Iconic Latin music label Fania will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with decade-specific digital compilations of its greatest hits and the first Latin music app for Spotify. It has also teamed with SummerStage in New York City for a series of concerts, dance performances and film screenings, including a Central Park concert with Fania All Stars.
This week, Fania will follow up its Fania Records: The 60’s Volume One and Fania Records: The 70’s Volume One digital compilations with four more collections of the label’s best music from the Me Decade. The compilations will include recordings by Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Ray Barretto, the Fania All Stars and more. A sixth volume of Seventies music will arrive on May 13th and a seventh will premiere on July 1st; Fania will roll out three volumes of Eighties-focused compilations beginning on July 15th and into September.
The label also plans on releasing a series of digital-only artist remixes and compilations into the summer, beginning with one by the Whiskey Barons dubbed the Funky Sabroso Remix. Other artists who will be featured in the remix series include Ismael Miranda, Fania All Stars and DJ Joe Claussell.
The label has also created the first Latin-focused Spotify app as another way to access its catalog. The app presents the label’s entire oeuvre in an easy-to-navigate format, allowing Fania fans to access new releases, play music by top album or track, navigate the catalog by genre or “moods” and shuffle between album, mood and genre.
Finally, the label intends to celebrate its anniversary in the city it calls home, New York, with a series of concerts from May through September. The first in the series, which the label has coordinated with the city’s SummerStage parks program, is a concert featuring Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound, La Mecanica Popular and DJ Louie Vega, which will take place in Central Park on June 14th. Other highlights include a performance by Ballet Hispanico on July 26th, John Leguizamo’s one-man show “Ghetto Clown” on July 28th and a concert by the Fania All Stars on August 23rd. The label has planned over 10 other events throughout the city.
“As a festival, we believe in celebrating cultural movements with distinct origins in New York City, but that have made an impact worldwide,” said Erika Elliott, Artistic Director for City Parks Foundation, which operates SummerStage. “I can think of no better example than Fania.”
“We are thrilled to be celebrating a remarkable half century of outstanding music at Fania that has impacted the music world,” Fania Chief Marketing Officer tells Rolling Stone. “Fania has always been considered a groundbreaking label, and we feel that moving in the digital direction, with our first Latin music app and an array of terrific digital albums and remixes this summer, is a great way to recognize the 50th anniversary of this iconic brand and excite a new generation of fans.”