El Extreme (Luis Chaluisan) BIO
As one of the Staff writers for Latin NY Magazine (1977-1982) and Music Editor (1978-1979) I am blessed to have been privy to many of the events central to the Worldwide Salsa Music Explosion spearheaded by the magazine’s coverage of the Latin Music scene (1973-1985/The Golden Age Of SALSA. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be part of world history. Along with being one of the young poets performing at the original Nuyorican Poets Cafe (1977-1979), Joe Papp’s Public Theater (1977) and touring with Felix Romero’s “Teatro Otra Cosa” (a bomba street theater group housed at the legendary “Teatro Puerto Rico” in the South Bronx 1977-1979) I now look back on those days with extreme exhilaration. At the time it is just the thing to do to survive as an artist. The seventies experiences lay the foundation for me to enter mainstream media when I land at job at CBS affiliate WFSB TV in Hartford Ct in 1979. For the next twenty years I have the opportunity to produce television shows, go to Hollywood, have my own rock and salsa bands, release two LP’s, do radio work at the NY State Senate, ride the Internet bubble, and manage a Telemundo Affiliate Station in Washington State. And the roller coaster ride is not over. In 1997/98 I return to my seventies roots when I end up as part of Connecticut’s State Team at the National Slam Poetry Championships in Austin,Texas and Chicago, Illinois copping 5 and 7th place nationally out of 200 teams each. (You can catch a glimpse of my performance and the Ct. team at the Nationals broadcast by 60 minutes on the 10th anniversary Slam blowout in Chicago.) Thanks to the support of my family – particularly my brother Ron – I am able to put together my memoirs in 2000 (“Newricane”) which in turn (through God’s grace) results in the Off Broadway production of “SPIC CHIC” (2001-2004) inspired by a Latin NY editorial written by Publisher Izzy Sanabria in January 1977 also entitled “Spic Chic”. That show took myself, Maria Hernandez and Classical Composer David Amram to the Bonn Opera House in 2004. (I meet David while working for Latin NY in the seventies and it is a lifelong friendship since then; without Maria Hernandez (Lola Magdalena) I don’t know where I would be today. Her calmness balances my manic being. I’m grateful that my father saw all this success before he passed in 2006. And likewise that my mother is still alive witnessing the next chapter of her crazy artist son’s career – telling you this story (contained in the publication of “Spic Chic” as a book of poems and stories covering work from 1975-2009 inspired by another set of great mentors: Cardinal Hayes English teacher Bill Kerrigan (editor) and Steve Cannon (Fly By Night Press/A Gathering Of The Tribes NYC.) And now comes the payoff putting all these elements together: establishing WEPAwebTV in 2001 and reaching back to film a documentary on MR SALSA Izzy Sanabria, which has ultimately become the story I have been searching for during 53 years of a life that sums up an American experience as a Puerto Rican. Pa Que Lo Sepan! WEPA!