Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music


BROADWAY, Orquesta

Flute, violins, rhythm section and voices charanga band co-founded '62 by flautist, mus. dir., arr., composer, producer Eddy Zervigon (b 7 July '40, G]auu[ines, Cuba) and singer Roberto Torres (see his entry), still performing in their fourth decade. Eddy changed from piccolo to flute at 15 on advice of Richard Eg]auu[es (flautist/arr./composer with influential charanga Orquesta Aragon '53--82); co-led the band La Ideal '58 with his twin brother, violinist Rudy; replaced Jos‚ Fajardo '61 (when the bandleader defected from Cuba to USA -- see his entry) in his renamed band Estrellas Cubanas led by F‚lix Reina; Eddy also deserted Cuba April '62; led Ritmo de Estrellas for four months in Miami, then relocated to NYC; worked there with Johnny Pacheco, Arsenio Rodriguez, Joe Valle, Lou P‚rez, Pupi Legarreta, Alfredito Vald‚s, others. Eddy boarded in the same East Harlem building as Torres; rehearsals took place in Eddy's small room; disagreeing over a name they finally settled for Orquesta Broadway, suggested by a promoter because most of them lived near there. Notable early members incl. Rudy (violin) and Eddy's younger brother Kelvin (initially played g]auu[iro, later switched to piano), brothers Ira Herscher (piano/arr./composer; b 28 Dec. '44, Brooklyn, NYC; with the band '62--70, plus several stints with them during the '70s; relocated to New Zealand '85) and David Herscher (bass/arr./composer with the band '62--9, returned briefly mid-'70s), Abraham Norman (violin '63 to late '70s). Made recording debut on Gema with LP Dengue '64, incl. hit cha cha 'Como Camina Maria' arr. by Ira, followed up by Broadway Orquesta c'65; then a string of successful LPs on Musicor c'65--8: Arrimate Pa'Aca (Come Closer To Me), Tiqui Tiqui, Yo Quiero Ser Tu Juguete, Do Their Thing (prod. by Al Santiago). Pruebalo Mi Amor '68 was released on Tico; Est  Pegando early '70s appeared on WS Latino. Charangas! The Best Of Orquesta Broadway '95 on WS Latino collected tracks from their All-Art albums Como Me Gusta '72 and Alma Africana -- African Soul '73, but oddly omitted the hit 'Pa' Africa' (inspired by their impending trip to Africa) from the '72 LP; they visited the Ivory Coast and Paris '73, Senegal '74. A violent robbery in which his three-year-old son was nearly killed prompted Eddy and four Broadway members to relocate to Miami '74; scarcity of gigs caused them to return to NYC '75. Signed to Harvey Averne's Coco label for four albums: Salvaje (Savage) '75; impressive Pasaporte '76, prod. by esteemed trombonist Barry Rogers, saw return of Herscher brothers (Ira wrote three songs and most arrs, shared piano chores with Kelvin; David played bass); LP bolstered band's fame, becoming NYC's busiest Latin band '77 (playing 15 dances a week, five on Saturday); New York City Salsa '78, co-prod. by Ira, added Cuban trumpet Roberto Rodriguez (d '88); Paraiso (Paradise) '81 was Coco finale. Zervigon brothers and other Broadway members sessioned on Roberto Torres productions '80- -81, incl. Roberto Torres Presenta: Ritmo de Estrellas on Guajiro, Charanga Colonial on Neon, SAR All Stars Recorded Live In Club Ochentas (two vols) on SAR. Orquesta Broadway Loves New York '82 was issued on their own B'way label; they were the winning band at the '82 Festival de Orquestas in Cali, Colombia. Ahora Es Cuando Eh! '87 on Mambo, with the unaugmented format, has been their only further album, but they broadcast and gig consistently, marking 30th anniversary at NYC's S.O.B.'s nightclub, 14 Dec. '92; Eddy participated in the Senegal meets NY salsa Africando releases: Vol. 1 -- Trovador, Vol. 2 -- Tierra Tradicional and Gombo Salsa '93--6 on Stern's.