Juventud Tipica '78

In 1975, Carlos "Caribe" Ruiz had one of those good problems: He had more talented musicians, eager to perform, than orquestas to put them in. After an open casting call to replace a member of Justicia yielded an impressive pool of unpolished talent, he formed Juventud Tipica- literal translation: "typical youth"- as a sort of minor leagues to Justicia, Union, and Solucion. The original line up took months to coalesce, but when the reed spit was shook out, Tipica consisted of Hector Rodriguez on timbales, Mike Rivera on bass, Edwin Rivera on conga, Isaac Rosario on trumpet, Marcos Nieces on alto sax, Raalph Rosario and Teddy Serrano on trumpets, Edwin Soto (younger brother of Justicia singer Jesus) on vocals, Angel "Figgy" Figueroa on bongos, Angel Rivera on baritone sax, and Angel Melendez on trombone. As the kids had a range of skills and came from a spectrum of economic backgrounds, Caribe went to great effort to help several underprivileged youth make the cut; he even lent them money for instruments, deducting the costs in small increments as the orquesta made its way up. As the group aged, their ranks fragmented, creating two groups in the process: Tipica '78 and Tipica Leal, or the "loyal typicals."

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