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|Johnny Ventura, November 2011|
|Full name||Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1940-03-08) March 8, 1940 (age 77)|
|Origin||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic|
|Profession(s)||Singer, bandleader, lawyer, politician, author|
Johnny Ventura (Santo Domingo, March 8, 1940) is a Dominican merenguero popularly known as El Caballo Mayor . Ventura was very popular in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s in the Dominican Republic.
Musician who innovated with his lyrics and his sticky rhythm accompanied by his band El Combo-Show. It was a different sound for the time but it enjoyed the acceptance of a big fan that started to follow him. His “combo-show” this name referring to combo as a limited number of people and show for the visual show and the movements they made when they were on stage. Ventura modernized the merengue rhythm introducing saxophones, trumpets, piano, drums, electronic effects, timbales, and incorporating elements of other rhythms but without losing the essence and natural colors of the merengue. when the merengue only had the güira, tambora and accordion and was played at a slower pace than is currently known and Johnny Ventura and his Combo-Show were well ahead of their time. I was also credited with having made a meringue faster and moved this because in the 50s and 60s the merengue was slow and without that characteristic strength of the current merengue.
Ventura was born on March 8, 1940 in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and from a young age dreamed of becoming the best architect in the country without suspecting that the economic limitations that surrounded him, would block his entry to the university.
Decides then to enroll in the Commercial Institute Ercina Chevalier, from there, to make a Commercial Secretariat, consisting of typing, shorthand, accounting and archiving, that is, a short career that would allow him later, to enter the labor market and produce money so you can continue your university studies.
Fate had prepared a strange move: in the institute cultural activities were carried out and Johnny, in order to please the girls of the institute participated, acting as a singer, dancer, declaimer and animator. Andrés Araujo and Sergio Jiménez, classmates, urged him to participate in the amateur programs of the time; more, as he resisted, he was tricked into the Voice of Joy. Challenged by them, rehearsal, singing and won the first place. This happened one afternoon on Thursday, June 2, 1956. Since that important day for popular art in the Dominican Republic, 54 years have passed.
Johnny studied singing and music at the Voz Dominicana school, a radio and television company, whose school of announcers, called Héctor J. Díaz, graduated as a microphone professional.
During his artistic life he has traveled his art through different countries of the world, among them, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Aruba, Canada, Jamaica; Venezuela, Curacao, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Saint Croix, Saint Marteen, Saint Thomas, Martiniqués, Guadalupe, Vieques, Tortola, Nassau, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba. In Europe Almost the entire continent and the United States by almost all the states and cities that make up the American Union.
He was part of the orchestra His Majesty of Rondon Votau, along with Carmen Severino and Nini Caffaro and after several groups, among which we have La Súper Orquesta San José led by maestro Papa Molina, in the last days of the year In 1961, he joins the group of Luis Pérez, with whom he recorded for the first time in February 1962. Johnny Ventura is the composer of 70% of the music he performs and is the arranger of at least 80% of the music that He has recorded.
The Johnny Ventura Combo Show was declared 9 times, as the Combo of the Year, by the prestigious American magazine Record World, whose Latin area was hosted by the prominent Cuban journalist Tomas Fondora; Johnny Ventura has to his credit more than 4,800 plaques and awards granted by different public and private entities of the world.
He has received innumerable recognitions from various governments and mayors of the world, where the keys of the respective cities were granted. In some countries, where he had the glory to be the first merenguero to arrive, were declared days in his honor.
His discography is composed of 105 recordings, being the most prolific Dominican artist in that sense, and whose recordings have been awarded with 28 gold records, 2 platinum records plus a Latin Grammy in 2004 and a Grammy Award for Excellence for his career in 2006.
In the city of Miami, Johnny was the King of 8th Street in 1987; at the carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia, he won 4 Congos de Oro and was the first Dominican artist to win the coveted Silver Torch that gives the popular appeal of the audience attending the Viñas del Mar festival in Chile.
In his country, he has won all the prizes awarded to artists and is part of the exclusive group that has received The Sovereign, which is the highest award given by the Association of Art Writers of the Dominican Republic. He was also awarded by the New York ACE.
He was also decorated by the Dominican Congress, as the merenguero of the Century, at the beginning of the year 2000 he was also the first Dominican artist to be invited to the inauguration of a North American president in 1974 when Jimmy Carter won.
Johnny Ventura is a lawyer by profession, graduate Summa Cum Laude of the university of the Third Age, in Santo Domingo his native Dominican Republic, has more than 43 years active in the politics of his country coming to occupy positions such as; Deputy, Vice-Mayor, Mayor and currently Ambassador appointed by the President of the Republic Dr. Leonel Fernández.
Many consider him as the Father of the Modern Merengue, others call it the Joy of the Country, the Merengue of the Century, the Living Legend of the Merengue, the National Industry of Happiness, the Elder Horse, The Lord of Merengue or The Son of the Town this is our Johnny Ventura.
In 1965, with his orchestra, Ventura recorded the LP La Coquetona, La Resbalosa and El turun tun tun for the label Fonograma.
In 1967 he traveled to the United States, he also appeared in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Curaçao. With the songs La Muerte de Martín and Ah no, I do not know no, in the voice of Luis Martí, the Combo Show reached its first Gold album.
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