An Interview with Mr. Jose Alberto “El Canario” – New York

Jose Alberto El CanarioSharon German: First and foremost thank you for giving an opportunity to interview you. I feel very priviledged in doing an interview with such an exceptional artist like yourself. I would like to say thank you for your time, I am truly honored. You are multi-platinum recording artist; you have played all over the world for very large audiences, yet you still play smaller venues. Which setting do you enjoy performing in the most?

Jose: I have no particular convenience. They all have the same exact value to me. My job is simply to put on my best performance.

Sharon: I have met you personally and I can say that you are truly one of the most genuine and humble individuals I know. How can someone in the salsa scene, in this case an artist, still be able to remain humble after so much fame and success?

Jose: Simple, don’t let air rise over your head, in other words don’t get cocky. I just keep my feet planted on firm ground and remember where my roots come from. I think this is very important. Hey, there’s only one life to live.

Sharon: I have been told that you are a great salsa dancer, is it true that you dance on2? Where did you learn?

Jose: Well that’s what people say that I’m a great dancer, but I try to do my thing on stage. The reason I dance on2 is because the salsa music is written on the clave. As you know Sharon, being a dancer and musician, the two is on the clave, so actually most salsa musicians would dance on2, however not all do. On top of that, I have been living in New York for a long time where most people dance on2 already.

Sharon: You have traveled all around the world and performed with the great Ms. Celia Cruz, how would you describe this experience?

Jose: I worked with Celia for 17 years and it was fascinating. We really had unforgettable moments that I would never be able to reproduce again. Together Celia and I traveled the entire world. Celia is the dictionary of salsa and I feel blessed to have become a part of that.

Sharon: What does ”EL Canario” stand for?

Jose: “El Canario” is my artistic name and which everyone recognizes me by. “El Canario” is a Spanish bird and is known for his beautiful singing tone. This was the name people started calling me during the beginning of my career and I just stuck to it.

Sharon: Amongst your travel around the world, is there any place that stands out the most?

Jose: There is no place in particular that I can say stands out. They all have their specialty and importance in my opinion. Well, every place brings something different and unique about themselves. That is actually one of the benefits about being an artist, you get to travel and see what every place has to offer, that is one of the many beauties.

Sharon: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your music career?

Jose: All of the accomplishments that I’ve been able to attain, being able to work with stars and the hapiness that comes along the way.

Sharon: How does it make you feel to know that people all around the world LOVE your music, even though they may not understand everything that you are saying?

Jose: It feels very good and I feel honored at the same time. It feels good to know that my music has the ability to travel beyond my expectations and its language boundaries.

Sharon: In the music industry there seems to be a lot of competition. How can a person deal with this and not get distracted?

Jose: You know Sharon, everything is competition. Competition exist everywhere in life and it comes from all directions. Competition is ever- lasting and in my opinion it will never vanish. Competition is part of the game and without competition you don’t have anything that challenges. However, the way I play the game is to compete with myself; but everyone has a different way at looking at this. Nevertheless, just remember not to let others run you and to remain focused.

Sharon: What message would you like to deliver to your salsero brothers and sisters?

Jose: The message I send to the entire Salsa World is let salsa continue and have fun at the same time, if you forget about the fun then I’m not sure you have salsa.

Sharon: Thank you so much Mr. Jose Alberto you are truly one man to admire. Your music has touched all of us and I’m gratified to have done this interview.

Jose: Thank you Sharon for your interview, I hope our next encounter is on the stage. Thanks to “La Voz del Mambo” for their interest in interviewing me and remember “Que Viva La Salsa”.

Jose “El Canario” Alberto