Con Salsa

On September 16, 2010 José Massó was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame during its fourth annual ceremony and luncheon.  José has the distinction of being the first Puerto Rican/Latino to join such a renowned group of radio and television broadcasters from throughout the Commonwealth.  The event was the culmination of a summer truly celebrating the muscial journey of lifetime that José has enjoyed.

On June 22nd, José celebrated THIRTY-FIVE years as host/producer of “¡Con Salsa!” on WBUR 90.9FM in Boston. During this period “¡Con Salsa!” has served as “part music show, part party, part community center, the program is a mecca for Latinos and lovers of things Latin.” (1)

In honor of his 35th anniversary, José received a special recognition during the third annual Boston Latino TV Access Awards Dream Makers ceremony.  Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray presented him with a Massachusetts Governor’s Citation from Governor Deval Patrick on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in recognition of his thirty-five years of excellence in radio broadcasting through “¡Con Salsa!” and in appreciation of his continued support of the Latino community in the Commonwealth.

State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz presented José with an official citation from the State Senate in recognition of his providing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts thirty-five years of excellence in radio broadcasting.  State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez presented him with a special citation from the House of Representatives in recognition of his 35 years of continued service to Latinos throughout the Commowealth as an entertainer, communicator and voice for the Latino community.

For the second consecutive year, “¡Con Salsa!” was voted Best Radio Show by the readers of El Planeta newspaper and received the “Best of 2010″ award.

José was featured in a number of articles including Vidas Unicas written by Yara Liceaga for El Nuevo Día in San Juan, Puerto Rico, DJ Profile written by Nelson González for Latin Beat Magazine and a front-page article written by Christian Hinojosa for El Mundo, Boston.

The 35th anniversary celebrations began with a concert by the Cuban band, Pupy y Los Que Son Son at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston’s historic theatre disctric.

A native of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, José moved to Boston in 1973 after completing his studies at Antioch College in Ohio. His career has included prominent and groundbreaking positions in education, communications, politics, entertainment, sports and philanthropy.

In honor of his 30th anniversary, the City Council of Boston proclaimed June 22nd, 2005 as José Massó & ¡Con Salsa! Commemoration Day and on June 26th, the celebration continued with a concert by Juan Luis Guerra & 440 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. During the first anniversary celebration of El Planeta newspaper, José was honored with the first El Planeta Award for the 30th anniversary of ¡Con Salsa!

Since 2001, José hosted three trips to Cuba as part of the defunct Citizens of the World Tours for WBUR. He considers the experiences as life changing, “during my first trip to Cuba, despite the hardships, I was struck by the Cuban’s dignity, hospitality, gentleness, patience, indomitable spirit and unquenchable sense of humor. It reminded me of my fellow Puerto Ricans and energized me to refocus my short and long term plans to participate in creating and developing a society that would recognize and respect Puerto Rican and Latino history, culture, values, and traditions – “Un Pueblo Nuevo”. (2)

José recently served as the director of Communications for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation responsible for communications, and strategic relations. The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is the largest philanthropy in New England dedicated in preparing all of the region’s learners for success.  As of March, 2010, the Foundation’s work focuses primarly on the promotion and implementation of developmentally appropriate, rigorous, year-around, student-centered approaches to learning at the middle and high school levels.

Prior to joining the Nellie Mae Education Foundation José was the regional director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration New England Regional Office. He was appointed in 2002 by the former Governor of Puerto Rico, the honorable Sila M. Calderon, and reappointed in 2005 by the former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá. The mission of PRFAA was to advance the well being of Puerto Ricans on the Island and on the mainland, and to advise former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, the resident commissioner and various constituents on all activities in the United States of interest to Puerto Rico. PRFAA also facilitated and promoted economic and public policy initiatives important to the growth and empowerment of all Puerto Rican communities.

