings.

17.Ponce - Van -Hector.

18.Van on Stage.

19. Official Sign of Tarima Hector Lavoe.

20. Van responding to Fan.

21. Van with Lavoe Family.

22. Van on Stage.

23. Back View of Van Performing.

24. Lucy-Hector - Van- and Fernando.

25. Van & Hector In Dressing Room.

26. Van & Hector Leguillow with Official Fest T-shirt.

27. Van Arriving & commencing Rey de La Punctulida.

28. Van Dancing.

29. Van in Action.

30. Van Singing Rey de La Punctulida.

31. Van Speaking to the Public of over 45,000 people.

32. Van to start Soniando.

33. Van with a Fan.

34. Van with Chiki the Media Photographer.

35. Van With Lavoe Family & Lavoe Birthday Cake.

36. Van with Leslie(Lavoe daughter), Priscilla (Lavoes Sister)

37. Van in Dressing room of Tarima H Lavoe.

38.Lavoe Cake.

39. Part of 45,000 plus crowd for Van Performance.