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All-Star Single Highlights Problem In Vieques


August 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 TGale Group Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2001 VNU Business Media. All Rights Reserved.

Tito Auger and Ricky Laureano, singer and guitarist of Fiel a la Vega, respectively, took time away from their band recently to pen a song about getting U.S. troops off the island of Vieques . Released July 27 to Puerto Rican radio and TV, "Cancion para Vieques " is intended to bring moral support to the people of Vieques and to highlight the island's problems.

Auger and Laureano managed to drum up support from a stellar cast of characters. Ruben Blades, Leon Gieco, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Mercedes Sosa, Joan Manuel Serrat, Olga Tanon, Alberto Cortes, Miguel Mateos, Franco de Vita, Antonio Caban Vale, Domingo Quinones, Andres Jimenes, Danny Rivera, Roy Brown, Tony Croatto, Ismael Miranda, Millo Torres, and Lucecita Benitez are among the artists that donated their talents to the six-minute anthem, which will be distributed for free.

"We were lucky, because we knew many people who wanted to do something about Vieques but didn't know how to help," Auger explains. "The majority of things [needed to make the song] were free: the studio, the engineers, the artists, and musicians. That's why we can't sell it."

Although the artists involved didn't all congregate in the studio--a la "We Are the World"-- most recorded their excerpts in Puerto Rico . Among them, only Tanon and Blades met in the studio and recorded as a duet. Franco de Vita recorded in Venezuela and Pablo Milanes in Cuba, using ISDN technology that allows engineers to synchronize recordings even when they're made in separate studios.

Copyrights were not an issue, Auger says, "because nobody is making money."

"Cancion Para Vieques " is the latest track dedicated to furthering the cause of the island of Vieques , where a majority of residents voted last month to end U.S. Navy exercises. In past months, rock group Puya and Latin jazz flutist Nestor Torres have been among those who have included Vieques -inspired tracks on their albums.

"[Fiel a la Vega] took the initiative of looking for ways to help the people of Vieques ," Auger says. "We had the idea of making this song and, with it, wanted to give [the Viequenses] moral support."

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