kong records


CHICAGO – September 18, 2021 Gia Fu, a rising talent and Hong Kong-born artist, has released a unique big-band style salsa album by Grammy-nominated Angel Meléndez titledAngel Meléndez X Big Band Máquina.” The album is directed by Ralph Riley and brings together legendary and new talent.

The album’s rich vocal together with 13 pieces of brass instruments, harmonies and percussive backing provide riveting listening. It has 11 sizzling tracks and one bonus track and will have listeners tapping their toes to the rhythm and imagining they’re hearing the band live in a club.

The production magic happened at Rolo’s Studio in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where Meléndez’s masterminds, Juan Picorelli and Rolando Alejandro, nurtured an all-star crew of 30 featured artists.

The album features veteran powerhouse lead vocals from Tito Allen, Primi Cruz, Hermán Olivera and Rico Walker, as well as vocals from a new generation of singers, including multi-talented Carlos García, Willito Otero, Jorge Yadiel Santos and Gerardo Rivas.

Also featuring is an unprecedented all-star group of musicians, including, among others, Richie Bastar on bongos, Gilbérto “Pulpo” Colón Jr. and Luis Marin on piano, Jan Duclerc on trumpet, Sammy García on congas and Pedro Perez on bass, all conducted by Meléndez.

Meléndez, a native of Puerto Rico, has been on the music scene for years and was Grammy-nominated for his previous album. Meléndez, who has lived most of his life in Chicago, has been an arranger and a musical director for some of the world’s most renowned salsa artists, including Frankie Ruiz, Andy Montañez, Danilo Perez, Eddie Santiago and many more.

With such a diverse group of talents, “Big Band Máquina” turned out to be a phenomenal and unique collaborative product.

The record is being released on Kong Records, a new independent record label focusing on niche, high-quality musical productions. Angel Meléndez X Big Band Máquina is available on CD and on all major online digital platforms for purchase download and streaming. It will also be released on vinyl record format.


  1. Nuestro Amor [4:41]
       Composer: Artur López Arranger: Angel Meléndez
  2. El Que No Sufre, No Vive [5:19]
       Composer: Hugo González Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Rico Walker
  3. Xiomara [6:24]
       Composer: Miguel Angel Ruíz Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Hermán Olivera
  4. Mi Son [5:19]
       Composer: Frankie Leon Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Rico Walker
  5. Bailen Mi Guaguancó [3:29]
       Composer: Ray Rodriguez Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Tito Allen
  6. Lo Mas Difícil [5:10]
       Composer: Angel Meléndez Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Willie Otero
  1. Tan Largo El Olvido [5:58]
       Composer: Pablo Neruda Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Primi Cruz
  2. Porque Me Engañas [3:59]
       Composer: Raul Marrero Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Hermán Olivera
  3. Confiada [6:24]
       Composer: Pedro Colmenares Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Carlos García

10.Todos Vuelven [4:26]
   Composer: Cesar Miró Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Tito Allen

11.Naima (extended ver.) [4:47]
   Composer: Angel Meléndez Arranger: Angel Meléndez

12.Bonus Track: Vuelve a Mi [4:31]
   Composer: Angel Meléndez Arranger: Angel Meléndez Lead Singer: Carlos García


  1. Angel Meléndez [Musical Director | Arranger – All Tracks | Composer – Tracks 7, 9 , 11, 12 | Chorus – All Tracks]
  2. Juan “Pico” Picorelli [Musical Producer | Timbales – All Tracks |Minor Percussion – All Tracks | Chorus – Track 12]
  3. Herman Olivera [Lead Singer – Tracks 3, 8]
  4. Rico Walker [Lead Singer – Tracks 2, 4]
  5. Primi Cruz [Lead Singer – Track 7]
  6. Tito Allen [Lead Singer – Tracks 5, 10]
  7. Willito Otero [Lead Singer – Track 6]
  8. Richie Bastar [Bongos – All Tracks]
  9. Sammy García [Congas – Tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ]
  10. Gerardo Rivas [Congas – Tracks 1, 3 | Chorus – All Tracks]
  11. Pedro Pérez [Bass – All Tracks]
  12. Luis Marín [Piano – Tracks 1, 3, 5]
  13. Carlos García [Piano – Tracks 2, 4, 6 | Lead Singer – Tracks 9, 12]
  14. Gilbérto “PULPO” Colón, Jr. [Piano – Tracks 7, 8, 9 | Historian]
  1. Jan Duclerc [Trumpet – All Tracks]
  2. Jesús Alonso [Trumpet – All Tracks]
  3. José Ruiz [Trumpet – All Tracks]
  4. Jake Miranda [Trumpet – All Tracks]
  5. Jorge Díaz [Trombone – All Tracks]
  6. Jerry Rivas Jr. [Trombone – All Tracks]
  7. Lester Pérez [Trombone – All Tracks]
  8. Cesar Ayala [Trombone – All Tracks]
  9. Elliut Cintrón [Trombone Solo – Track 3]
  10. Sammy Vélez [Sax Baritone – All Tracks]
  11. Angel Torres [Sax Alto – All Tracks]
  12. Frankie Pérez [Sax Alto – All Tracks]
  13. Roberto Calderón [Sax Tenor – All Tracks]
  14. Josué Urbina [Sax Tenor – All Tracks]
  15. Jorge Yadiel Santos [Chorus – All Tracks]
  16. Gia Fu [Producer | Chorus – Track 12]


