Sepúlveda, Ray

Ray Sepúlveda, the Brooklyn-born singer of Puerto Rican parents is a soloist with five albums of his own recorded on RMM, and a solid reputation as a vocalist. But for Sepúlveda, as for so many other performers, the road to success has not been easy. Ever since he was a young boy he was learning from his father Ray Sepúlveda Sr., a bolero singer and recording artist with the Trío Los Románticos. He also listened to many Puerto Rican and Latin American performers who fed his desire to someday become like them. At the age of 17, he had his first experience as a vocalist, singing with a band from Mayaqüéz, Puerto Rico called La Justicia, which was later renamed, La Solución. Later, he shared the stage with singer Frankie Ruíz in yet another band, La Dictadora.

In 1977, after living in Puerto Rico for six years, Sepúlveda returned to New York where he began to sing with the Sociedad 76 Orchestra. With this group he did his first recordings, a couple of tunes on the album “The Big Apple.” He went on to record two more albums with the same orchestra for Fania Records. In 1983, Sepúlveda joined the Adalberto Santiago Orchestra. The group was featured in the movie “Moscow on the Hudson” and Ray also worked as part of the movie “Turk 182”. After brief stints with Héctor Lavoe and during a short period of downfall for salsa music in the early 80’s, Sepúlveda retired from singing professionally for a time.

His come back took place in 1988 with the Johnny and Ray Orchestra, with which he recorded Salsa con Clase on the Polygram Records label. “This is the first time that I had the opportunity to work with Sergio George, the musical producer of Salsa Con Clase. He influenced and in a way created the Ray Sepúlveda style,” he says.

During his first two years with the Polygram label, he recorded Un Poquito Más and Con Sabor, produced by Sergio George. Sepúlveda already excelled in the salsa romantica genre, with an outstanding and enviable versatility, but on his third album, Llegaste Tú, produced in Puerto Rico in 1994, he mastered that style. With the success of that album, Sepúlveda traveled all over the world, and had success singing salsa in English with hits like “Superstar,” “You Are My Lady” and “Dreaming Of You” and Spanish, such as Quisiera No Quererte.

In 1997, Ray released De Todo Un Poco with the respected musical producer Ricky González, who was the musical director of Sepúlveda’s orchestra for more than five years. A very good example of the high quality of this album is the song “La Dama De Mis Amores,” a tribute to Puerto Rico sung by Sepúlveda and Tito Nieves.

Sepúlveda also performed at the Combinación Perfecta concerts in the United States, Latin America and Europe. The album that features him singing “No Vale La Pena” in a duet with Johnny Rivera has set a new standard for salsa. He has recorded background vocals on many albums, including “The Mambo King,” Tito Puente‘s 100th LP and on a jazz album by Grover Washington Jr.

Sepúlveda has performed at the most important venues such as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York and in other venues in Europe, including Italy where he is very popular.

Sepúlveda’s most recent album, Salsabor includes two songs composed by salsa star and friend, Domingo Quiñones with arrangements by Isidro Infante. The album also featured the song, “Volveré”, arranged by the famous Puerto Rican trumpeter, Humberto Ramírez. Departing from the usual salsa romantica, Sepúlveda showed his versatility with the bolero/son, “Sin Yo Darte Motivo”, with a style and voice blended perfectly with an exquisite instrumentation to create a captivating song.


Salsabor! (1999)

Greatest Hits (1997)

De Todo Un Poco (1997)

Serie Batalla: Johnny Rivera vs Ray Sepúlveda (1997)

Llegastes Tu (1994)

Con Sabor (1992)

Un Poquito Mas (1991)

Con Clase (1991)