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Johnny Colon

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Spanish Harlem

Johnny Colon is a latin soul trombonist who arose out of the late 60s Spanish Harlem boogaloo scene into musical prominence after his first hit, the Latin/blues hybrid “Boogaloo Blues,” in 1966 for the Cotique label, He recorded 5 more albums including some for the legendary Fania Records before becoming disillusioned with the music industry and it’s nefarious rip offs. In 1972, at the height of his recording career, Johnny walked away from his record contracts, and founded the East Harlem Music School on 104th St in New York, the first and only music school in the world devoted totally to the teaching of “Salsa.” At it’s peak in the 1980’s, the school had an enrollment of 1,500 students. Over the years the school has provided classes to over 20,000 students ( including many from abroad) in piano, bass, guitar, flute, saxophone, trombone, voice, bongo, conga and timbales. He discovered Latin Jazz as a youth of Puerto Rican descent in part through the albums of musician Cal Tjader, and eventually became a well recognized pianist, composer, educator and arranger in his own right.

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