B i o g r a p h y

Hard hitting conguero, Johnny Blas has performed and recorded in the world of Jazz and Latin music for over 25 years. Charismatic and intense, Johnny is a seasoned performer whose musicality extends as a percussionist, saxophonist, composer and band leader.

 

Johnny and his band put on a fierce show with swing, energy and heat  that can melt asphalt. Blas, a New York native influenced by the music of Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, Armando Peraza,  Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker and David Sandborn, exhibits a sound that is stylish and funky, an infusion of Latin Funk and Jazz with an Afro-Caribbean groove.

 

As a conguero, Johnny's  performances are passionate and fierce; his dynamic ability is displayed in both flashy solos as well as in more restrained interior lines.  Johnny Blas, an innovative performer, bandleader and composer showcases many of his own original arrangements on six Latin Jazz CD recordings under the famed CuBop label and has earned critical praise in the Latin and Jazz music press.

Boranda -   J&R Latin Records 2020

El Conguero- J&R Latin Records 2020

Baila Que Baila - J&R Latin Records 2019

That Night in L.A. - J&R Latin Records 2018

Indestructible Spirit - Ubiquity/Cubop Records 2007

King Conga - Ubiquity/Cubop Records 1999

Mambo 2000 - Ubiquity/Cubop Records 1998

Skin & Bones - Ubiquity/Cubop Records 1997

A Night in L.A. -  Corona RecordsMambo 1995

Johnny's adventurous and eclectic music is sought after and enduringly popular throughout Europe and is played in the Top 10 U.S. radio markets. 

 
Listed below is a brief overview of past venues, artists and companies that Johnny has worked for or with:
 
Venues:
WDCB 90.9 FM The Mac Summer Music Series, Chicago Fox  News, Chicago Jazz Festival, Oak Park Festival, Deer Park Jazz Festival, Shed Aquarium Jazz Nights, Elkhart Jazz Festival, Evanston Cultural Festival, Xavier Unviersity, KLON Radio, Bally's Total Fitness,  Catalina Bar & Grill, Steamers Jazz Cafe, Spaghettini's Seal Beach, Playboy Jazz Festival, NAMM Show, Cubby Bear Chicago, Navy Pier Chicago, and various Corporate and Private Events.
 
TV Appearances:
The Jaime Fox Show,
Dr Pepper Commercial with
Celia Cruz and Paulina Rubio
 
Johnny's resume includes working with or for top artists such as:
Francisco Aguabella, Mindi Abair, Chuck Loe, Boney James,  Jackiem Joyner, Greg Vail, Marc Quinones, Brenda Russel, Najee, Dave Pike, Greg Adams, Evelyn Champagne King, Max Bennett, Bobby Allende, Terry Gibbs, Dave Koz, Poncho Sanchez and many more.
 
Opened for:
Oro Solido, Eric Benet, La Sonora Poncena, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Oscar D'Leon, Con Funk Shun and many more
 
Original music used by:
Miller Beer Company, Dockers, Hermosa Beach Festival, The New Fantasy Island, Levis Strauss, Benson & Hedges