decades, Johnny Pacheco has been at the center of the Latin
music universe. His nine Grammy nominations, ten Gold records
and numerous awards pay tribute to his creative talent as
composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer. Moreover, he is
the pioneer of an unforgettable musical era that changed the
face of tropical music history, the Fania All-Stars era.
40-year involvement with the development of Latin music,
Johnny Pacheco has received many kudos for his extraordinary
genius. In November of 1998, he was inducted into the
International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In 1997, he was the
recipient of the Bobby Capo' Lifetime Achievement Award,
awarded by Governor George Pataki. In 1996 the president of
the Dominican Republic, Juaquin Balaguer bestowed him with the
prestigious Presidential Medal of Honor. In addition, Pacheco
was presented with the First International Dominican Artist
Award from the distinguished Casandra Awards. In June 1996,
Johnny Pacheco was the first Latin music producer to receive
the NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences)
Governor's Award in New York City.
Pacheco's pioneering musical approach has made him one of the
most solicited producers in Latin music. He has worked with
many of the best Salsa artists like Celia Cruz, Willie Colon,
Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Cheo Feliciano, and Pete "El
Conde" Rodriguez. His resume also includes producing the
hit song "Bailando Salsa" for the Spanish pop group,
Mecano whose album sold half a million copies one month after
its release. Johnny Pacheco also co-wrote and produced three
songs for David Byrne's first solo album entitled Rei Momo.
has written more than 150 songs and most of them are now
classics. Among them are "La Dicha Mia",
"Quitate Tu Pa' Ponerme Yo", "Acuyuye",
"El Rey de la Puntualidad", and Tito Puente's
"El Numero Cien". Pacheco has also been
inspirational to the younger generations.He recorded and performed with the group DLG as a
guest artist in one of his own compositions. Rap artist Mangu
asked this Latin legend to write arrangements, sing chorus,
and play the flute in his album Calle Luna Y Calle Sol. Mr.
Pacheco has also produced music for feature films. He was the
musical director of the film, Our Latin Thing, the
first film about Salsa and its influence on New York Latinos.
In 1974, he worked on a second film entitled Salsa.
During the 1980s, he wrote the musical scores and themes for
the film Mondo New York and Something Wild. The
last one was in collaboration with David Byrne, leader of the
group Talking Heads. His most recent work in the movie
industry was the feature film The Mambo Kings released
by Warner Brothers.
in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Johnny
Pacheco inherited his father's passion for music. Rafael
Azarias Pacheco, his father, was the bandleader and
clarinetist of one of the most famous orchestras of that
time--the Santa Cecilia Orchestra. It was his father that
first put a musical instrument into his son, Johnny's hands.
At the age of 11, the Pacheco family moved to New York where
he continued polishing his musical skills. He learned to play
accordion, violin, saxophone and clarinet. He attended the
Julliard School of Music where he studied percussion making
him the leading percussionist of the time. He performed and
recorded with the most important American artists. He then
learned to play flute. He is recognized as one of the top
flutists of his era.
In 1960, he organized his first and legendary orchestra,
Pacheco y Su Charanga. The band signed with Alegre Records and
its first album Johnny Pacheco Y Su Charanga Vol. 1 sold over
100,000 copies within the first year, becoming the best
selling album of the time. The album is a classic. Beginning
then and through the end of 1963, Pacheco introduced a new
dance craze called "Pachanga". He became an
internationally renowned star. He toured extensively
throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Moreover Pacheco Y Su Charanga, was the first Latin band to
ever headline the Apollo in 1962 and 1963.
late 1963, his career took another historical turn when he
created Fania Records with Jerry Masucci. In 1964, the label
released Pacheco's next endeavor entitled Canonazo featuring a
switch from the Charanga to Conjunto style. As the company's
executive, creative director and musical producer, he was
responsible for launching the careers of many of the young
stars that formed part of Fania Records.
In 1968 he gathered many of the musicians from the label and
showcased them together in concert. This marked the birth of
the legendary Fania All-Stars. In 1971, this orchestra
consisting of Fania's elite exploded all over the Salsa scene
starting an incredible musical era for Latin music that has
continued for over 30 years under the masterful direction of
For more than 40 years, Mr. Pacheco has been one of the most
in-demand artist in the music industry in general. He has
performed as soloist and guest artist in many Jazz Festivals
worldwide. He has played with the best Latin musicians of the
century including Perez Prado, Xavier Cugat, Tito Rodriguez,
Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz among others. He has performed and
collaborated with many legends of Jazz and popular American
music such as Quincy Jones, Stan Kenton, Tony Bennett, George
Benson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ethel Smith, Stevie Wonder and many
Johnny Pacheco is deeply committed to the improvement of the
Latin community worldwide. He demonstrated his solidarity with
the victims of Hurricane Georges by collaborating with the
Hispanic Federation Relief Fund during "Hurricane Georges
Relief Fund 1998" transmitted live across the
northeastern United States by the NBC television network and
by participating at an event at Hostos Community College. He
also participated in the AIDS benefit concert Concierto Por La
Vida, in November 1988 at New York City's Avery Fisher Hall.
In 1994, he established the Johnny Pacheco Scholarship Fund
demonstrating his love for music and commitment to higher
education. Each year a college freshman is honored with
financial support and Mr. Pacheco's blessing. He says,
"My hope is to give a young aspiring and talented
musician a chance to develop as an artist and benefit from a
The music of Johnny Pacheco Y Su Tumbao Anejo continues to
bless the Latin music industry. He remains highly active in
the recording industry performing and recording with his group
as the guiding force behind the best tropical music. Always
ahead of his time, he is one of the most admired and loved
musicians on the music scene all over the world. Johnny
Pacheco is a pioneer, an innovator and more importantly a
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