ritchie valens impersonator

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R.A. as Ritchie Valens Impersonator


BIO

Every once in a while a gifted performer comes along who captivates and mesmerizes each of us...and for me recently, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever concert I attended in the Toronto area, that singer, entertainer, musician, and tribute artist was Legends in Concert’s R.A., whose portrayal of the late Ritchie Valens is an absolute knockout and, as they say, “completely blew me away!” I was totally smitten!

R.A. is one of the most charismatic and engaging performers I’ve seen in a long time–and he definitely knows how to make an instant connection with his audience! It was obvious that I wasn’t the only one who was captivated by R.A.'s high energy performance at this show. He received a thunderous applause as he came on to the stage and a long, rousing standing ovation after his performance. In between, he had the whole audience singing the words to Oh Donna (this song, by the way, is engraved in the memories of an entire generation and beyond). Then, a little while later, after singing more Ritchie Valens songs such as “That’s My Little Susie” and “Come On, Let’s Go,” R.A. had everyone up on their feet smiling, clapping, and dancing as he sang a rousing rendition of La Bamba.

After the show, I met with R.A. and found out he would be performing next at a venue not too far from where I live, so I ordered tickets....and off I went to catch another performance!

That took me to Windsor, Ontario, where R.A. recently performed for a month as part of “A Really Big Shew” -- an Ed Sullivan type show featuring acts similar to those that did appear on the Ed Sullivan show way back when, with R.A. being introduced as “a great new act...Ritchie Valens.” Once again, R.A. captivated the audience of young and old! In fact, he had the 20-year-olds at the table in front of me up on their feet dancing, and they told me afterwards that they thought he was just “totally awesome.”

The real Ritchie Valens was killed in the same 1959 plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, and which, some say, marked “the day the music died.” Only l7 at the time, he had had just a few hit songs, but was already being touted as the “next Elvis.” Sadly, his star never had time to shine.

R.A.'s tribute has been endorsed by Ritchie Valens’ family, who often come to see him perform, and he is in regular contact with Bob Morales, Ritchie’s half brother. R.A. truly pays a wonderful tribute to Ritchie Valens–which is all the more to R.A.'s credit as there is very little original footage to watch and, because Ritchie was so young when he died, he had so few hit songs.

R.A. was born in Trinidad and moved with his family, at a very young age, to Toronto, Canada where he has established a large following. Not only does he do a terrific portrayal of Ritchie Valens -- he’s also an accomplished singer and songwriter, an exceptionally talented guitar player, and a gifted musician who also plays keyboard, bass, and drums.

R.A. has toured throughout North America with various legends shows and has worked at many of Canada’s major venues (Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto Skydome, Montreal Coliseum, Vancouver Coliseum, Calgary Saddledome, etc.). He was also a popular member of the cast at Rock ’n’ Roll Heaven in Toronto for several years.

R.A. has been with Legends in Concert for the past 6 years. He has performed at the Legends venues not only in Las Vegas but also in Branson, Myrtle Beach, Atlantic City, and Biloxi. He will be at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas from May 26 until the end of September.

In addition to Legends in Concert, R.A. also currently performs with The Winter Dance Party show (Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, featuring the Big Bopper’s son), which travels throughout the US and has a huge following. He is also part of the cast of the above-mentioned “A Really Big Shew” which can be seen throughout the US and parts of Canada, and is close to getting its own venue in Las Vegas.

R.A.'s tribute to Ritchie Valens has rightly been described as “phenomenal” – he truly does justice to the songs and to the memory of Ritchie Valens.


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