Home   >   Movie Stars   >   P   >   Johnny Pacheco

Johnny Pacheco

Bandleader & Flautist Johnny Pacheco (born March 25, 1935), originally from the Dominican Republic, is one of the most influential figures in salsa music. His nine Grammy nominations, ten Gold records and numerous awards pay tribute to his creative talent as composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer.

Throughout his 40-year involvement with the development of Latin music, Johnny Pacheco has received many kudos. In 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 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; and in 1996, he 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 including Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Cheo Feliciano, and Pete El Conde Rodriguez. He also produced the hit song Bailando Salsa for the Spanish pop group Mecano, and co-wrote and produced three songs for David Byrne's first solo album entitled Rei Momo.

Pacheco has written more than 150 songs, most of which are now latin music classics, including 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 generation. He has recorded, composed and performed with the group DLG and the Rap artist Mangu. Mr. Pacheco has also produced music forand scored feature films, including OUR LATIN THING, SALSA, MONDO NEW YORK, SOMETHING WILD and THE MAMBO KINGS.

Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Johnny Pacheco moved with his family to New York at age 11. He learned to play the accordion, violin, saxophone, flute and clarinet, and attended the Julliard School of Music where he studied percussion and became one of the leading percussionists of the time.

In 1960, he organized his first 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, and introducing a new dance craze called Pachanga. Pacheco became an internationally renowned star, touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Pacheco Y Su Charanga, was the first Latin band to ever headline the Apollo, in 1962 and 1963.

In late 1963, Pacheco created Fania Records with Jerry Masucci. In 1964, the label released Pacheco's next endeavor entitled Caonazo 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 came out of Fania Records, also creating the label's headlining group, the Fania All- Stars.

For more than 40 years, Johnny Pacheco has been one of the most in-demand artists in the music industry. He has played with the best Latin musicians of the century including Perez Prado, Xavier Cugat, Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz; and 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 others. He remains highly active in the recording industry performing and recording with his group as the guiding force behind the best tropical music.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.

Johnny Pacheco Facts

BirthdayMarch 25, 1935 (86)
BirthplaceSantiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Selected Filmography

Yo Soy La Salsa
Reggaeton La Clave
Soul Power
Celia Cruz & Friends
Celia Cruz and the Fania Allstars in Africa
The Return of Ruben Blades
Continue » Find more details on the Johnny Pacheco Movies page