Ismael Miranda is one of the great voices in salsa. When you hear his voice, you know it’s him; you may not recognize the song, but you recognize the voice. For me, hearing his music takes me back to the basement parties at my aunt’s house in the late ’70s. But the most amazing thing is that Ismael’s voice has not changed at all. In this playlist, we’ve got classics and a few of his newest tracks so that you can hear this for yourself.

Hasta La Última Gota 
Composer: Mario Diaz
Album: Hasta La Última Gota, 1991
This is the title track from his first album as a solo artist with RMM Records, which was considered a comeback of sorts for Ismael. The title pretty much speaks for itself. It translates to “Until the Last Drop,” and he’s singing about a person that he’s going to be with until the end. The arrangement of the song, the instrumentation, and, of course, the vocalization, is just amazing. 

Composer: Ismael Miranda
Album: Este es Ismael Miranda, 1975
This song was always at the edge of my mind, but I lost my own mother about a year ago and this is one of the songs I keep coming back to. The song is a letter to his mother who he’s lost, and the chorus is “Yo a ti quisiera verte otra vez,” which means, “I want to see you again.”  

El Malecón
Composer: Larry Harlow / Ismael Miranda
Album: Orquesta Harlow’s Me and My Monkey (Mi Mono y Yo), 1969
This is from one of the first Larry Harlow Fania albums Ismael sang on, and he’s talking about a place in Havana. I’m Cuban so there’s a pretty obvious reason why I chose this! Larry Harlow’s piano solo and Kike Pérez’s percussion solo are legendary, but again, Ismael’s voice stands out on every track on the album.

Composer: Larry Harlow / Ismael Miranda
Album: Orquesta Harlow's Tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez, 1971
In Puerto Rico, music is played on a four-string guitar, and in Cuba, it’s played on a three-string guitar, known as a tres. This song is a tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez, who was one of the greatest ever to play the tres. It’s from another Fania record that Ismael sang on with Larry Harlow’s orchestra. 

Te Quiero Mía
Composer: Gloria González
Album: Hasta La Última Gota, 1991
Again, this is from his first solo record with RMM Records, which was a collection of love songs. The title of this song is simply “I love you,” but this is definitely not the salsa romántica of the past. It’s really modern and just great to dance to. A really popular track. 

El Amor Que Me Das
Album: Son 45, 2014
Oh my god...This is from his latest album. It’s a bolero, a ballad, and all I’m gonna tell you is when I play this song it really brings me to tears. It’s all about “the love you gave me,” and it is so full of things I feel for my wife, for my mother. The song, the voice, the way the song ends. It gets me. At the end, there is a Spanish guitar solo and lots of people ask me if it’s Santana playing. It’s not Santana, but it’s definitely in the style that he made popular.

Son 45
Composer: Víctor Manuelle
Album: Son 45, 2014
This song pretty much sums up Ismael’s career. It’s the title track from his latest album, and it was his first number-one single in a decade. Basically, the idea is that he’s been in the business for 45 years and he’s still got it. It’s a swingin’ track. 

The Full Playlist

About the curator

Mike Mitjans, a.k.a. DJ Broadway, has been a DJ for 38 years. Of Cuban descent, the music he grew up with was 100% Cuban, but now he is known for his deep knowledge of Latin, Caribbean, hip-hop, and house music. With residencies at Mamajuana Café and Olivia’s in the Bronx, DJ Broadway plays major events across the world and is sought after for any kind of party where you want people on the dance floor. At Lincoln Center, he has played as a part of Midsummer Night Swing and our New York Latin music series, ¡Vaya! 63, at the David Rubenstein Atrium.

Hear Ismael Miranda and DJ Broadway live at Midsummer Night Swing on June 22.

Doors open at 6:00

Salsa Lesson at 6:30

Ismael's first set at 7:30

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