It’s going to take some more time and effort before Puerto Rico completely recovers from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria this past September. The devastation on the island is unprecedented, and there are still shortages of food, basic goods, and gasoline, as well as widespread power outages. As the federal response to the crisis faces intense criticism and scrutiny, Boricuas have been taking relief efforts into their own hands, fighting to get their lives back on track. This includes initiatives by artists who live on the mainland, like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s recent Somos Live! benefit concert, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” benefit single, just to name a few examples. But there are many more artists on the island who need help rebuilding their lives.
One of the musical landmarks affected by Hurricane Maria is the renowned Mas Audio Productions studios in San Juan. Angelo Torres Sr., owner of the studios, has been in the business for over 30 years, having worked as a producer, engineer and musician on albums by the likes of Wisin & Yandel, Jerry Rivera, Andy Montañés, Eddie Santiago, and Oscar D’León. Torres Sr. was also the musical director for Eddie Santiago, Don Omar, and TV shows Idol Puerto Rico and Objetivo Fama. Some of the people who have made albums at Mas Audio Productions include the late icon Cheo Feliciano, Victor Manuelle, and Álvaro Díaz, who documented the making of his latest EP at the studios in his San Juan Grand Prix documentary.
Unfortunately, the Mas Audio studio was all but wiped out after the hurricane, with one of the recording rooms totally destroyed, and the second sustaining severe water damage. Torres Sr.’s son Angelo Torres Jr. has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $28,000 to rebuild the studios and help his father get back on his feet. “It’s very sad for me to see the space my father built with so much effort and care completely destroyed,” he shares in the campaign’s pitch. “This is why I come here to ask you for your help, to raise enough money and be able to rebuild the space which my father and a lot of other people loved greatly.”
To help rebuild a piece of Puerto Rico’s music history – and help Torres Sr. recover his dream and life’s work, please donate here.