Puerto Rican singer Héctor “Tempo” Alomar, who was a member of the Roberto Roena salsa orchestras and their Apollo Sound, El Conjunto Libre and Batacumbele, died this Sunday, his relatives reported. He was 70 years old.
“Cuuulltuuraa. Today you are with God in a better place where everything is perfect. Blessing and blessings. See you later Uncle Tempo,” Ángel Alomar, the interpreter and percussionist’s nephew, posted on his Facebook account.
Several days ago it was reported that Alomar was rushed to a hospital in Puerto Rico for severe stomach pain.
Born in Santurce, San Juan district and a well-known Puerto Rican musical and cultural area, Alomar grew up immersing himself in folklore and revelry throughout the island.
At the age of 10, he was already participating in street activities, studying singing and percussion with the school in Puerto Rico, along with the also deceased Ángel “Cachete” Maldonado.
In 1965 Alomar joined the Chacón y Los Batirrítmicos orchestra, participating in the production of that year as a conguero.
Three years later, he moved to New York, at the height of the birth of the salsa musical movement.
By 1970, Tempo was reunited with Maldonado, who introduced him to Ernie Agosto, Larry Harlow, and other musicians, including timpanist Rafy Val.
He then went through the Broadway Orchestra, he also played congas for the orchestra of his idol, Pete “Conde” Rodríguez, and played the timpani for the Eddie Palmieri orchestra.
Alomar also participated with the groups of Manny Oquendo, La Conspiración, El Conjunto Libre and Charanga América.
He also recorded on albums by Alfredo de la Fe, Johny Rodriguez, Víctor Paz, Jorge Dalto, Casanova y su Montuno, Orquesta Broadway, on the conga with Pete “Conde” Rodríguez, on the timbales with Eddie Palmieri, Zaperoco, among others.
However, it was with the Roena orchestra and its Apollo Sound that Alomar became more known in music.
Alomar was in the group for 16 years, in which he achieved successes such as “Cómo te hago entender”, “Dale como es”, “El pueblo pide que toque”, “Atrévete conmigo”, “Sr Bongó”, “Baila y Goza” and “Mi mambo pide campana”.
Since October of last year, the salsa genre has lost several prominent Puerto Rican artists, such as Cano Estremera, Tito Rojas, and Jimmie Morales. Willie Colón is hospitalized in critical condition for a traffic accident he suffered in the US state of North Carolina.