A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 22, 2022
La Gran Manzana (merengue band, 1982)

Henry Hierro and Victor Roque formed the merengue band “La Gran Manzana” ("The Big Apple") in 1982. The band members all lived in the New York City area. The band celebrated a 40th anniversary in 2022.

It had been suggested in 1966 and again in the 1970s that New York City’s nickname, “The Big Apple,” comes from the Spanish “manzana principal.” However, no known historical citation supports this.


Facebook
Victor Roque, Henry Hierro y La Gran Manzana
Intro
Victor Roque, Henry Hierro & La Gran Manzana: Orquesta Icónica de Merengue

Newspapers.com
29 May 1988, Daily News (New York, NY), City Lights sec., pg. 16, col. 3:
ORCHARD BEACH (northeast Bronx, off Pelham Parkway near City Island), Salsa & Merengue “Free Summer Concert Series” continues today at 2, with La Gran ManzanaCosta Brava performing.

Google Books
Merengue:
Dominican Music and Dominican Identity

By Paul Austerlitz
Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press
1997
Rivaling, although not surpassing, Los Vecinos’ position as the top NewYork-based merengueros were La Gran Manzana (The Big Apple) and the New York Band, both of whose names refer to their hometown, possibly as a marketing strategy. La Gran Manzana was notable for its innovative use of synthesizers and for its Haitian influence, while the New York Band specialized in merengue flavored with baladas and soca (Trinidadian popular music), and featured four distinctive lead singers.

Twitter
Chino Sing
@chinosing
Mañana a ritmo de merengue clásico de los 80, cuanta música! La gran Manzana, New York Band, 440, etc… ¿¡que pasa con el merengue de hoy!?
Translated from Spanish by Google
Tomorrow to the rhythm of classic merengue from the 80s, so much music! The Big Apple, New York Band, 440, etc… What about today’s merengue!?
11:36 AM · Apr 7, 2013·TweetDeck

YouTube
LA GRAN MANZANA - Tus Besos (1996 Re-encuentro de Henry Hierro & Victor Roque)
Elgalan718
Jul 26, 2014
LA GRAN MANZANA con HENRY HIERRO - Aqui vemos un bonito Re-encuentro en 1996 entre dos grandes figuras del merengue. Ellos son el cantante y pianista Henry Hierro quien se une de nuevo al cantante Victor Roque director de la orquesta ‘La Gran Manzana.’ Ambos fueron los fundadores de esta legendaria orquesta que nacio a principios de los 80’s en la Ciudad de Nueva York. El encuentro se llevo a cabo en el popupar programa: ‘El Show Del Mediodia’ de la television Dominicana. La presentadora es la destacada comunicadora Zoila Luna.

YouTube
La Gran Manzana - La Rubia -La Negra Guapachosa- (1992)
Individuo80
Nov 27, 2015
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Peoples-Band-V…
Un éxito de La Gran Manzana de los años 90. Este tema ya estaba en Youtube, pero aquí lo subo con sonido un poco mejor.
Una pregunta, ¿por qué el tema se llama “La Rubia”, si habla de una negra?

El Nacional
“La Gran Manzana” celebrará 40 años de merengue con una gira
Por EFE agosto 18, 2022
La orquesta La Gran Manzana, Víctor Roque y Henry Hierro (Photo caption.—ed.)

Nueva York.- La orquesta La Gran Manzana, toda una referencia en la música merengue en los años 80 y 90 del pasado siglo, celebrará su 40 aniversario con una gira por todo el continente americano que comenzará en el lugar donde nació, Nueva York.

El merengue, declarado Patrimonio Inmaterial de la Humanidad en 2016 por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (UNESCO), se popularizó en Nueva York con la emigración dominicana a esta ciudad, que ha recibido la mayor población de quisqueyanos fuera de su país.
NACIDOS EN UNA BODEGA

“La gran mayoría de nosotros trabajaba en una bodega y juntamos entre todos el dinero para poder grabar el primer disco”, recordó en conversación con Efe el vocalista Víctor Roque, que impulsó la fundación del grupo junto a Henry Hierro, al rememorar sus inicios dentro de la comunidad dominicana en el Alto Manhattan, allá por octubre de 1982.

YouTube
La Gran Manzana - El Gustico (1990)
Individuo80
Nov 12, 2022

YouTube
La Gran Manzana - Mi Niña Bonita (1991)
Individuo80
Nov 12, 2022

Twitter
Lehman Center
@LehmanCenter
Next weekend on December 3rd don’t miss out on the long awaited REUNION the original founders of La Gran Manzana!
Victor Roque and Henry Hierro will be joined by leading members: Willy Gomez, Pablo Martinez, Victor Brito and Tony Valdez.
Get tickets now: https://lehmancenter.org/events/parrandon-gran-manzana
12:02 PM · Nov 21, 2022·LaterMedia

Norwood (NY) News
El Parrandón de la Gran Manzana to Perform at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
November 22, 2022 Archive, Blog, Culture, Entertainment, Latest, News
By SÍLE MOLONEY
(...)
The merengue band, La Grand Manzana, was founded in 1982 by members Victor Roque and Henry Hierro. Known as one of the most influential bands of the 80s and 90s, Roque’s goal was to create a traditional merengue band with North American influences. Their sound is a unique combination of a musical structure developed by Hierro combined with the avant-garde dynamism Roque learned from American music.

After deciding to move ahead with the band, the duo integrated singers, Valdez, Willie Hierro and Marcos Burdier. Along with these singers, the band relaunched under the name “La Gran Manzana,” meaning “The Big Apple,” paying homage to New York City, which is where all the members lived at the time. The group recorded their first project entitled “Henry, Víctor y La Gran Manzana” in 1983, but it wasn’t until their second album of the same name was released in 1984, that they became a radio sensation with the hits, “Mentirosa,” “Mole Mole,” and “Rosa Blanca” topping the music charts.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1980s-present: Big Apple work by Gerald Cohen, Barry Popik • Tuesday, November 22, 2022 • Permalink