Pirulo y La Tribu
Pirulo y La Tribu are a 21st century salsa and timba group who wed classic style to modern production. Their music combines Nuyorican salsa, Afro-Cuban son, and Puerto Rican bomba.
Francisco "Pirulo" Rosada Rosario was born in 1977 in the San Jose Reservoir barrio in San Juan. His mother was Puerto Rican and his father, Frankie Rosado, originally hailed from Brooklyn and played flute during the great salsa explosion in the '70s in New York. From a young age, the younger Rosario was exposed to the music of Dave Valentin, Ismael Rivera, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Irakere, Los Van Van, and Cortijo.
At the age of ten, Rosario entered San Juan's Free School of Music, studying oboe and bass, but his heart belonged to percussion, which he majored in. During high school he started his first band, Revolucion Latina. Upon graduation in 1995 at the age of 17, he went straight to work, woodshedding as a percussionist with artists including Giovanni Hidalgo, Anthony Carrillo, Pupi Santiago, Edgar Abraham, Alfredo y Rumberos, and many others.
Still in his teens, Rosario lost both his parents and was obligated as the eldest male to care for his siblings. Still, he did not give up his musical career and worked harder than ever. He eventually earned a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and attended the school in 1997 and 1998.
Upon graduation, Rosario became an itinerant session man and touring musician. He traveled the U.S., Canada, and Cuba, working with Bob Dylan, Maceo Parker, Either/Orchestra, and Entrain y Family Ayala Folkloric Group.
Rosario returned to Puerto Rico in 2004, a seasoned player, composer, and percussionist. He signed a session contract with White Lion Records in San Juan, to play, produce, write, and sing. He appeared on Julio Volto's En La Clara, and produced Tego Calderón's Latin Grammy-nomination El Abayarde Contrataca. He also played on albums by Noriega and Vico C. He served as Calderon's studio and live drummer until 2012.
Beginning in 2006, he produced and served as musical director for several large tribute concerts including subjects Chocolate Armenteros at home in San Juan, and for Ricky Martin at the Latin Grammys. In 2008, Rosado produced and served as musical director for the groundbreaking Mas Salsa Thou, an album that fused classic salsa from Hidalgo, Valentin, and Pappo Luca, to urban and hip-hop.
It was during his tenure with Calderon that Rosario formed La Tribu and other bands that played everything from hip-hop and Criolla to world fusion music. The first of his projects to record was La Tribu, who issued Calle Linda in the middle of 2013, prefaced by its single "Esa Es La Que Me Gusta." A second single, "Loco Pero Feliz," hit the Billboard Latin songs chart in 2014. The album eventually hit number five on the Top Latin albums charts and placed respectably on Tropical Albums as well. A followup, Calle Linda 2, was released in the early summer of 2017. It entered Top Latin Albums within a week, but within three reached the Top 10. Its single, "De Mi Que Hablen," entered the Tropical Songs chart in the five spot. ~ Thom Jurek
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