Sangha Tierra

" I know I'll never be rich or famous in this industry... I don't need that nor want it... all I need is Music... Music is the only thing that has giving me that type of self awareness and belief that I can do anything that I set my mind to... and if that's wrong in any sense of being wrong???... then I don't ever want to be right .... "


That is a direct quote from the minds of one of the most misunderstood musicians in the music industry, who's career has spanned from 1986 to the present day... Juan Antonio Colon Jr. was born on February 24th 1974 in Jersey City, NJ... didn't think he would follow in the footsteps of the many musicians in his huge family....

" I loved music from as long as I remembered... My family always had something to do with music in someway... from playing professionally with bands to having "parrandas" in the house during Christmas time.... I would be the little kid in the corner imitating the movements of the drums or mimicking the instruments I would see them playing... until I found the instrument that would be mine... the trumpet "

In 1984, at the age of 10... he started studying music at Kealey School in Hoboken, NJ... where he lived with his mother when his parents separated....

"I would jump back & forth between them from Brooklyn to Hoboken... my father never liked that I played music at all.... He was totally against it and I wasn't allowed to practice ever in his house... but my mother did... she saw it as a way for me to stay out of trouble... she hated it when we lived in Brooklyn with my old man... so when she moved me, my brother & sister to Hoboken where she worked for the High School there, the first thing she did was encourage me to get into something constructive... music happen to be the thing for me... I practiced all the time and mostly with my ear... i was never a sight reading musician... but anything I heard i would imitate it... "

In July 25th 1984... Juan got into his 1st band... Ney Moreno & his Conjunto Quisqueya.... a local merengue band in Hoboken, NJ who like to use a lot of young musicians in the group to work for near to nothing but gain experience in the business....

"Can't remember a time Ney ( Moreno ) paid me for a gig.... even when I knew that it was a paid gig... he didn't... told me once that I needed to pay my dues and be glad that I'm working in a band... But I did have fun with him and met some long-time friends in the business that I still have 'til this day "

But Juan got his biggest break in the music business when he got to play with the legendary Salsa king, "El Cantante De Los Cantantes " Hector Lavoe at the Brooklyn Block Party on Montrose Ave ( the Avenue of Puerto Rico ) on June of 1986....

"I was playing there 1st with Ney... after our gig i was cooling down on my trumpet when one of the guys from Hector's band came over... ( it was Landy Sova, the band manager at the time )... he asked me if I was going home now and I said no... then asked me if I could read music and do another gig because the 2nd trumpet player was being a jerk to him and he didn't want him to play the gig... I said sure I'll do it... the other trumpet player showed me how to play the book... and then I got on the stage and did it... afterwords Hector came by me, hugged and thanked me & told me to practice his music for the next time he uses me and Landy came by me, took my number down, then gave me $50 bucks... I was so happy after that that I ran right to White Castle afterwords with my boys "

Juan would play with Lavoe again, but only the outdoor events he had... until he became a full-fledged member in September of 1988 and after that would work with other Salsa bands and other Artists in the other style of Music until he moved to Las Vegas, NV in 2000.... bands like Johnny Pacheco, The Four Tops, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Celia Cruz, Frankie Ruiz, La India, Ray Barretto, Frank Sinatra JR., Marc Anthony, Miles Pena, Juan Carlos Oliva Y La Progesiva, Son By 4, Lou Rawls, DLG, Benny Sadel, Oro Solido, Los Hermanos Moreno, Nell Diamond, Tito Nieves, Niel Sadaka, Tito Puente, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Viti Ruiz, Michael Stuart, Ray De La Paz, James Brown, Tito Gomez, and many, many others in the Salsa & RnB scene of the 90's plus many of the hottest local talent in the NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania area....

"I learned a lot of all the musicians I worked with in NY & NJ... In my opinion, some of the best players in the world... To better myself on Trumpet, I took lessons from every horn player I met... from Mac Gallahan to El Meastro Vitin Paz... I even started playing Trombone ( valve ) to pick up more work... I started learning more about arranging music from guys like Jose Febles and also became a music copyist by learning from Omar Castanos & my best friend Kevin Rodriguez.... and some of the bands that I worked with even gave me the Musical Director job in doing back up bands for out of town acts.... Things like that helped me understand the business better... until the music scene started dying out... "

In 2000, Juan moved to Las Vegas, NV after a life altering tour with then salsa newcomer Luis Damon...

" My mom had retired to Las Vegas in 1995... and she was at very poor health but didn't tell anyone in the family how she was doing... I couldn't leave her alone in this condition and since the music scene was hard in NY anyway... I decided to leave the tour early and stay and take care of her... and been in Vegas ever since "

But Juan's career didn't stop... he kept working as a musician with acts from Las Vegas like Gladys Knight, Engelbert Humperdink, The Temptations, The Cab Calloway Orchestra under CB Brooks, Wayne Newton, Clint Holmes and many others... even touring to Los Angeles from time to time to work with the biggest acts in the scene there for Salsa & R & B ...

This musical titan has always kept it real with an understanding that family & music are the way of life, while politics & business is second... so when you see this man, with his horn and hat, ready to hit the stage... be ready to live thorough his life with the music he plays... whether it be on trumpet, trombone, or him singing.... you won't be disappointed

Juan "Tiny" Colon - trumpet/trombone/vocals