  1. Recording, Mix & Master: Rolo’s Studio – Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
  2. Recording: Nino Segarra Studios, Puerto Rico.
  3. Recording: Allertone Studio, The Bronx NY.


  1. Gia Fu – Executive Producer
  2. Ralph Riley – Project Director


  1. Clara Colón
  2. Roman Fu
  3. Cristina de la Rosa
  4. Nelson Saez
  5. Caine Wong
  6. Michael Yang

“Lives and Muses of Angels”

A quiet night in Loíza with Pulpo and the producers…

You know they faded, but in that warm estudio night,
Riffin’ off verbal horns, imaginary timbales
They about to drop that electric verse,
Diamonds under dimmed light…

’63 Borinquen in Santurce, la Calle Cerra en Fernandez Juncos,
Papa Adios.
Me and Mamá fled to the Boogie Down,
Puerto Rico’s largest overseas town.
From the 70s, Rochester, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Chicago,
Rice and beans, rough times but, ah, mofongo!

Onto the 80s-La Solucion!
Juventud Típica 78, mi primo Carlos my inspiration,

B flat, F and high B flat, rusty ol’ trombone solos,
Juventud Típica 78, propelled myself on high slidin’ trombone solos.

Life been good, 35 years to date, once a music graduate,
Nurturing the gift of música in this state.

Musical director for many, Frankie Ruiz, Cano Estremera in the Windy City,,
911 Mambo Orchestra and then Arallué, our first creación,
My own band, mi música, algo divina, algo única,
2004 Grammy nominee, que celebración!

Circa 2020, the pandemic, my gigs burned away like they’d been tossed in fire,
Gave up, set to retire, but out of the mire,
These cats in Hong Kong wanted me to make more hits,
Damn, I said to myself, let’s go get this!

One, then two songs at Rolo’s, for October, then February.
They loved ‘em so much, we ran four more songs as complementary,
Intoxicado por la melodía, nos volvimos locos,
Another six songs in June, an’ here we are, 12 big bad tunes,

Para Big Band Máquina,
así es la cosa, así es la vida.
It has been extraordinary.

Pa-dan-dan-dan-dan-dum! Jus’ like a horn solo!
When I hear it played by 20 bad MFs, their style, their innuendo,
Their characteristics, they come back at you,
Yeah! yeah! Play that papi, sigue tocando!

The producers give me material to work with that is,
Dunno, mesmeriano, people gon’ feel it from cantantes y compositores,
Dancers and melómanos, cualquiera que ama la música.

If I got nominated for just that first demo,
Then they’re gonna love this, bro.
Gia as a visionary, you see that she brings that future bliss,
Leading to something else, and talent leads from this.

I admire the producers, much love, they create an ambience with salsa,
Pay respect to the artists, amplia gama,
Play songs with good lyrics, not just whatever,
Spend time to listen it and savour, entienden el sabor, feel the ritmo del tambor.

Wanna to produce music that’ll be around forever,
Eso se puede apreciar
I no longer worry, just glad to tell my story.
Brah, I’m just glad I can tell my story.

Lo Más Difícil en la vida isn’t creating music,
It’s creating legacy.
Estudia mucho, trabaja fuerte, ve a ganarte el pan
Put the family first and learn to live in peace.
Lo más difícil en la vida es aprender a gozarla,
Hay que vivir y abrazarla, hay que reir y apreciarla

Lo más difícil en la vida es disfrutarla,
Hay que brindar y bailarla, no te olvídese aprovecharla.

It’s later than I thought, it’s nearing 3- we got studio time in a few hours,
familia, look alive!

© Written by Akinsola Jeje