Orquesta Broadway – Latin Band
The Play Ground
Orquesta Broadway are a charanga, a Latin band of flute, violins, rhythm section and voices. They were co-founded in 1962 by Eddy Zervigón (b. 7 July 1940, Güines, Cuba) and Roberto Torres and have proved to be one of New York’s longest surviving charangas. Eddy’s twin brother, Ruddy, a violinist, was a founder member and his youngest brother, Kelvin, initially played güiro (gourd scraper) and later the piano. At the age of 15 Eddy switched from piccolo to flute on the advice of Richard Egües, flautist with the great Cuban charanga, Orquesta Aragón. In 1958, Eddy and Ruddy co-led the band La Ideal. In 1960, when José Fajardo left Cuba for the USA, Eddy filled his place in his former group, renamed the Estrellas Cubanas. Eddy left Cuba in April 1962, did a four-month stint in Miami with his band, Ritmo De Estrellas, and then moved to New York, where he worked with Johnny Pacheco, Arsenio Rodríguez, Joe Valle, Lou Pérez, Félix ‘Pupi’ Legarreta, Alfredito Valdés and others. Eddy and Torres both lived in the same East Harlem building and they rehearsed in Eddy’s apartment with accompanists drawn from neighbouring blocks. Broadway made their debut with Dengue (1964) on the Gema label, which contained the hit cha cha ‘Como Camina Maria’. Their series of four albums between 1965 and 1968 helped to consolidate their popularity as one of New York’s top 10 bands.