Juan Luis Guerra

Juan Luis Guerra

Infobox musical artist
Name = Juan Luis Guerra
Born = birth date and age|1957|06|7
Origin =flagicon|Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Latin Pop
Occupation =
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts =
URL =
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments = Guitar, Piano.

Juan Luis Guerra Seijas (born June 7, 1957) is a Dominican singer, songwriter, and self-producer who has sold over fourteen million records worldwide and has won numerous awards, including ten Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, and two Latin Billboard Music Awards. He won 5 Latin Grammy awards in 2007 in the same night which ties him with Juanes to hold the record for most Latin Grammys won in one night. He was born in Santo Domingo and is the son of Olga Seijas and Gilberto Guerra, a basketball player.

He is one of the most internationally recognized Dominican artists in decades past. His pop style of Merengue and Bolero and Afro-pop/Latin fusion have garnered him considerable success outside the Dominican Republic. Juan Luis Guerra is sometimes associated with the popular Dominican music called Bachata, and while this association is partially true, he actually uses the basics of Bachata rhythm with a more Bolero feel to the melodies in some of his songs. He does not limit himself to one style of music, instead, he incorporates diverse rhythms like merengue, Bolero-Bachata, Balada, Salsa, Rock & Roll, and Gospel. "Ojalá Que Llueva Café" is one of his most critically acclaimed self-written and composed pieces. A remix of "La Llave De Mi Corazón" with Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas is also an example of his fusing of different genres.

Career

After his return to the Dominican Republic, he released his first album, "Soplando" (1984) with a group of local musicians that subsequently became known as "Juan Luis Guerra y 440."The group members were Maridalia Hernandez, Roger Zayas-Bazan, and Mariela Mercado. Note that the band's name in Spanish is officially publicized as "Cuatro Cuarenta" ("Four Forty"), a shortening of the normally strict reading of number "four hundred and forty." The 440 part of the band's name refers to the standard tuning of A440. Reportedly the name for the band came from a practice session where Juan Luis's brother suggested the name because the name would reflect how "in-tune and precise they were."

Two albums followed, "Mudanza y Acarreo" and "Mientras más lo pienso ... tú". The band garnered some fame in their country, and were nominated to attend the Festival of OTI (Organization of Iberoamerican Television) to represent the Dominican Republic.

Their next album, in 1989, brought them international fame. "Ojalá que Llueva Café" ("If only it would rain coffee"), a slow melodic number with superfast background tracks, became a number one hit in many Latin American countries, with the hit song of the same name. Subsequently, a video of the hit song was filmed and Juan Luis Guerra and his 440 band began touring. (The song's fame was revived in 1996 with a cover by Café Tacuba). In 1990, they released their next album, "Bachata Rosa", which became a major hit and earned him his first Grammy award. The album, having sold more than five million copies at that time, allowed Guerra to keep touring Latin America, USA and Europe. This album contains memorable love songs such as "Burbujas de Amor" (Bubbles of Love), "Bachata Rosa", "Rosalia", "Como Abeja al Panal" (Like a Bee to the Beehive), "A Pedir Su Mano" (To Ask For Your Hand), "Carta de Amor" (Love Letter), and "Estrellitas y Duendes" (Little stars and elves).

Guerra became a controversial figure in 1992 after he released his next album, "Areíto" (which is a Tai­no word for "song and dance"). It featured the hit single "El costo de la vida," (The Cost of Life), whose video version was banned in several countries because it had an "anti-American" undertone, this due to the fact that there is a generalized underlying fear in Latin America of broadcasting public criticisms against the United States. The video has also been interpreted as anti-capitalist. Other songs also included protests against the poor conditions in many Latin American countries, the celebration of the discovery of the Americas ("1492"), and the double standards of first-world nations.

That situation might have had something to do with his next album, "Fogaraté" (1995), where he stayed away from recording any protest songs. This album is particularly centered in the more rural and lesser known types of Dominican music, like the "Perico Ripiao".

Guerra's 1998 release "Ni es lo Mismo ni es Igual" (It's not the same nor is it equal) garnered much critical acclaim, winning three Latin Grammys in 2000 for Best Merengue Performance, Best Tropical Song, and Best Engineered Album. Its hits include "Mi PC" (My PC), "Quisiera" (I Would Like To), and "El Niágara En Bicicleta" (Niagara on bicycle).

In 2004, Guerra released his first new album in six years. Entitled "Para Ti" (For you), the album's songs are mostly religious in nature, reflecting Guerra's fervent Christianity (though not Roman Catholic). With this album the singer won two awards at the 2005 Billboards, in the categories of Gospel-Pop and Tropical-Merengue, for the hit single "Las Avispas", the first time ever that one song has won these two categories at the same time. Other hits included "Para Ti" and "Soldado" ("Soldier"). At the same time, Guerra was honored with the Latino Special Award for the Music Academy of Spain for his contributions to the music of his country and the Caribbean in the last 20 years.

In January 2006, Juan Luis performed at Berklee's 60th anniversary along with other artists such as Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Michael Camilo and Chiara Chivello. That same year, he recorded with Diego Torres in "Abriendo Caminos" and with Maná in "Bendita Tu Luz".

Notably, Juan Luis Guerra was part of the highest grossing music tour of all time, as he was the opening act for the The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour at their San Juan, Puerto Rico show in February, 2006.

He was also invited by Sting to sing with him at a concert at Altos de Chavón, La Romana in the Dominican Republic in 2006. At the Premio Lo Nuestro awards in 2007, he was given the honorary lifetime achievement award. He also performed the lead single of his new album, "La Llave De Mi Corazón," released in March 2007.

