It's often debated whether songwriters and lyricists should have experienced the emotions depicted in their work. The answer isn't clear-cut, but in 1932, Consuelo Velázquez, a young songwriter and pianist, wrote the timeless ballad "Bésame Mucho" under a male pseudonym before even experiencing her first kiss.
Despite societal norms, such expressions were deemed a 'sin' at the time, Velázquez infused the song with fierce innocence and yearning. Today, artists like Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and now Florida-based salsa band Orchestral Fuego, led by Marcus Hernandez, continue to perform this bolero classic with fervor.
Orchestral Fuego adds their own flair to the most recorded and covered Spanish song of all time. Helmed by the versatile vocals of Puerto Rican David D', the band infuses the song with fire and fervor, accompanied by jazzy chordal flourishes and a unique arrangement in E minor. The synth strings and chords create a captivating introduction, leading to a romantic ode that seamlessly blends down-to-earth intimacy with cinematic grandiosity.
David's vocals, rich in dynamic and emotional range, bring the lyrics to life with freedom and soul. The lyrics themselves, written with an unblemished realism, demand a full-throttle delivery, and David does not disappoint with his charisma and delivery. His rendition effortlessly transitions between intimate moments like "Quiero tenerte muy cerca, mirarme en tus ojos, verte junto a mi" to more anthemic lines such as "Piensa que tal vez mañana, yo ya estaré kejos, muy lejos de aquí."
At four minutes and fifty-three seconds, Orchestral Fuego's rendition of "Bésame Mucho" is a powerful and timeless interpretation. Beyond its musical strengths, the version connects with listeners across cultures and ages, evoking nostalgia and longing. This rendition has the potential to endure the test of time and resonate, casting a spell on the listener, with its rich variation and emotional depth.
About Marcus Hernandez & Orchestra
Rising from humble beginnings to being one of the most beloved and sought-after Salsa bands in America – with reaches beyond, South America, Europe, and through Japan – Orchestra Fuego, the fiery Florida-based Salsa band, ranked as the Number One independent Salsa Band in the world by IMC, ReverbNation and Spotify – is in the midst of a spectacular run in carving a niche for the Salsa genre, and enthralling audiences with their upbeat original Latin numbers, as well as their rendition of familiar ones. Founded and helmed at the front by the Salsa aficionado and composer Marcus Hernandez, Orchestra Fuego (fuego meaning fire) traces its origins to the late ’70s when Hernandez, already a veteran performer on the New York City scene, formed the Salsa group, Fuego ’77, and recorded an album with the same name under the Alegre Record Label a subsidiary of the great Fania Records. An instant hit, Fuego ’77 paved the way for Hernandez to collaborate with the likes of Adalberto Santiago and Rafael de Jesus, going from strength to strength – Hernandez’s peers describe him as Creative, Electrifying, and a Leader – Hernandez, after having relocating from New York to Tampa, FL soon realized it was time to revive the classic Salsa sound in Florida, forming Orchestra Fuego in 2015. Their high-octane sound, and blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms mixed with Nuyorican flavor, have maintained the integrity and aura of old-school Salsa (or New York City Salsa), complimented with a fresh twist.
Orchestra Fuego has released six albums and ten singles – their latest, Candela, apart from worldwide download coverage, has been the recipient of the Best Song, Best Band, and Best Album awards at the 2022 Independent Music Awards in Hollywood, CA. In addition, Orchestra Fuego also performs arrangements of familiar songs, such as the sprightly rendition of ‘I Can Only Imagine’, Way Maker and All I Want For Christmas is You. With appearances on Fox News and ABC Action News. Orchestra Fuego has, over the years, gained a huge and loyal following (‘Fuego, Fuego, Llaman Los Bomberos!’, as their ardent admirers put it forth), performing live in front of tens of thousands at the Orlando and Miramar Amphitheaters, Magic City Casino in Miami, and Orlando House of Blues among other venues, and performing with the likes of Grupo Niche, Victor Manuelle, Grupo Gale, Charlie Aponte, and Sonora Poncena. Orchestra Fuego already has had a busy 2023, with their music videos for ‘Con Ella Quiero Bailar’, ‘Feliz Navidad’, and ‘I Can Only Imagine’ winning Five Platinum Awards this year and reaching RIAA Platinum status for their recent album “Candela”. Through all of Orchestra Fuego’s joys and successes, igniting dance floors throughout Florida and beyond, and their creatively unique contributions to the salsa genre, Hernandez is grounded and clear-headed on the path ahead. Stay tuned for more music from Orchestra Fuego.