Episode 55 | Jose Morales (aka Fofito), Promoter, Producer, Owner of La Respuesta
'Tis the summer of Despacito...
There’s this music club/performance space/art space in Santurce, Puerto Rico called La Respuesta, that mostly presents the local indie rock scene. I learned about La Respuesta in 2008 when I was down in the island for a season working publicity for several local films. One of the films, La Mala needed a place for a party and my friend Nadia Barbarossa, who was part of the film’s producers team told me about it. So I called the owner, the guy that everyone called Fofito, and asked him for a date to go see the place for a possible rental. I still remember the first impression. He was dry, serious, and straight to the point which made me love him on the spot because he didn’t waste my time with bullshit talk.
So La Respuesta was rented for La Mala’s premiere party where the lovely and amazing Lena Burke played the piano and sang her heart out. Since then he and I have been buddies. I stopped calling him Fofito. He is Jose to me, without the accent on the “e”. I like it more than his nickname. Jose is a father of two kids he adores and it’s not just talk. Jose loves music and it’s not just talk. Jose loves Puerto Rico and it’s not just talk. Some people say he’s cantankerous. I say he’s a lovable cantankerous character and if it weren’t for him many emerging artists in San Juan would have virtually nowhere to perform. For that, I love him yet again.
For several years now he’s been commuting between New York and Puerto Rico and producing programming for La Marqueta Retoña. In 2015, Remezcla included him in a “Top 10 List” .
Finally, after about two years of crossed schedules he came over for lunch last Friday and helped me hang paintings in my new apartment, get plants, and out of the blue, I decided to record an on-the-spot conversation. So this Spanish podcast episode 55 has upper west Bronx sounds. But it’s a real from-the-heart conversation with a guy that’s worked hard to make a living in the arts and culture sphere, in the music scene sphere, and with and for Puerto Rican musicians and visual artists. La Respuesta’s wall facing Avenida Fernández Juncos is a space for murals…this is now.