"La llave de mi corazón" reached number one on the Billboard charts for four consecutive weeks, and was the #1 selling album in Colombia while climbing the charts in other countries Fact|date=September 2007.

Juan Luis Guerra was honored at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2007 with 5 awards, sweeping each category he was nominated in: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Tropical Song & Best Merengue Album. The engineers of the album, Allan Leschhorn, Luis Mansilla, Ronnie Torres, and Adam Ayan were awarded Best Engineered album. One night prior to the Latin Grammy Awards he received the Academy's Person of the Year Award for his contribution to Latin music and for his philanthropy.

On March 10th 2008, Juan Luis was honored with 6 awards in los Premios Casandra, the most important award event in the Dominican Republic. He won for Orchestrator of the year, Outstanding artist abroad, Music album of the year for La Llave de mi Corazón and "El Soberano" (The Sovereign), the most important award of the night.

Juan Luis Guerra won more than 20 awards with this CD, including 5 Latin Grammy Awards, 6 cassandra, 4 billboard Awards, 2 lo nuestro, and one Grammy Award.

On March 16th 2008 He and other artists participated in the concert (Paz sin Fronteras) raised by Juanes, because of the conflict in recent days between Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.

On April 11th 2008 Juan Luis Guerra was the Billboard Latin awards big winner, with 7 nominations and 3 awards.

Singing in other languages

Guerra has recorded several songs in English, like "July 19th" on his "Fogaraté" release (1995), and more recently "Medicine for My Soul" and "Something Good" with Italian singer Chiara Chivello. Some of his songs have verses in both English and Spanish such as "Woman del Callao," "Guavaberry," "Señorita" and more recently "La Llave de Mi Corazón". Album "Areíto" featured two songs, cover-title song "Areíto" and "Naboria daca, mayanimacaná" which are sung in the Arawak language of the extinct Taino natives of Hispaniola.

Lyrical style

Being a native Dominican, his music is heavily influenced by native caribbean rhythms, such as Bachata and Son. His lyrics are often charged with intentional silly, heavily metaphorized erotic, or popular expressions, such as "Burbujas de Amor" (Bubbles of Love):

Spanish:

Or "El Niagara en Bicicleta" (Niagara on Bicycle):

Spanish:

The song title is in fact a popular expression for something difficult or impossible to achieve

Discography

*"Soplando" — 1983
*"Mudanza y Acarreo" — 1984–1985
*"Mientras más lo pienso tú" — 1986
*"Ojalá que llueva Café" — 1988
*"Bachata Rosa" — 1990
*"Areíto" — 1992
*"Fogarate" — 1994
*"Grandes Exitos Juan Luis Guerra y 440" — 1995
*"Ni Es Lo Mismo Ni Es Igual" — 1998
*"Para Ti" — 2004
*"La Llave de mi Corazón" — March 19, 2007
*"La Llave de mi Corazón" (Special Edition Second Release) — October, 2007
*"Archivo Digital 4.4" — November, 2007

Singles in Charts- Peak Positions

*1989 Ojala que llueva cafe - 21
*1990 Como Abeja Al Panal - 31
*1990 Burbujas de amor - 02
*1991 Frio Frio - 04
*1991 Estrellitas y Duendes - 03
*1991 Cartas de Amor - 35
*1991 Bachata Rosa - 15
*1992 Senales De Humo - 06
*1993 Rompiendo Fuente - 27
*1993 Mal De Amor - 04
*1993 Coronita De Flores - 04
*1994 Vivire - 05
*1994 Cuando te Beso - 28
*1995 El Beso de la Ciguatera - 25
*1998 Mi PC - 01
*1999 Palomita Blanca - 01
*1999 El Niagara en Bicicleta - 02
*2001 Tu - 28
*2001 Quisiera - 33
*2004 Las Avispas - 04
*2005 Para Ti - 17
*2007 Que Me Des tu Carino - 02
*2007 La Travesia - 03
*2007 La Llave de Mi Corazón - 01
*2008 Solo Tengo Ojos Para Ti - 28
*2008 Como Yo -

440 Members

*Roger Zayas
*Maridalia Hernandez
*Mariela Mercado
*Marco Hernandez (replaced Maridalia Hernandez)
*Adalgisa Pantaleon (replaced Mariela Mercado)
*Quico Rizek (replaced Marco Hernandez)

References

*cite book|author=Manuel, Peter|title=Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae
*List of composers by nationality

External links

* [http://www.juanluisguerra.net/ Official website] English/Spanish. With forum for fans.
* [http://www.juanluisguerra440.com/ Official Fan website, created in 1998]
* [http://home.earthlink.net/~rrurena/jlg/index.html lyrics to all albums until 2004 with glossary]
* [http://www.iasorecords.com/Juan-Luis-Guerra.cfm Biography of Juan Luis Guerra (with particular focus on his relationship to bachata)]
* [http://www.bonche.com/bonche/photo-albums/display.php?language=es&album=628&photo_number=21#300 Juan Luis Guerra at Bonche.com]
* [http://www.berkleemusic.com/scholarship/Juan_Luis_Guerra Juan Luis Guerra Online Scholarship From Berklee College of Music]
* [http://www.cyloop.com/juanluisguerra Juan Luis Guerra at Cyloop.com]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0346045/bio]
* [http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Juan%20Luis%20Guerra:1927065926:page=biography]
* [http://latinmusic.about.com/od/artistsen/p/PROJLGUERRA.htm]
* [http://latinmusic.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=latinmusic&cdn=entertainment&tm=241&gps=57_25_1276_875&f=00&su=p284.8.150.ip_&tt=11&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.guavaberry.net/idiomas/english/index.htm]
* [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761588893/Guerra_Juan_Lu%C3%ADs.html]


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