World-renowned musician and bandleader Johnny Pacheco has died.
The Dominican-born nine-time Grammy nominee passed away on Monday after being hospitalized with pneumonia, People reported.
He was 85.
World-renowned musician and bandleader Johnny Pacheco has died. The Dominican-born nine-time Grammy nominee passed away on Monday at the age of 85 (pictured in 2010)
Pacheco is best-known for promoting salsa in the 1960s and 70s and for founding Fania Records with Jerry Masucci.
Considered a trailblazer in his chosen musical genre, he was presented with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy in 2005.
His albums Cross Over and Eternos (1979), De Nuevo (1985) and Salsobita (1988) were all nominated for Grammy Awards.
Pacheco is best-known for founding Fania Records with Jerry Masucci which helped make salsa internationally popular. He was presented with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy in 2005 (pictured in 1996)
Pacheco was born in the Dominican Republic in 1935 where his father was the leader of a band that played popular dance music. The family moved to New York when he was 11 (pictured 1999)
Pacheco was born in the Dominican Republic in 1935 where his father was the leader of a big band that played popular dance music.
The family moved to the USA when he was 11 and settled in New York.
Mostly self-taught, Pacheco could play the accordion, violin, saxophone, clarinet, flute and percussion, and he became a sought-after session musician.
In 1963 he formed Fania Records with attorney Jerry Masucci and helped make salsa internationally popular.
Fania Records revolutionized the sound of Cuban dance music in the 1970s. ‘At first we didn’t think we were anything special,’ Pacheco told NPR in 2006, ‘Until every place we went, the lines were unbelievable’ (pictured in 1988)
Pacheco was a prolific songwriter and musical arranger whose work helped launch the career of Celia Cruz and of Ruben Blades, pictured far left performing with Pacheco as part of the Fania All-Stars at the 2014 Latin Music Awards in NYC
Fania Records revolutionized the sound of Cuban dance music in the 1970s and Pacheco was a prolific songwriter and musical arranger whose work helped launch the careers of Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades
‘At first we didn’t think we were anything special,’ Pacheco told NPR in 2006, ‘Until every place we went, the lines were unbelievable.’
‘They tried to rip the shirts off our backs. It reminded me of The Beatles,’ he said.
He composed more than 150 songs during his long career including La Dicha Mía, Quitate Tu Pa’Ponerme I, Acuyuye and Le roi de la ponctualité.
Pacheco is survived by his wife Cuqui Pacheco.
Pacheco is survived by his wife Cuqui Pacheco (pictured together in 2008)
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