On August 12, 2016, Los Angeles Council Member Felipe Fuentes (7th Council District) presented an Official Resolution Proclaiming Ritchie Valens “Lets Go Rock & Roll” Day at the Los Angeles City Hall, located at 200 North Spring Street in the City of Los Angeles, California.
At 10:00 a.m., the event started at the Los Angeles City Hall Council Chambers on the 3rd Floor.
The celebrated honor confirmed “May 13” as a Ritchie Valens “Lets Go Rock & Roll” Day. Irma Valens Norton (Ritchie Valens’s sister), politicians, supporters and Chicano/Chicana rock musicians were in attendance. In honoring Ritchie Valens, Jimmy Espinoza from Thee Midniters, Rudy Salas (Founder of the band Tierra), Jesse Flores (Vudu Café), Co-Founder, Roy Z. Ramirez of the Ritchie Valens Foundation, and Ruben Salazar (Attorney at Law) spoke at the proclamation. At the end of the speeches, Rudy Salas and Jesse Flores performed the song “Donna” for the City Council members. Ignacio Gomez (Artist and Muralist), Actor Danny Trejo and Richard Alarcon (Former Los Angeles Councilman) also joined in the celebration.
After a short program, everyone was invited at 3:00 p.m. to attend a live concert and reception at the Ritchie Valens Recreation Center, located at 10736 Laurel Canyon Blvd., in the City of Pacoima, California. The Valens family sponsored the event. A ribbon cutting ceremony started the ceremony. Actor Esai Morales (La Bamba) stopped by. Esai played Ritchen Valens brother in the movie La Bamba. Tribe of Gypsies with Roy Z, Jimmy Espinoza (Thee Midniters), Gil Rocha (Boulevard Nights), Jesse Flores (Vudu Café) were among those who performed.
Guests enjoyed a delicious meal by Mama Lichas Kitchen, and a nice cold ice cream treat by POPS Ice Cream.
Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American Singer known for his popular hit “La Bamba”. The song hit big in 1958. He was an upcoming artists that unfortunately died at a young age in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. Buddy Holly (Music Artist), J.P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson along with Roger Peterson (Pilot) were also killed in the accident. They were headed to perform in a concert. Due to his popularity, Mr. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2001. His recording career only lasted for eight months, but his music has never been forgotten.
About Ritchie Valens Foundation.
Ritchie Valens Foundation is a non-profit organization that advocates the benefit of music education. The organization will inspire, connect and bring youths closer to follow their dreams and make a career in the music industry. The foundation’s goal is to award scholarships to youths applying for college. This will help them follow their education in music.
Photo credit: Stella C. Gomez.