Businessman Pedro Arroyo, the founder of National Salsa Day in Puerto Rico, has died, media reports said. He was 60.
News of Arroyo’s death Saturday saddened the thousands of followers of salsa on the Caribbean island, as well as artists from different genres, who via their respective Twitter accounts thanked Arroyo for his work as director of programming at San Juan’s Z-93 radio station.
“With my heart in mourning over the loss of my friend Pedro Arroyo. I’m going to miss you, brother. God bless you,” Puerto Rican salsa performer Gilberto Santa Rosa said in a Twitter posting.
His compatriot and colleague, Victor Manuelle, added that Arroyo was “one of the most important defenders of Salsa” and that he behaved to Manuelle like “a brother and friend.”
Meanwhile, merengue star Elvis Crespo added that “tropical music is playing in heaven” upon the death of Arroyo, who was the person who gave the artist his first break in launching his career.
Also, Nicaraguan salsero Luis Enrique thanked Arroyo for “having done so much for our music” and Venezuelan bolero artist Ricardo Montaner said that “all Puerto Rico laments this loss. Peace to his family and music in heaven.”
Puerto Rican rapper Tego Calderon said: “My most heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Pedro Arroyo, a friend who always supported me.”
Puerto Rican salsero Michael Stuart said that “a great influence on Salsa in PR has just passed away,” and reggaeton music producer and composer Gocho said that Arroyo was “a radio institution” and asked him to continue “bringing good salsa to heaven.”
Also, businessman and president of Pina Records, Raphy Pina, said that “a leader in radio” had died, while writer Wise said that Arroyo, whom he described as “an angel, ... made our salsa shine.”
The first National Salsa Day was celebrated in Puerto Rico in 1983, but it was not officially established under Law 100 until June 17, 2000, as a way of paying tribute to the musical genre.
Since then, artists such as Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, among others, have performed at the “National Salsa Day” show.
At the event this year, the bands La Sonora Ponceña, La Zodiac, la Corporacion Latina, Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound and the youth group Villariny Salsa Project all performed, and posthumous tribute was paid to singer Frankie Ruiz.