All I Want for Christmas is a Classic Cover by Amigxs All-Stars| 14 December, 2020
Fans of salsa around the world show tremendous reverence for El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico year-round, but especially during the Christmas season, when their songs, “La Fiesta de Pilito” and “No Hay Cama Pa’ Tanta Gente” can be heard at holiday gatherings in many a Latino home.
Well, 2020 has gifted us an homage to “La Fiesta de Pilito” featuring los “Amigxs All-Stars,” made up of 25 of our indie music friends with a few veterans sprinkled in. The cover is the brainchild of Jeanne Montalvo, a Grammy-nominated audio engineer and radio producer based in New York City.
“My husband and I have been producing quite a few projects together recently and actually wanted to do the song last year, but … we ran out of time and put it on the back burner,” Montalvo said. “Around the summer, we started toying with the idea again, but with a new twist—why not invite all of these artists that we’ve worked with and admired to join us and make it huge? We’ve done a lot of remote producing and recording this year, so distance wasn’t an issue. It meant we could have people in San Francisco, or Kansas City, or even New Zealand as was Mireya [Ramos]’s case.”
Calls and emails led to the production we see here, which features veteran musician and Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria, poet Caridad “La Bruja” de la Luz, members of Making Movies, Flor de Toloache, Descarillao’s Victor Manuel Rendon on piano, as well as singers Renee Goust, Mai-Elka Prado, Yasser Tejeda, and much more. See the list of artists in the video below.
“We … realized that the song itself would mean more this year on its own since it’s uplifting, makes you want to keep going, and gives people a sense of nostalgia I think we all need right now,” Montalvo said. “What came together was so inspiring since no one really heard the other persons parts. It’s really a talented and amazing group of musicians, and I feel so blessed to have been able to collaborate with them in this way.”
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