Peña, Angel “Cucco”
More than two decades in the music world have confirmed the talent, versatility and vision of Cucco Peña. Recordings with Lunna, Glenn Monroig, Franco de Vita, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, Jerry Rivera, Manny Manuel, Chayanne and Ricky Martin, among others, validate his important place in the Latin and Puerto Rican music scene.
His musical direction has helped produced specials such as those by the Banco Popular. In short, Angel “Cucco” Peña was born to make music. Peña has it in his blood; a way of life, of self-expression. Peña has helped spread Puerto Rican music far from its Caribbean shores to all corners of the world.
From his first steps in music in elementary school, music has been everything to Peña. A product of the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, this talented artist has gine all his works the stamp of unmistakeable quality. Whether in publicity or popular song, his acute musical sense, have been the tools he has used to open the doors to success.
Today, the experience of having been a integral part of the Panamerican Orchestra, is invaluable. Playing genres of music as distinct as the bolero, blues, jazz, rock, pop, and the sincopated Afro-caribbean rhythms of his native Puerto Rico, paved the way for Peña to understand and appreciate each musical genre as an opportunity to expand his horizon.
Since 1983, Peña has received more than 60 “Cuspide” awards for his work in the field of music publicity. To these, add another 40 “Addy” awards and another 20 from from the New York Fim Festival since 1979. Peña was also among the finalists at Cannes Film Festival for his “Ice” commercial produced for Bacardi.
In music, Peña has collaborated with figures such as Willie Colon, Rocío Jurado, Justino Díaz, José Feliciano, Franco de Vita, Daniela Romo, and Gilberto Monroig, as a composer, arranger, producer and musical director. In short, Peña was able to connect with all the various artists he has worked with, in a way that respects their distinctive sensibilities and preferences. He has said: “..it is important to understand that music has three different perspectives; that of the artist, that of the record company, and mine. It’s knowing how to manuever between the three and reach a consensus and to appeal to what people want to hear”.
Combining to perfection the roles of music producer with publicist and, finally, composer, sacrificies he has made over the years have paid back many times over. In fact, four of his musical works were nominated for a Grammy award in 1999: “Contra La corriente” for Marc Anthony; “Atado a tu amor” for Chayanne; “Vuelve” for Ricky Martin; and “Mi Vida Es Cantar” for Celia Cruz, with the album by Marc Anthony winning the prize.
Peña has said, “All the nominations are important, the one for Lunna in 1988, just as much as these, have all been very significant… all have meant a lot”.