RIP Johnny Polanco

Posted on Jun 9, 2015

I received the sad news late last week that Los Angeles based multi instrumentalist and bandleader Johnny Polanco died of a heart attack. Polanco was an amazing musician who excelled on trombone, tres, vibes, violin and practically whatever instrument he would get his hands on.  He also led a crack band which featured the legendary Artie Webb on flute and the talented Manny Silviera on bass.  He was introduced to me by his then manager, empresario Albert Torres in the late 1990’s and I had the pleasure of working as DJ to his first gigs in the SF Bay Area.

Due to the power and swing of Polanco’s music, he became a frequent visitor to the SF Bay Area.  He last visited SF when his band backed up Jose Alberto “El Canario” at Roccapulco in a recent visit. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Johnny when I last visited L.A. in early January.  A gentleman, a true professional and a nice guy are the memories that I have of Johnny Polanco.  He now joins the big descarga in the heavens. Fortunately, we have 3 recordings with his Conjunto Amistad and I have memories of past good times.  RIP