In 2008, José volunteered for the Barack Obama presidential campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire. He assisted with the coordination of volunteers in the Latinos for Obama effort that included canvassing, visibility, phone banking and get out the vote (GOTV).  During the 2004 Presidential Elections, José served as the Trip and Event Director/Member Relations for the Hispanos Unidos Con Kerry Democratic National Committee campaign throughout the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. José organized Latino surrogate trips and events on La Nueva Esperanza Bus Tour in Orlando, Kissimmee and Tampa during the month of October until Election Day. Surrogates included elected officials, activist and celebrities including members of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, Nydia Velazquez, Bob Menendez, and Ciro Rodríguez. Pennsylvania State Representative Angel Cruz, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, New York City Councilor Miguel Martínez, and the Honorable Freddie Ferrer, along with salsa musician Willie Colón, and Caroline Kennedy, Chelsea Clinton, Vanessa Kerry, Kate Edwards and Karenna Gore also participated.

“His resume reads like the cast of a Hollywood movie. The political liaison on the presidential campaign trail. The investigative TV journalist. The innovative high school teacher who makes learning fun. The late-night disc jockey. The high-powered sports agent.” (4)

José worked for five years at Northeastern University. In 2001 as assistant director of Government Relations and Community Affairs (GRCA), serving as a primary adviser to the GRCA vice president on matters related to the Latino community and beyond. In this role, José helped ensure that a positive climate, diversity, and inclusiveness characterized Northeastern’s social and academic environment.  Jose identified strategies for encouraging people at all levels of the university to build a strong community.

Before joining the GRCA office, José was the senior associate director and chief operating officer at Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society for four years. He oversaw the operation of the center’s internal and external programs, which use sport’s unique status to create positive social changes and address critical issues. As the COO, José directed the Boston office’s day-to-day management. Under José’s leadership, the center expanded its mission to include initiatives related to the Latino community, providing cross-cultural and diversity training for Major League Soccer, and the sponsoring of an annual “Latinos in Béisbol” panel. In recognition of these efforts, Sport in Society received the YWCA Racial Justice award in 2001.

“The irrepressible José Masso” (5)

Prior to his work at Northeastern, José was the executive director of Patria Enterprises, Inc. (6), handling publicity, public relations, marketing, contract negotiations, and special events and promotions, as well as identifying and developing the Latino market in baseball and entertainment. His clients included Rubén Blades and Son del Solar, Seis del Solar, Humberto Ramirez JazzProject, and Major League Baseball players Carlos Baerga, Juan González, Iván Rodríguez, Ruben Sierra, and Ricky Bones.

José’s introduction to the world of sports and entertainment in 1991 was as the executive director of Latin sports and entertainment at Bob Woolf Associates and at InterPro Sports and Entertainment. He also worked as the deputy director of Marketing and Ridership for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and for six years was the director of community services and the Hispanic Liaison for Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis.

As an educator, José was a Media Education Specialist for the Educational Collaborative (EDCO) Media Arts Program in Boston.  He worked with students and teachers from thirteen urban and suburban school systems in the areas of careers in media and media impact using professional media resources in order to foster voluntary integration.

He began his career in education as a bilingual teacher for the Boston Public School system at Copley Square High School in 1973.

José was a television host for fifteen years, including twelve hosting the Emmy Award-winning bilingual public affairs program Aquí, which aired on WCVB-TV Channel 5 and La Plaza on WGBH twenty six years ago. In 1999, he made his acting debut in the independent film The Blue Diner. The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy and civil rights group, honored “The Blue Diner” in 2002 with an ALMA award for outstanding independent motion picture, directed and produced by the late Natatcha Estebanez.

