Puerto Rican contemporary salsa legend Eladio " Yayo" Rodriguez died Saturday October 10th of natural causes. News of his death prompting Western New Yorks Latino community to mourn.
Rodriguez, a member of numerous bands, was one of the most recognized contemporary salsa singers in Western New Yorks Latino community.
The sounds of Latin music have permeated U.S. airwaves and influenced American artists. Celia Cruz brought salsa to the masses and thanks to artists like Ricky Martin, Maluma and Shakira, Latin music is wildly listened to by an English-speaking audience.
Hispanic Latinos are the fastest growing population in the United States accounting for roughly 19% — 69.6 million — of the nation's total population. Latinos continue to contribute to American culture as musicians, small business owners, chefs, veterans and many other professions.
Eladio “Yayo” Rodriguez “La Voz De Lujo” born in Villalba, Puerto Rico (1933), known by a community that he loved made his stage debut at the age of 12, performing at the famous “Tribuna del Arte” where he won his first prize. Most recently with a voice perfectly preserved, Yayo joined some of his closest friends and recorded their latest CD “Tu Sabes Que Te Quiero” in honor of the love of his life “Blanca Rodriguez”.
Yayo Rodriguez’s career has enjoyed three district phases, each of them very successful. In the early ‘1950’s, he recorded his first album “Linda Borincana” this release scored a series of major engagements in Puerto Rico, New York City, Cleveland, Ohio that made him one of the most popular salsa contemporary entertainers of the time.
In the early “1960’s, he mounted a comeback as more of an adult-album seller where he recorded with various artist throughout Buffalo, New York and Puerto Rico. From the ‘1980’s to the present he achieved renewed popularity with generations of listeners who hadn’t been born when he first appeared, a generation he admires and respects as our future leaders.
By the start of the 21st century, Yayo Rodriguez seemed like the last of a breed, but here in our community of Buffalo New York he remains as popular as ever. Today, he shares this special honor with his son Yayo Jr., Pucho Olivenica, Chepo Carrasquillo and Rafael Hernandez.
"I'm fascinated in trying to find the life in the songs that I sing; in making music that's exciting to people today. I am looking for the songs and the interesting stories, not only for the people who already enjoy salsa or contemporary Spanish music, but for those who think they may not like salsa and contemporary Spanish music." ~ Yayo Rodriguez
Yayo has left a footprint and legacy in the world of music in Western New York and beyond, he will always be remembered for his charm and loyal to a community he loved and served by bringing joy to many hearts young and old.
Eladio Rodriguez, Sr. “Yayo” Of Buffalo, entered into rest October 10, 2020. Beloved husband of Blanca Rodriguez; devoted father of Eladio Jr. “Yayito”, Carlos, late Evelyn, Debra Carrasquillo (Robert), late Jose Gomez, late Wanda (late Nestor) Rosado, late Raymond Gomez, late Bryan (LeisaMarie) Gomez, late Lawrence Gomez; also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great- grandchildren.