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|Born||Maryland, United States|
|Origin||Prince George's County, Maryland, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, songwriter, musical director, music arranger|
Rex Salas (born March 16, 1962) is a Grammy and Emmy Award nominated American record producer, songwriter, musical director, and music arranger. Best known in recent years for his work as the musical director for Janet Jackson on several of her tours, Salas has worked with Vanessa Williams, Justin Timberlake, Cher, Boyz II Men, Robert Palmer, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, JC Chasez, Earth, Wind and Fire, will.i.am, Robin Thicke, 50 Cent, Jessica Simpson, Nicole Scherzinger, Taylor Dayne, Lindsay Lohan, Adam Levine, Brandy, Maxwell, Leona Lewis, Brian McKnight, Teddy Pendergrass, The Isley Brothers, The Jacksons, UB40, Jeffrey Osborne, All-4-One, Johnny Gill, George Howard, Gladys Knight, The Gap Band, Lalah Hathaway, Jasmine Guy, Tatyana Ali, James Ingram, Corbin Bleu, Patti Austin, Lakeside, The Mac Band, Klymaxx, Chuckii Booker, The Dazz Band, Chanté Moore, Patrice Rushen, Tease, Atlantic Starr, Lenny Williams, Barbara Weathers, Miki Howard, Rebbie Jackson, Aly & AJ, Joyce Kennedy (Mother’s Finest), Paul Jackson, Jr., Brian Simpson, Vesta Williams, Level 42, Sheena Easton and more.
Salas was born on March 16, 1962 in Prince George’s County, Maryland to parents Tomas and Mary. He left Maryland as a young child and moved to California where he studied the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, eventually focusing on piano and keyboards as his main instruments.
Salas attended Carson High School in Carson, California, Salas was a cofounder of the band Tease, which recorded three albums on the RCA and CBS/Epic labels between 1983 and 1988.
Salas left Tease after the release of its first album, although several of his compositions were used in subsequent albums, and he was reunited with the band for a 1987 tour.
Songwriting and music production
As a member of Tease, Salas developed songwriting and arranging skills that would later aid him in producing recordings for multi-platinum artists including Vanessa Williams (for “The Right Stuff,” which earned Salas a Grammy nomination), and Boyz II Men (for “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday”, the 1991 song that was featured on the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon 3 and that at the time was the group’s biggest-selling single).
Salas has also recorded and produced other legendary artists through his company Racer-Ex Productions, including Earth Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers, The Jacksons, and the late Robert Palmer (see Artists Worked With).
Music direction and performance
Through the years Salas has continued to use his expertise in musical direction and as a keyboardist, and playing keyboards on two of singer Robert Palmer’s major tours in the late 1980s as well as music-directing three Janet Jackson world tours, including Jackson’s 1998 HBO TV special: The Velvet Rope: Live in Madison Square Garden, for which Salas was nominated for an Emmy award in the category Outstanding Music Direction for a TV show. Salas was also the musical director for TLC’s final “Fanmail Tour” as well as director for headlining tours with Maxwell, Brandy, Sheena Easton and Brian McKnight.
In 2009, Salas worked with The New York Symphonic Ensemble’s 37 piece orchestra on a live tour with Boyz II Men in Japan. In 2010 the show was released on CD via iTunes Japan.
In 2009, Rex musical-directed a show for Justin Timberlake at Elton John’s Aids Charity benefit in London, England and he also worked with Timberlake on his first Shriners Hospitals for Children benefit in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008, at which Salas was musical director for guest artists Lionel Richie, Rihanna, will.i.am, Leona Lewis, 50 Cent, Boyz II Men and Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5.
Salas is on the Faculty of the California College of Music in Pasadena, California.
1983 : Tease – Tease (keyboards and songwriting on various songs)
1986 : Tease (second album) – Tease (songwriting on various songs)
1988 : Remember – Tease (songwriting on various songs including the title track)
1988 : Heavy Nova – Robert Palmer (keyboards on Simply Irresistible)
1990 : The Right Stuff – Vanessa Williams (producer on six songs
1984: Fine Fine Fella – Patti Austin (keyboards)
1985 : If Your Heart Isn’t In It – Atlantic Starr (keyboards)
1985 : You Never Know When You’re Gonna Fall in Love – The Isley Brothers (songwriter)
1989 : You Only Come Out at Night – George Howard (keyboards/producer/songwriter)
1989 : All of My Love – The Gap Band (keyboards)
1990: Finishing Touch – Klymaxx (producer)
1990 : Just Want to Hold You – Jasmine Guy (producer)
1991 : The Comfort Zone – Vanessa Williams (keyboards)
1993 : It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday – Boyz II Men (co-producer)
1993 : Two Hearts – Earth, Wind and Fire (bass, keyboards, drum programming)
1994 : Separate Ways – Lalah Hathaway (keyboards)
1995 : Misused – The Mac Band (co-writer)
1996 : If Your Heart Isn’t In It – Atlantic Starr (keyboards)
Artists worked with
Salas has produced, written, arranged, played on albums and tracks by or performed with the following singers and groups:
- http://www.bsimpsonmusic.com/music_closerstill.htm Brian Simpson Music
- http://www.discogs.com/artist/Tease Discogs.com
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0208234/fullcredits Janet: the Velvet Rope
- http://www.ccmcollege.com/faculty/salas/ Rex Salas