Numerous national and regional newspaper and magazine articles have spotlighted José’s contributions to the Latino community. In 1984, he received the Massachusetts Ten Outstanding Young Leaders award. José was named “Boston’s Salsa Man of the Year” at Scullers Jazz Club in June, 2000 in honor of his twenty-fifth anniversary with “¡Con Salsa!” In May, 2001, he was the first Latino to deliver the commencement address at Northern Essex Community College, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The following month, José was honored by Major League Soccer and the New England Revolution as one of “Fifty New England Hispanic Heroes”. On October 4th, he received the 2001 Terpsichore Award for Media Excellence for his work with youth and other outstanding accomplishments. La Sociedad Latina honored José with an award for his contributions to Latino youth and the community at Berklee College of Music on June 18, 2002. During the 3rd annual Puerto Rican Parade and Festival in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on August 17, 2003, José served as the “Grand Marshall” of the parade. On April 25, 2004, José was honored by the 1st Boston International Salsa Congress for his contributions to Salsa music and Latin culture and in December, 2004 was honored by Imagen Hispana Magazine as an Influential Hispanic 2004 for his distinguished professional career and contribution to the development and progress of the Hispanic community in New England. The Hispanic Festival of Lynn honored José during the celebration of Puerto Rican night on July 22nd, 2005 for his contributions to the development of the best values of the Latino community that enhance pride in the Latino culture and on August 11, 2005 The Urban Youth Collaborative Program of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation honored José with the Paulette Anjorin Community Service Award during their annual ceremony at the Gardner Auditorium in the Massachusetts State House. In 2005, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) honored José with a community award at the 31st Annual Community Awards Dinner for his inspirational deeds and compassion helping to build a better Boston, neighborhood by neighborhood. El Planeta Newspaper named José one of the 100 most influential people in the Latino community for 2005, 2006 and 2010. In 2006, Berklee College of Music honored José with an award for his support of international educational exchange and for promoting international goodwill and understanding at the 20th Annual International Folk Music Festival at the Berklee Performance Center. Harvard College Latino Student Organizations honored José as “Latino of the Year” at their 2006 Second Annual “Homenaje Latino” banquet for his contributions to the community. On March 28, 2009 José was honored by Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) during their ¡Cultura Viva! Celebration at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts with the Jorge Hernández Leadership Award for civic engagement. The Hyde Square Task Force honored José with a Community Leadership Award during their annual meeting on June 18, 2009, for his thirty years plus of service and leadership in the Boston community.

In 2006-2007, he served as a member of the “100×35” organizing committee of the Mi Puerto Rico, Master Painters of the Island 1780 – 1950, exhibit of paintings by José Campeche y Jordan, Francisco Oller y Cestero, and Miguel Pou and Becerra at the Worcester Art Museum.

On July 29th, 2007 José served as the Padrino (Godfather) of the 2007 40th Annual Puerto Rican Festival Parade in Boston. The following year he was honored by the Festival as one of the Puerto Rican Pioneers in radio broadcasting for his 33 years of programming on WBUR 90.9FM.

José served as a member of the event committee for ¡Merengue! Visual Rhythms/Ritmos Visuales art exhibit. The exhibit was shown from August 14th – November 23rd, 2008 at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists. The honorary Chairs were authors Julia Alvarez and Junot Díaz and Boston Red Sox super star David Ortiz.

José is a member of the Berklee College of Music City Music Advisory Board; The Board of Advisors for the Emerging Leaders Program at UMASS/Boston, The Mauricio Gastón Board of Directors; Chairman of The Friends of Young Achievers, Inc. Board of Directors for the Young Achievers Science and Mathematics Pilot School; a member of the Board of Trustees at the Boston Arts Academy; the Board of Directors for JazzBoston; a Steering Committee member of the Commonwealth Compact; a founder and member of the New Majority Coalition, co-convener of Somos Uno – the Latino Alliance for Progress, and co-chair of the Edward James Olmos Americanos/Bostonianos Project.

