William Anthony Colón Román, Bronx-born of Puerto Rican grandparents , has fused his musical talent, his passion for humanity, and his community and political activism into an extraordinary, multifaceted career as a trombonist, arranger and salsa pioneer.
His achievements in all his activities are widely recognized. As musician, composer, arranger, singer, and trombonist, as well as producer and director, he has created dozens of recordings that have sold over ten million records worldwide. As director of the band "Legal Alien," he won 11 Grammy nominations, fifteen gold and five platinum records, and collaborated with such musical greats as Rubén Blades, David Byrne, Hector LaVoe, and Celia Cruz.
His music, which has greatly influenced modern Latin jazz, reflects both rhythmic traditional lyrics and the cries of farewell and hope from a new generation pressured to abandon their homeland to congregate in urban America. An excellent example is the song Atrapado. Colón learned many lyrics from his grandmother Antonia, as she rocked him to sleep during his childhood in the heart of the Puerto Rican Bronx. Her strong beliefs and personality also powerfully influenced his devotion to his cultural roots.
During his musical and cultural odyssey from the Bronx to the world scene, he moved from a fascination with the tropical paradise of his ancestors to the stark street images of rebellious youth and social struggle and finally to a mature fusion of joy and injustice, beauty and suffering, romance and realism. ~ Music of Puerto Rico