Zune Marketplace Introduces Exclusive Fania Records Digital Store

Today Zune, Microsoft Corp.'s end-to-end music and entertainment service, announced jointly with Fania Records the availability of a custom collection of Fania albums consisting of never-before-digitally-released productions. For the first time, the Fania collection will be digitally remastered and available exclusively on Zune Marketplace. The collection will include legendary artists such as the Fania All-Stars, Hector Lavoe, La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Ricardo Ray and Bobby Cruz, Cheo Feliciano, Mongo Santamaria, Bobby Valentin, and many more.

During the 1960s and 1970s Fania Records produced the best in salsa and Latin jazz and has been credited with starting the New York salsa movement. Fania and its roster of stars have introduced Latin music to the world, and Zune will now make this music available digitally for a new generation to discover.

"It's exciting to partner with Zune to offer our collection digitally and for new content from such classic artists. Our hope is to have a new generation of music lovers discover these masters of music from such a significant musical era, " said Leda Ceccarelli, director of New Media, Fania Records.

The Zune Marketplace Latin content producer worked with the label's digital distributor, the Orchard, to select the content released through the custom-built Zune boutique page. The addition of Fania to Zune Marketplace demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to integrating Latin music across the platform and enabling music lovers of all genres to discover these artists. Most recently, the Zune Marketplace team also produced a special event with Tijuana-based artists to highlight Mexican culture, featuring graphic and visual artists Acamonchi and VJ PR4, DJ sets from Loud Noises and Tremolo Audio, and live performance by Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich + Fussible.

"We wanted to bring a sense of retro music to Zune Marketplace, and to do that, there's no other label to work with than Fania, " said Mariel Cruz, Zune Marketplace Latin content producer. "Fania's renowned roster of musicians made it easy to select iconic artists, and we're happy to bring this collection to our subscribers."

The custom Fania Records store will be exclusive to the Zune Marketplace until Oct. 21 and will include music from the following albums:

* Ricardo Ray and Bobby Cruz, "El Bestial Sonido"
* Fania All Stars, "Live At Yankee Stadium, Vol. 1"
* Hector Lavoe, "Le Canta A Borinquen"
* Roberto Roena, "Greatest Hits"
* Cheo Feliciano, "Cheo, " "Felicidades"
* Ruben Blades, "Maestra Vida Vol. I"
* La Lupe, "La Reina (The Queen)"
* Mongo Santamaria, "Fuego"
* Various Artists, "Cuba Y Puerto Rico Son"
* Various Artists, "El Barrio: Gangsters, Latin Soul & The Birth of Salsa
* Mark Dimond, "Brujeria"
* The Lebron Brothers, "Criollo"
* Celia Cruz, "Bravo"
* Various Artists, "Bailando at the Palladium Vol. 1"
* Bobby Valentin, "Algo Nuevo"
* Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, "Algo Especial Para Recordar"
* Charlie Palmieri and his orchestra, "Adelante Gigante"

Zune is the only digital media player to offer an end-to-end experience for music lovers with its portal devices, available with 8 GB, 16 GB and 120 GB; software features such as Buy from FM, which allows users to download music directly from the built-in FM tuner; and the subscription-based service Zune Pass, which allows subscribers to download millions of songs for the monthly price of $14.99.

Zune is Microsoft's music and entertainment brand that provides an integrated digital entertainment experience. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace online store, the Zune Social online music community created to help people discover music, and the online media player customization store. Zune is part of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division and supports the company's software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space.

In 2005, Emusica acquired the legendary Fania label and quickly began re- mastering and reissuing many of its original albums. The catalog includes more than 1, 300 albums with 11, 000 recordings, making it one of the largest in Latin Music. Founded in 1964 by Johnny Pacheco and Jerry Masucci, the catalog features such well-known artist as Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Larry Harlow, Ray Barretto and the famed Fania All Stars. The more than 350 albums are now available in both digital and physical formats.

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