“José, if not the most visible Latino in Boston, is the most audible.” (7)

[1] The Boston Globe Magazine, “The Buzztonians”, June 20, 1999
[2] José Massó
[3] Founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2002, ILLI proposes to regularly organize leadership development programs, convene conferences and colloquia by scholars and practitioners, and offer our staff members as presenters at conferences around the world.  We will also conduct research, produce publications, and provide a variety of educational programs and products to leaders and organizations in the public, corporate, educational, and nonprofit sectors.  ILLI will also serve as a clearinghouse for ideas on leadership and creativity, and contribute to the study of culturally-based leadership.
[4] Hispanic Issues in Higher Education
[5] Introduction by Roger H. Brown, President of Berklee College of Music at private reception honoring Rubén Blades, Minister of Tourism for the Republic of Panamá prior to Honorary Doctoral Degree event at Berklee Performance Center on November 1, 2005.
[6] Thanks to the support of radio listeners, through ¡Con Salsa! Productions and Patria Entertainment, José produced and promoted Latin music concerts at the Berklee Performance Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Hynes Convention Center, Symphony Hall, the Wilbur Theatre, the Agganis Arena at Boston University and Northeastern University’s Blackman Auditorium, Scullers Jazz Club, Seaport Hotel, Charles Hotel and other respected venues nationwide.  Concerts have included Rubén Blades & Editus, Rubén Blades & Son del Solar, Rubén Blades & Seis del Solar, Tito Puente, Machito and his Afro Cuban Orchestra, the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, Marc Anthony, Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40, Celia Cruz & Tito Puente, Celia Cruz & Willie Colón, Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco, La India & Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Charlie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaría, Arturo Sandoval, and also Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Camilo, Poncho Sánchez, Mario Bauza, Ray Barretto, Oscar D’Leon, La Dimension Latina, Bamboleo, Orquesta Aragon, ¡Cubanismo!, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Issac Delgado, Jimmy Bosch, Ralph Irizarry & Timbalaye, David Sánchez, Jerry González & The Fort Apache Band, Larry Harlow’s Latin Legends, El Gran Combo, Gilberto SantaRosa, Grupo Niche, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, La Tropica, Basilio Márquez y Eclispe, Mercedes Sosa, Roy Brown, and Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, Luis “Perico” Ortíz, Eddie Santiago, and Johnny Ventura among others.
[7] The Improper Bostonian.
Photo by: Josh Reynolds (Associated Press)

Latest broadcast playlist

F. Rodríguez “Y sigue la Salsa” 2:48
Luis “Perico” Ortíz “Ya Llego” (El Isleño) 1:00
E. Palmieri “Puerto Rico” (Sentido) 6:50
C. Sepúlveda “Puerto Rico” (Cosa Nuestra/Our Thing) 6:13
E. Palmieri/Reel “¡Con Salsa!” 1:00
Victor Manuelle “Puerto Rico 2006” (Decisión Unánime) 5:24
Victor Manuelle “Daría mi vida por ella” (A Mi Estilo) 4:20
JM/VO “Dedicatoria” 10:30PM
Gilberto SantaRosa “Isla del Encanto” (Directo al Corazón) 4:57
JM/VO “Wrap-Up/Intro.” 10:40PM
Victor Manuelle “Dos generaciones” (Decisión Unánime) 6:00
Victor Manuelle “Adoración” (Tributo a los Soneros) 7:57
JM/VO “Log” 10:55PM
Eddie Palmieri “Slowvisor” (Palmas) 5:48
JM/VO “Wrap-Up/ID 11:00PM
F. Rodríguez “Y sigue la Salsa” 2:48
JM/VO “Saludos/Intro.” 2:48

