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Hector began playing with bands in New York like Kako and his All Stars. He later met and worked for two weeks with the great Dominican bandleader, Johnny Pacheco. Pacheco introduced Hector to a young, up-and-coming bandleader named Willie Colon. Willie was playing Latin jazz and boogaloo. The established musicians of the time considered Willie a kid with a bad sound. Pacheco was getting ready to have Colon record his first albumn for the Fania label. Willie who was looking for a lead singer liked Hector's clear voice, impeccable enunciation and stylistic abilities.