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Fania All Stars

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The Fania All-Stars was an illustrious and widely distinguished musical ensemble established in 1968 by composer Johnny Pacheco as a showcase for the leading musicians and singers of the record label Fania Records, the leading salsa record company of the time.

In 1964, Fania Records was founded in New York City by Jerry Masucci, an Italian-American lawyer with a love for Latin melodies, and Johnny Pacheco, a talented composer and bandleader born in the Dominican Republic. Jerry Masucci later bought out his partner Johnny Pacheco from Fania Entertainment Group Ltd. and was sole owner for many years until his death in December 1997.

Throughout the early years, Fania used to distribute its records to music aficionados around New York City, even going as far as selling their products out of the trunks of cars. But eventually good word-of-mouth and immense success from Johnny Pacheco’s Cañonaso recording would lead the label to develop its roster. Masucci and Pacheco, now executive negotiator and musical director, respectively, began acquiring fresh and creative NYC artists like Bobby Valentín, Larry Harlow and Ray Barreto.

Similar to Pacheco, most of these new talents were residents of the city’s barrios and boroughs, that had moved to the city from their homelands and brought their music along. Thus, Fania and it’s All-Stars were results of this era of musical renaissance and understanding among the countless cultures of NYC. They created tunes using a variety of genres available in this melting pot, including those of salsa, boogalu, Cuban Jazz and Latin R&B.

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