Victor Manuelle Special to Air on HBO: Exclusive

Courtesy of HBO Latino
Victor Manuelle

Salsa star Victor Manuelle’s 2015 “Que suenen los tambores” concert in Puerto Rico, an oversized affair that included multiple guest acts and a surprise, emotional appearance from Manuelle’s ailing father, will be broadcast as an HBO Latino special on Nov. 18, Billboard has learned. 

Que Suenen los Tambores (Let the Drums Beat) -- named after Manuelle’s hit album and song -- was recorded live at Puerto Rico’s José Miguel Agrelot coliseum and was a major production that spanned Manuelle’s more than two decades in music, including classic hits to contemporary salsa fused with urban music. 

“The salsa fan will always be a salsa fan. My challenge is to convince 14, 15-year-olds to listen as well, otherwise we’ll become a niche genre,” Manuelle told Billboard, explaining his decision to veer from just traditional salsa and experiment with other genres in his music. “My mission is to make salsa attractive to a new generation. Purists of the genre sometimes criticize that. But sounds need to be refreshed.”

Examples include “Imaginar,” Manuelle’s hit with rapper Yandel, which is included in the special, along with other collabs.A particularly emotional moment in the show takes place when Manuelle sings “Algo le pasa mi héroe” ("Something is Wrong With My Hero"), a song he wrote for his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. 

“And in the middle of that, my brother took my dad onstage,” says Manuelle, who has become an advocate for Alzheimer’s care. “It was extremely emotional, and it’s something that will never happen again in any other concert. This is a very special event.” 

Que Suenen los Tambores is Manuelle’s first ever concert special and the first salsa special on HBO Latino, airing Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET across all HBO Latino platforms, including HBO NOW and HBO Go. 

“HBO Latino is excited to continue introducing A list talent like Victor Manuelle to the channel. Music and concert specials are an integral part of our programming and salsa, a universal sound, was a natural next genre to bring to our audience,” said Jackie Gagne, HBO Latino’s VP of Multicultural Marketing.

A special sweepstakes, where fans are asked to record a video sharing their best salsa moves, will give the winner a trip to Puerto Rico. Contestants can share their moves online using the hashtag #LaSalsaMeMueve @hbolatino. 

Watch the HBO Latino trailer here