‘The Queen of Salsa,’ Celia Cruz, at Sam’s Town

Apr 30, 2002 2:29 AM

Celia Cruz, known as the "Queen of Salsa," will perform her greatest hits from over 70 albums at Sam’s Town Live! Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets for this performance are on sale for $39.95 and $44.95 and can be purchased at {www.tickets.com} or by calling 1-800-897-8696.

Noted as one of the legendary artists in the industry, with hits like Cao Cao Mani Picao, Vieja Luna, Tatalibaba, and Celia & Las Matancera, Cruz has paved the way for many Cuban artists. In her time, she has collaborated with such artists as Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, David Byrne, Gloria Estefan, and Wyclef Jean.

After studying musical theory, voice and piano at Havana’s National Music Conservatory, Cruz joined the legendary musical group La Sonora Matancera and wrote many notable hits within Afro-Cuban music.

The past decade has been a memorable one for Cruz; the Smithsonian Institute gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Republic of Columbia awarded her the Presidential Medal in Arts, the Hispanic Heritage Awards presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the city of San Francisco declared October 25, 1997, "Celia Cruz’s Day." In 1994, Former President Bill Clinton granted Cruz the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor this country bestows on an artist.