Puerto Rican Pianist Jose Lugo Dies at 56

Jose Lugo
Courtesy Photo

Jose Lugo

The celebrated musician, arranger/producer worked with Bobby Valentin, Willie Rosario, Gilberto Santa Rosa & other salsa greats.

Puerto Rican pianist José Lugo has died at age 56. Lugo played with salsa greats including Bobby Valentín, and was the leader of his own band, Guasábara Combo. He was an artist widely celebrated by his peers.

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Salsa star Victor Manuelle, expressing his condolences on Twitter, called Lugo “one of the greatest salsa musicians, pianists, arrangers and producers of his generation.”

Gilberto Santa Rosa expressed thanks to Lugo’s “great contribution to his career as a producer. Other Puerto Rican musicians paid tribute on social media.

Lugo’s Guasábara Combo released four albums. They included 2008’s Guasábara, which featured collaborations with Santa Rosa, Manuelle and Cuban artist Issac Delgado. The group released its latest recording, Donde Están, earlier this year.

Lugo died Sunday after a long battle with cancer, according to an announcement his son Josema Lugo made to the press.