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Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano
8 March 1940
|Died||28 July 2021 (aged 81)|
Santiago, Dominican Republic
|Mayor of Santo Domingo|
|Succeeded by||Roberto Salcedo Sr.|
In 2004, he received the Latin Grammy Award for Best Merengue/Bachata Album for his album Sin Desperdicio; also, he was nominated for Best Merengue Album (2006), Best Contemporary Tropical Album (2010) and Best Salsa Album (2016) categories. In 2006, he received the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2022, he entered the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He began his career as a singer when he presented himself with some friends in a program of devotees which was broadcast by La Voz de la Alegría weekly. The young Ventura, only 16 years of age, obtained first place of the participants. A little later, he started appearing in the programs of devotees which were sponsored by La Voz Dominicana. When Ventura Soriano appeared for the first time in the TV show: La TV busca una estrella, that was broadcast Friday night at seven, they rang the bell. In the following week, like a champion, Juan de Dios returned to be welcomed in the same competition. He practiced, worked and was crowned for the hit. Then he won first prize. Thereupon he won a lot of prizes in the devotees programs, until he was finally rewarded with the much desired scholarship which the broadcasting company, property of José Arismendy Trujillo Molina, gave for young talents. With La Voz Dominicana Juan de Dios studied music, vocal techniques and expression. This made Ventura one of the most famous singers in Latin America.
Ventura was elected Deputy to the National Congress from 1982 to 1986.
He was Vice Mayor of Santo Domingo, Capital of the Dominican Republic, from 1994 to 1998.
In 1959, Juan de Dios decided to take the name 'Johnny Ventura'. He started his career as a singer in several bands that presented themselves at the dances in La Feria. He worked with the orchestra of Rondón Votau and in 1961 with the band of the Dominican percussionist Donald Wild.
In 1962 he sang with Combo Caribe of Luis Pérez, with whom he recorded Cuidado Con el Cuabero, of which he was the author, and La Agarradera, of Luis Pérez. It was with this band that he recorded his first LP consisting of 12 songs.
In 1963, Johnny Ventura was recruited by the musical director Papa Molina to join La Super Orquesta San José, of which he was the director at that time. He joined as singer and as player of the güira. For two years Ventura was part of La Super Orquesta with stars such as Vinicio Franco and Grecia Aquino. Although no records remain of this group, this period was a landmark in his career.
In 1965, with his orchestra, Ventura recorded for the Fonogram label the albums La Coquetona, La Resbalosa and El Turun Tun Tun. In 1967 he travelled to the United States, where he immediately became a star. He is credited with the song "La muerte de Martin", with the voice of Luisito Martí, the Combo Show made their first golden record with Ah..! Yo No Se... No (1971).
Personal life and legacy
On 28 March 2020, Ventura announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic and was hospitalized. On 13 April 2020, he announced he had recovered and had tested negative for the coronavirus.
Ventura's son, Jandy, also a musician who has branded himself as "El Legado" (The Legacy), released Yo Soy El Merengue with his father eight months after his death. It's unclear whether they recorded the song before Johnny's death or whether Jandy used an old, unreleased recording of Johnny. Jandy also collaborated with Milly Quezada and Carlos Vives to release Buscando Al Caballo (Homenaje a Johnny Ventura) on May of 2022.
