22nd Annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards

Willie Colón, Marc Anthony and more artists say goodbye to Johnny Pacheco, ‘El Maestro’

The Dominican musician, composer, arranger, died at 85. His salsa colleagues say goodbye to him with heartfelt messages.

Johnny Pacheco, ‘El Maestro de la Salsa’, has passed away at 85. Juan Azarías Pacheco - the given name of the Dominican musician - leaves a great legacy not only in salsa, but also in the genres that derive from him. Thanks to his commitment, countless singers including, Willie Colón, Bobby Valentín, Héctor Lavoe, Celia Cruz and more, were part of the Fania All Stars label.

Because of his talent, dedication and love for art, social media is now flooded with messages saying goodbye to the maestro Johnny Pacheco, also known as the ‘Silver Fox’.


Marc Anthony, one of the most influential artists of this generation and a salsa icon, laments the loss of Pacheco. “Maestro de Maestros y mi buen amigo! Descansa en paz! You were there for me from day 1. Your sense of humor was contagious and I am forever grateful for your support, for the opportunity to be in your presence and for your amazing legacy.”, the singer commented on his Instagram.


One of the members of the Fania All Stars, Willie Colón, mourned the death of his colleague and friend, Pacheco. “Rest in peace, my dear friend and teacher. Founder of Fania Records, Johnny Pacheco. Unique.”


Santa Rosa, known as ‘El Caballero de la Salsa’ shared a pic with Pacheco. and other artists. “Today salsa and music in general are in mourning. One of the pioneers, a creative genius and in my personal case an exquisite person, said goodbye,” wrote the singer.


The Panamanian singer, musician, actor, and political activist-one of the most successful and influential salsa musicians of this era- shared a message dedicated to Pacheco. Blades highlights Pacheco’s live and legacy.