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Origin:
New York, NY, USA
Decades:
1967-present

William Anthony Colón (born 28 April 1950) is a Nuyorican salsa musician. Primarily a trombonist, Colón also sings, writes, produces and acts. He is also involved in municipal politics in New York City. Willie Colón was born in the South Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents. He picked up the trumpet from a young age, and later switched to trombone, inspired by the all-trombone sound of Mon Rivera and Barry Rogers. He spent some summers at his maternal grandmother’s sister’s (La finca de Celín y Ramón) farm in in the outskirts of Manatí, Puerto Rico on the road to neighboring Ciales, Puerto Rico.

He was signed to Fania Records at 15 and recorded his first album at age 17, which ultimately sold more than 300,000 copies. Due to fortuitous events, the main record producer at Fania at the time, Johnny Pacheco, recommended Héctor Lavoe to him.

Mr. Colón has been a civil rights, community and political activist since the age of 16. He has served as a member of the Latino Commission on AIDS and the United Nations Immigrant Foundation, President of the Arthur Schomburg Coalition for a Better New York, member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 1995, Mr. Colón became the first minority to serve on the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) national board and is now a member of the ASCAP FOUNDATION.


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