Carmelo Saavedra Hernandez, Lead Vocals
Born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Carmelo was two years old when he was presented with his first musical instrument, he was given a gift of a cowbell. It was then that he fell in love with latin percussion. He played his cowbell to all the salsa music played on the radio. The music included classics by Roberto Roena and The Apollo Sound, Ray Baretto, The Fania All Stars and La Sonora Ponceña to name a few. In 1988, he joined the church choir as a tenor vocalist. After a few years, he became the percussionist of the choir playing congas and minor percussion. He also played the guitar. In 1991, he became the Director of the choir and held that position for the next ten years organizing choral festivals, musicals, cantata and concerts.
At the University of Puerto Rico, Carmelo joined the Chamber Choir. There, he served as the Assistant Director for 4 years and was President of the choir for 2 years. Here is where he sharpened his vocal skills and learned the many vocal techniques he uses today as a lead vocalist for Edwin Ortiz is La Mafia Del Guaguanco. Along with his lead vocals for the band, he currently serves as the Choral and Musical Director for the Hispanic Choir of the Saint Gabriel Parish in Leesburg, Virginia.