- La Agarradera Vol. 4 (1962)
- Cuidado con el Cuabero (1963)
- El Llorón (El Florón) (1964)
- 1920 y Otros Éxitos (1964)
- El Turun Tun Tun (1965)
- El Boogaloo Está en Algo (1965)
- La Resbalosa (1965)
- Siempre Pa' Lante (1966)
- Figurando (1966)
- El Papelito Blanco (1967)
- Noches en Quisqueya (1968)
- El Mamito (1968)
- Siempre en Órbita (1969)
- El Guataco (1970)
- Más Éxitos (1970)
- Ah..! Yo No Se... No (1971)
- Salsa y Algo Más... (1971)
- ¿Tú Sabes a Qué Yo Vine? Te Digo Ahorita (1972)
- Bambaraquiti (with Joseito Mateo) (1972)
- Traigo Mi Salsa... Pa' Tu Lechón (1972)
- Navidades En Merengues y Salves (with Rafael Colón) (1972)
- El Pingüino (1973)
- Acompaña a Sus Creaciones (1973)
- ...De Nuevo Presente (1973)
- Salsa! (1973)
- La Protesta de los Feos (1974)
- Un Poquito Para Atrás: Mamá Tingó (1974)
- El Hijo del Pueblo (1975)
- En Acción (1975)
- 12 Aniversario (1976)
- ¡El Que Venga Atrás Que Arree! (1976)
- Solo Para Bailadores (1976)
- Excitante (1977)
- El Disco Rayao (1977)
- 2 Aces al Tiro (with Rolando Laserie) (1977)
- Navidades Dominicanas (with Luis Alberti) (1977)
- Amar Es Vivir (with Rafael Colón) (1978)
- Presentando a Mi Nueva Cosecha (1978)
- En Su 15 Aniversario (1979)
- Yo Soy el Merengue (1980)
- Johnny Mucho... Mucho Johnny! (1981)
- Lo Que Te Gusta (1981)
- El Sueño (1982)
- Flying High (Volando Alto) (1983)
- Concierto de Amor (with Rafael Colón) (1983)
- Y Buena Que Está... María (1984)
- El Hombre y Su Música (1985)
- Navidad Sin Ti (1985)
- Capullo y Sorullo (1986)
- El Señor del Merengue (1986)
- Si Vuelvo a Nacer (1987)
- El Caballo... Una Leyenda (1988)
- Ayer y Hoy (1989)
- Quisqueya y Borinquen (1990)
- Éxtasis (1990)
- 35 Aniversario Con Sus Invitados (1992)
- Siempre (1993)
- Retoñando (1994)
- El Gran Encuentro del Combo Show (1995)
- Como el Café (1996)
- Sin Desperdicio (2003)
- 103 Boulevard (2006)
- Volvió la Navidad (2009)
- El Viejo Ta' en la Calle (2013)
- Tronco Viejo (2016)
- 12 Grandes Éxitos (1960)
- Vamos a Bailar Merembé (1968)
- Super Hits (1973)
- En Alas de Quisqueyana (1976)
- Super Hits Vol. 3 (1977)
- Salsa y Más Salsa (1977)
- Por el Campeonato Mundial! (with Wilfrido Vargas) (1977)
- Sonido Negro (1979)
- 14 Éxitos de Johnny Ventura (1981)
- Las Tapas (1981)
- Un Saludo al Diputado: 14 Éxitos Vol. 2 (1982)
- Classic: Con Su Sabor Original (1985)
- 16 Éxitos (1987)
- 20 Éxitos en Salsa (1991)
- Los Reyes del Merengue (con Wilfrido Vargas) (1991)
- 12 Golden Hits (1993)
- Grandes Éxitos (1993)
- The Best (1994)
- Brillantes (with Sergio Vargas) (1994)
- El Rey y la Reina del Merengue (con Milly Quezada) (1996)
- Cara a Cara (with Sergio Vargas) (1997)
- El Disco de Oro (1997)
- 40 Aniversario: En Vivo (1998)
- Palo Bonito (1999)
- 20th Anniversary (1999)
- Merenguero Hasta la Tambora (2000)
- Oro Merenguero (2000)
- El Oro del Caballo Negro (2001)
- 22 Ultimate Hits Series (2002)
- Serie Azul Tropical (2003)
- Soy (2004)
- 10 de Colección (2005)
- ¡Oye Que Rico Mami... Salsa! (2006)
- 20 Éxitos Originales (2006)
- El Rey del Merengue (2007)
- Mis Favoritas (2011)
- Edwards, Gavin (29 July 2021). "Johnny Ventura, Who Created the Sound of Modern Merengue, Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
- "Johnny Ventura publica video tras contagiarse de COVID-19".
- Latin Recording Academy. "ARTIST - Johnny Ventura". Retrieved 10 September 2023.
- The Latin Recording Academy (ed.). "Premio a la excelencia musical". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
- Bush, John. "Biography: Johnny Ventura". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Johnny Ventura Elegido Alcalde en R. Dominicana". 18 May 1998.
- de Fontenay, Sounni (7 December 1998). "International Latin Music Hall of Fame". Latin American Rhythm Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "International Latin Music Hall of Fame announces inductees for 2003". 3 March 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Premiarán a Paloma San Basilio, Vázquez, Ventura, Gieco". Terra Networks (in Spanish). 30 August 2006. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- Edwards, Gavin (29 July 2021). "Johnny Ventura, Who Created the Sound of Modern Merengue, Dies at 81". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
- "Johnny Ventura hospitalizado tras dar positivo a coronavirus".
- "Johnny Ventura: Dominican merengue legend dies aged 81". BBC. 29 July 2021.
- "Muere de un infarto el merenguero dominicano Johnny Ventura, en SD". Al Momento. 28 July 2021.