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was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on 1 February 1972. His parents were Dr. Esteban Calderón Ilarraza and Pilar Rosario Parrilla, a schoolteacher. He spent his childhood in Rio Grande, Carolina, and Loíza, towns on the northern part of the island that have retained the influence of Afro-Caribbean cultures.

Calderón grew up absorbing the musical influences of Ismael Rivera (“El Sonero Mayor”), one of the best singers of salsa music, and El Gran Combo, the most traditional established salsa group in Puerto Rico. During the 1970s, salsa was as its peak in popularity, and Latin jazz was beginning to develop a massive following. Willie Colón, Rubén Baldes, Héctor Lavoe, the great composer Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso, and the Fania All-Stars were some of the premier acts in the salsa genre.

Calderón moved to Miami in the 1980s and completed his high school degree at Beach Senior High In Miami ...