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Salsa Magazine


Why they call him "Mr. Salsa"

MR. SALSA - IZZY SANABRIA . . . Biography / Biografia
MrSalsaFoto.jpg MrSalsa_Art.jpg
Graphic Artist, Writer, Actor, Emcee-Comedian

Official Master of Ceremonies & Original Member
of The FANIA ALL STARS since 1971
Artista Gráfico, Escritor, Actor, Comediate

Maestro de Ceremonias Oficial y Miembro Original
de Las Estrellas de Fania desde el 1971


In 1978, the presigious GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine published a profile of Izzy Sanabria in which it stated: Known as "Mr. Salsa" because he almost single- handedly popularized the term "Salsa" (during the 1970s) which the world now recognizes as the name for New York’s Latin Music.

Sanabria is something of a Puerto Rican Toulouse Lautrec as well. His bold colorful posters plastered throughout the walls of New York documented and immortalized Salsa’s (subculture) events in much the same way Lautrec’s posters immortalized the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Izzy's album cover designs and illustrations also set new standards of quality in Latin music packaging and provided the world with its first visual imagery of Salsa.

In 1973, Sanabria branched out AS host of a Latino version of the “Soul Train" TV Show, appropriately called “Salsa" on New Yorks Channel 41. That same year, by combining all his talents, he started publishing Latin NY magazine. Written in English, it became the single most influential magazine in the Latin commu-
nity and the ultimate word on Salsa music world-wide.

From 1973 until 1985, Latin NY reflected the vibrant energies of an emerging new Latino subculture with its own unique fashions, music, dances and lifestyles. A generation that grew into adulthood influenced and inspired by the contents of Latin NY.

In 1975, Izzy presented The Latin NY Music Awards (the first Salsa Awards) which brought international attention and recognition to the music and its creators.
These awards were not only important for the Latino and music community, but they also forced NARRAS to create and include a Separate Latin Music Category in the Grammy Awards competition.


The Awards received greater mainstream press coverage than was ever given to any Latin music event. This coverage aroused a tremendous curiosity and interest in Salsa especially from members of the international press. In turn, they exposed Salsa to the world an set off the world-wide salsa Explosion.

Journalists from throughout Europe (Italy Holland, France, Germany, England, etc.) and as far away as Japan, came to interview Sanabria, Salsa's most visible and articulate spokesman and to document this new Latino phenomena of high energy rhythmic music.

This world-wide attention established Latin NY as the primary source for information on Salsa and Sanabria
a central figure as Salsa’s spokesman, earning him
the title of “Mr. Salsa". It also provided Sanabria with opportunities to further develop his talents and skills. Consequently, he acquired direct experience in literally all the media arts; as performer and artist, in front and behind the camera, and including radio, television and print production.

Sanabria is a multi-talented artist who regards the world as his canvas. Besides being an artist, writer, actor, dancer, photographer, publisher, philosopher
and visionary, he is also a versatile stand-up comedian. Sanabria’s brand of bi-lingual humor have made him one of the community’s favorite master of ceremonies.

As the official emcee of the Fania All-Stars (the world’s greatest exponents of Salsa), Izzy has traveled throughout South America, Europe and as far as Africa and Japan always adding little bits of humor to his presentations. In Japan, to everyone’s surprise, he actually emceed in perfect Japanese (by using Spanish phonetics).

Sanabria has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and at the Hollywood Palladium.. Izzy has also appeared in several films, stage productions and numerous television shows.

Izzy Sanabria is a multi-talented individualist that played a major role in promoting New York’s Latino music and culture during the 1970s. He has been often quoted and recognized for his efforts by numerous mainstream publications, including: The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Daily News, Show Business and Gentlemen’s Quarterly.

For his numerous and, valuable contributions to Latin music, on April 5, 2000, Izzy Sanabria received a long overdue recognition from his peers, when he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

Izzy Sanabria se conoce como Mr. Salsa, porque casi sin ayuda de nadie, popularizo este termino para la musica latina de Nueva York durante la decada de los 70s. Como un artista grafico, Izzy encamino nuevos estandares para las portadas de discos y los carteles promocionales.

Utilizando su fondo de arte y aptitud para escribir, en 1973 él empezo a publicar la Revista Latin NY. Escrito en ingles, pronto llego a ser la revista mas influyente entre los jovenes latinos y la autoridad definitiva en la musica de Salsa a nivel mundial. Ese mismo año, Izzy se extendio como anfitrion del show de television llamada apropiadamente “Salsa" en el Canal 41 de Nueva York.

En 1975, él comenzo los primeros premios de Salsa (Latin NY Music Awards) que fueron no solo importantes para la comunidad latina y de la musica, pero gracias a ellos se logro la inclusiún de una categorÌa separada para la musica latina en la competencia de premios de los
Grammy Awards.

Como si todo esto no fuese suficiente, Izzy es uno de los comediantes puertorriqueños mas versatiles. El ha actuado en muchos clubs de comedia en Nueva York, en universidades y en las afueras de la ciudad. Tambien se caracterizo por ayudar y aconsejar los jovenes comendiantes latino (muchos de los cuales han tenido muchisimo mas exito que el).

Como el maestro de ceremonias oficial de las Estrellas de Fania (los exponentes de la Salsa mas grande del mundo), Izzy ha viajado través de Sur América, Europa y tan lejos como Africa y el Japon, siempre agregando su gran sentido del humor en sus presentaciones. El ha actuado
en algunas de las salas de conciertos mas prestigiosas del mundo como el Carnegie Hall de Nueva York, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fischer Hall y en el Hollywood Palladium. Izzy ha aparecido también en varias pelÌculas, producciones de teatro y en numerosos shows de television.

Izzy Sanabria es un individualista multi talentoso y su labor ha tomado
un papel muy importante y significante en cuanto a la promocion de la
musica latina de Nueva York y su cultura durante la decada de los años
70. El a menudo ha sido citado y reconocido por sus esfuerzos en
numerosas publicaciones americanas (mas reconocidas), incluyendo los
periodicos, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The NY Daily News, NY
Post, Show Business y revistas como, Billboard, Times, Newsweek y
Gentleman's Quarterly entre otros.

Por sus numerosas y valiosas contribuciones a la musica latina, el 5 de
Abril del 2000, Izzy Sanabria finalmente recibio un (meresido y
atrasado) reconocimiento de sus colegas, cuando él fue instalado en el
Internacional Latin Music Hall of Fame (Vestíbulo de Fama en la Musica


• A Master of Ceremonies

• Comedian

• Lectures on the Salsa Explosion of the 1970s

Latin New York Magazine Art Exhibitions

• And Special Appearances

For Bookings Please Contact Izzy Sanabria's Exclusive Representative Nelson and
Chino Rodriguez of Latin Music Booking.com
Tel: 904 261-9420
Cell: 678 523-6160
Fax: 775 908-6157

      All contents of this website are copyrighted by SalsaMagazine.com.  
No part may be used without the written permission of Izzy Sanabria. For Sales and Information call: 813-684-1518.

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