SummerStage Presents: Lisette Melendez / Coro / George Lamond / hosted by Mick Benzo in association with Universal Zulu Nation and the 40th anniversary of Hip-Hop culture
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Lisette Melendez is an American freestyle/Latin pop/dance-pop singer. Her debut album Together Forever was propelled to gold status after her smash hits "Together Forever" and "A Day In My Life (Without You)" both sold over 700,000 copies in 1991. Both songs were such big dance music hits that they are credited as helping renew interest in Freestyle music in the early 90s, which had been fading in popularity due to the rise of mainstream pop music and grunge at the time. Melendez was born and raised in East Harlem. Melendez' childhood inspirations include her mother and aunt, who sang in a church choir and community theater. As a teenager she honed her singing voice by emulating Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler. In high school she became a fan of Puerto Rican freestyle music singer Lisa Lisa who had many dance hits. Melendez, also of Puerto Rican descent, was inspired by Lisa Lisa's success. In 2008 Lisette teamed up with famed music producer Carlos "After Dark" Berrios and performed two new tracks "I Need a Lover" and "Don't Ever Say" on albums Don't Look Back Sessions One &Two.
Coro is a Latin freestyle singer and actor of Cuban and Dominican heritage, who first had roles in numerous episodes of the star's hit television series, Miami Vice. While appearing on Vice, Coro struggled to put together a group to get his singing career off the ground. His first efforts never took off, but in 1987, Coro met Stevie B, who was enjoying the success of his first hit record and getting ready to tour. After a stint as a backup vocalist and dancer for Stevie B, the New York-born and Miami-raised Coro made the move back to his native Manhattan to initiate a solo singing career. Coro partnered with freestyle music producers Zahid Tariq and Todd Terry in 1989,. Coro's first single, "Where Are You Tonight", became the #1 dance record in New York and Florida. The song reached the Top 25 on Billboard 's club chart and put Coro on the road doing shows in dance clubs across the country. On his self-titled debut album, Coro collaborated with producers Zahid Tariq and Ziggy Gonzalez to create a selection of up-tempo dance tunes like "Can't Let You Go", "Where Are You tonight", "My Fallen Angel" and ballads such as "Missing You".
George Lamond began singing backup for various artists before landing a solo deal with Columbia Records. Lamond is known for his lyrical spinto tenor vocal quality, not found in most tenors of today. His first album, Bad of the Heart, released in 1990, had underground dance hits like "Bad of the Heart", "Look Into My Eyes" and "Without You". Lamond has also released a couple of salsa albums and scored a number of hits on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks. 2001 saw the release of his highly acclaimed salsa album GL on Sony Records, and in 2006, Lamond returned with the release of his album Oye Mi Canto, bringing a new sound to his music career. The album was a combination of reggaeton, bachata and salsa, with seven songs produced by G1E Productions. In 2008, Lamond released a new single, "What is Love", on an album titled Don't Look Back - Session 2 produced by famed freestyle producer, Carlos "After Dark" Berrios, and a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin", released on Robbins Entertainment and produced by Giuseppe D. Lamond is featured on the Lucas Prata cover of Level 42's "Something About You", found on Prata's Never Stop Dreamin' album, also produced by Giuseppe D.
Mickey Bentson aka Mick Benzo owns and runs rap-oriented Pay Up Management. He was one of the founding members of the Zulu Nation, arguably the most important catalyst for hip hop. He has previously managed Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Everland and Big Punisher, and he now manages Ice-T and Fat Joe.