Born on June 7 1957 and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic. Baptized with the name Juan Luis
Guerra-Seijas given by his parents, the late basketball player Gilberto Guerra
and mother Olga Seijas. In his days of youth Guerra used to perform at school
meetings singing sentimental songs. After finishing high school he enrolled in
Philosophy and Literature in the Autonomic University of Santo Domingo,
realizing after one year that music was his true vocation, and changes the
course of his studies to the National Music Conservatory where he finally
graduates. At that moment Guerra was a great admirer of very different
musicians like cuban Pablo Milanes and english rock band "The
In the midst of many expectations Guerra released Bachata
Rosa (1990), being the first edited on compact disc and the most successful
from a commercial point of view, selling up until then 5 million copies and
achieving the highest peaks in his career. The album's accomplishment filled
stadiums and coliseums all around Latin America and Europe.
It became a Grammy winner, the first for Guerra, who also was chosen as one of
the presenters of the ceremony for that year next to canadien singer Celine
Dion. On this recording Juan Luis gives the "bachata" rhythm world
recognition, only known in dominican territory. Most of the album's songs are
classics in latin music. "Burbujas de amor", "Estrellitas y Duendes"
and "La Bilirrubina" traveled the world, among other ones.
During February 2006, he was the opening act and special
guest for the legendary "Rolling Stones" in San
Juan, Puerto Rico. That same month
he performed for the 2nd time in his career in the Chilean "Festival Vina
del Mar" earning the "Antorcha de Oro" (golden torch) award from
the audience for his memorable performance. In March of that same year, he
performed in the last three concerts of his tour, in Bogota
and Cali, Colombia
and in Hollywood, Florida at the Hard Rock Live. In April he
was honored by BMI's singer/songwriter association, where he was named a Music
Icon. During that same month, he performed live with British artist Sting
singing the last song of his concert ("Fragile") at Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic.
In May, he joined Alejandro Sanz, Carlos Vives and other artists in furthering
Juanes' cause "Colombia
without mines", through a concert successfully held in Los Angeles.
During the second half of 2006, Guerra more than once hit
the number one spot in popularity charts with duets with Diego Torres (Abriendo
caminos) and Mana (Bendita la luz). This last song with Mana was a great
success, and occupied the number 1 spot in Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks. Juan
Luis also participated in the song's video and made a live appearance with the
group during the Latin Grammys and the "Premios Principales"
celebrated in Spain.
Guerra is currently promoting the first single of his new
album. The song, entitled "The key to my heart" is a Mambo with
tropical fusions. The song's video has a special appearance by upcoming
Dominican Hollywood actress Zoe Saldana. There is an English version of the
song for the English-speaking market entitled "Medicine for my soul".
Juan Luis Guerra's new album will be available next March 20. Guerra has said
that this is his most romantic album yet, and has confirmed that the album will
have merengues, salsas, bachatas and folk merengue, aside from mambo. The album
also includes a guitar/voice theme.