Arthur Hanlon, whose smash hit single, La Gorda Linda, spent time as the #1 track on the tropical charts, will be the first pianist to participate in the National New York Puerto Rican Day Parade which is to take place on June 12, 2005. Hanlon will be playing his hit song on a gorgeous red piano on the adorned Univision float as it makes its way down 5th Avenue in New York City during one of the city’s most prominent cultural events. In making the announcement about his participation in the parade Hanlon said, I am honored to be back in New York City participating in this special parade and paying tribute to the great influence Puerto Ricans have had on the city.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a long-standing local tradition, has united the people of New York for the past ten years in celebration of the great contributions Puerto Ricans have made to the city. The parade will travel along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street and will feature singing, dancing, marching and floats sponsored by various businesses. With over 100,000 marchers and 3 million spectators last year, parade organizers look forward to similar numbers of New Yorkers getting together in celebration this year.
With its fun and infectious melody, the debut single from Hanlon’s La Gorda Linda album, La Gorda Linda features Puerto Rican Salsa star Tito Nieves lending a hand on vocals spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on the tropical airplay charts in the U.S. and marks the first time a pianist has ever garnered the top slot on the Tropical Charts.
Hanlon, somewhat of a surprising figure in the Latin music scene who has gained much merited attention for his upbeat, salsa flavored ode to women with real curves, will, however, no doubt fit right in with the lively, positive atmosphere the New York City event likes to promote.
The affable and easy going Hanlon is looking forward to his participation in the parade and spoke enthusiastically about his embracement of Latin music and culture and the affects on his music, “This is really me with one foot in Latin America and one foot in the states.”
So how exactly does Arthur Hanlon, an Irish-American born in Detroit, Michigan, wind up in the thick of the recent Latin music boom? The seasoned young virtuoso, who received his piano education from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City, also discovered his love for Latin music and culture during his stay in the city that never sleeps.
During the time he studied at one of the world’s most renowned musical institutions, Hanlon quickly found a connection between his Irish roots and the Latin culture in which he’d found himself submerged. There was a similar passion he easily recognized and understood and while that may sound a bit too sappy, Hanlon displays a witty and warm sense of humor demonstrating perhaps another characteristic that allowed him to easily negotiate this cultural plunge of his.
“Maybe it was the six brothers who got together every Sunday. It was a party each time. They’d all come over, have drinks and we’d eat and talk about religion…” Hanlon said recently.
Hanlon who sites Grupo Niche and Armando Manzanero as two of his favorite Latin artists, embodies a musical ability that is sure to continue his musical career headed skyward. His sense of humor and ability to accept another culture will assure him a successful life as a human on this planet, but it’s his heart and sincerity that will make him even more special.
His way of blending humor and empathy with his music is perfectly illustrated by his motivation for writing La Gorda Linda which he says happened after he had read an article about the doctor credited with discovering and documenting the first known cases of anorexia. “The guy is depressed now,” lamented Hanlon, “so I decided to write this record for all those people going to places to eat who end up not eating anything.”