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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Johnny Pacheco, one of the creators of salsa, dies: “It is a tragedy for the world of music

The Dominican artist Johnny Pacheco, one of the creators of salsa, died in New York at the age of 85, the singer’s family and relatives reported. Johnny Pacheco, one of the founders of the Fania All-Stars, was hospitalized with pneumonia in a medical center in New York, according to local media. “With great pain in my soul and an emptiness in my heart I inform you that the teacher Johnny Pacheco passed away this afternoon with great peace. Thank you very much for all your prayers and all the love that they always offered him. At this time we ask for privacy and prayers, “says a brief statement signed by his widow, Cuqui Pacheco, and family. Salsero Eugenio Pérez, close to Pacheco, confirmed the death in a message on social networks, in which he affirmed that his loss is “a tragedy for the world of music in a general sense.” Likewise, the singer and songwriter of Puerto Rican origin Willie Colón also published a reaction on Twitter when meeting the North. “Rest in peace my dear friend and Maestro. Founder of Fania Records, Johnny Pacheco. Unique …”, he wrote.

Johnny Pacheco, percussionist and composer of legend

Percussionist and composer, Juan Zacarías Pacheco Knnipping, real name of Johnny Pacheco, was born on March 25, 1935 in Santiago de los Caballeros, in the north of the Dominican Republic, and as a child he emigrated with his entire family to New York, where he began his studies and musical training. Salsa, according to many experts, was born in the neighborhoods of New York in the 1960s thanks to young Latin American musicians who emigrated to the North American continent. One of the most widespread theories attributes its birth to Pacheco, who considered salsa a mixture of Caribbean rhythms such as guaracha, mambo, pachanga, guajira, güagüancó and chachachá. Pacheco was also the founder, along with Jerry Masucci, of the Fania Records label and the famous band Fania All-Stars, where figures such as Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, Héctor Lavoe, Eddie Palmieri, Héctor Casanova, Ray Barreto, Willie Colón and Bobby Valentín, among others, excelled in their careers. To stardom, Fania brings together more than 200 renowned tropical music artists with styles that transcended the boundaries of traditional Latin music to break through to genres such as Latin big-band, Afro-Cuban jazz, jazz, boogaloo and salsa.

Pacheco’s greatest hits, “The Godfather of Salsa”

Durante su trayectoria musical Pacheco compuso más de 150 canciones, muchas de las cuales se convirtieron en clásicos, como “La Dicha Mía”, “Quítate Tu Pa’Ponerme Yo”, “Acuyuye”, “El Faisán” y “El Rey De La Puntualidad”.

A la vez que construía una exitosa carrera musical, Johnny Pacheco produjo varias películas que han ayudado a popularizar internacionalmente la música latina, entre ellas “Los Reyes del Mambo” (1992), protagonizada por el actor español Antonio Banderas.

Además, en 1999, llevó su conocimiento musical al teatro, y colaboró en la creación del musical “Quién Mató A Héctor Lavoe”, que cosechó gran éxito en Nueva York.

Su currículum también incluye la producción de la canción “Bailando Salsa” del grupo español Mecano (alcanzó medio millón de copias vendidas en un mes de su lanzamiento).

Durante toda su vida Johnny Pacheco se caracterizó por su compromiso con el desarrollo de la comunidad latina alrededor del mundo. En 1994 estableció la Beca que lleva su nombre y con la que cada año ayuda financieramente a un estudiante latino en su primer año de universidad.

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