Puerto Rican born trompetista, Juancito Vélez
Torres, died peacefully at home in his sleep,
on July 27, 2003. He is survived by his wife,
Elsa, and her daughter, Marianela. Juancito was
sixty-seven years old.
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, on January 14, 1936,
Juancito, who became the trompetista for the Puerto
Rico All Stars, and Batacumbele, began his musical
studies at the age of eleven at the Free School
de Musica, and continued his studies at the Conservatory
of Music of Puerto Rico. He went on to perform
with some of the best artists of the era, including
the big band of Rafael Muñoz, To Stop Conception,
and Miguelito Miranda. Miranda was also his mentor.
Juancito participated actively in the New York
Mambo and Pachanga scene, performing with the
likes of Tito
Rodriguez, Noro Morales, Joe Quijano, Sexteto
Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentin,
and many other Latin Jazz musicians.