Edwin Bonilla “La melodía” (Homenaje a los Rumberos) 4:10
Spanish Harlem Orchestra “Son de Corazón” (¡Viva la Tradición!) 6:27
JM/VO “Log” 11:14PM
Spanish Harlem Orchestra “Mi herencia Latina” (¡Viva la Tradición!) 5:31
Edwin Bonilla “Homenaje a los Rumberos” 6:46
(Homenaje a Los Rumberos)
Edwin Bonilla “Ritmo de Abacua Intro” 1:09
(Homenaje a los Rumberos)
Edwin Bonilla “Canto Abacua” (Homenaje a los Rumberos) 5:56
Edwin Bonilla “Yambu Matancero” (Homenaje a los Rumberos) 6:27
JM/VO “Log” 11:40PM
Sonora Ponceña “Mi lindo Yambu” (Aniversario 55) 8:04
Cheo Feliciano “Lindo Yambu” (Una Voz…Mil Recuerdos) 4:34
JM/VO “Log” 11:53PM
Edwin Bonilla “Timbalero suena” (Homenaje a los Rumberos) 5:14
JM/VO “Wrap-Up/ID” 12:00AM
F. Rodríguez “Y sigue la Salsa” 2:48
JM/VO “Saludos/Intro.” 2:48

Mango Blue “Mango” (Mango) 4:40
JM/VO “Interview with Alex Alvear Part I”
Mango Blue “Algún día” (Mango) 4:17
JM/VO “Interview with Alex Alvear Part II”
Mango Blue “Babalú Ayé” (Mango) 5:34
JM/VO “Interview with Alex Alvear Part III”
Mango “Plena Blue” (Mango) 5:51
JM/VO “Interview with Alex Alvear Part IV”
Mango “Décimas a mi tierra” (Mango) 4:40
Mango “Sombras” (Mango) 5:29
JM/VO “Wrap-Up/ID” 1:00AM
JM/VO “Saludos/Intro.” 2:48

Poncho Sánchez “Cantaloupe Island” (Psychedelic Blues) 5:08
Poncho Sánchez “Crisis” (Psychedelic Blues) 4:33
Poncho Sánchez “Silver’s Serenade” (Psychedelic Blues) 6:17
JM/VO “Log” 1:22AM
Poncho Sánchez “Willie Bobo Medley” (Psychedelic Blues) 6:39
Poncho Sánchez “Con Sabor Latino” (Psychedelic Blues) 4:43
JM/VO “Log” 1:34AM
Cachete Maldonado “Herencia Rumbera” (Y Los Majaderos) 3:44
Cachete Maldonado “Corillo de los Trangalanga” (Y Los Majaderos) 3:27
Tego Calderón “Loíza” (El Aballarde) 3:10
Cachete Maldonado “Loíza 2” (Rumba Boricua Campesina) 3:20
JM/VO “Log” 1:48AM
Cachete Maldonado “Pan de piquito” (Rumba Boricua Campesina) 5:32
Cachete Maldonado “Homenaje a Cachete” 5:14
(Rumba Boricua Campesina)
JM/VO “Wrap-Up/ID 2:00AM
JM/VO “Saludos/Intro.” 2:48

Maraca “Guaguancó” (….Lo Que Quiero Es Fiesta!!!) 4:36
Manolito y su Trabuco “¿Güines, que le pasa a Tata?” (Control) 3:13
Manolito y su Trabuco “¿Güines, que le pasa a Tata?” (Beat Cubano) 4:07
JM/VO “Log” 2:16AM
Pupy y Los Que Son Son “Si me quieres conocer” 5:30
(Tranquilo Que Yo Controlo)
JM/VO “Log” 2:22AM
Chucho Valdés “Danzón” (Chucho’s Steps) 9:07
Chucho Valdes “New Orleans” (Chucho’s Steps) 4:42
JM/VO “Log” 2:36AM
Johnny Pacheco “Simani” (El Maestro) 4:56
Johnny Pacheco “El Faisan” (El Maestro) 8:28
JM/VO “Log” 2:51AM
Johnny Pacheco “Corso y Montuno” (The Artist) 5:48
Rubén Blades “Bendición” (Cantares del Subdesarrollo) 3:45
JM/VO “Despedida” 3:00AM

Get in touch

For more information about the show, please write:

José Massó, “¡Con Salsa!”
890 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Or, you can email me at jmasso @

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