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Juan Morel Campos

Juan Morel Campos (May 16, 1857May 12, 1896) was a Puerto Rican composer, considered by many to be responsible for taking the genre of danza to its highest level.

Early years

Campos was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and began to study music at the young age of eight in his hometown under the guidance of Antonio Egipciaco. He learned to play practically every Brass instrument. Campos was one of the founders and directors of the "Ponce Firemen's Band" (La Banda de Bomberos del Parque de Bombas de Ponce).

First composition

Later, Campos became a student of the composer Manuel Gregorio Tavarez, "The Father of the Danza". Campos' first danza composition was called "Sopapos". The influence of Tavarez, plus the particular style developed by Campos can be listened to in his music today.

Most of Campos' danzas were written for dances, because Campos had his own dance orchestra, "La Lira Ponceña". He modified his compositions so that they may also be played on piano. Campos is mostly known for his danza compositions even though he also composed Waltzes, Symphonies, Marches and Overtures.

Campos' inspiration came mostly from women and love. His great love was a lady named Mercedes Arias, but her family did not approve of their relationship (Possibly because of racial differences). It was from that frustrated "love" that many of Campos' beautiful danzas were born. "Maldito Amor" (Damned Love) is an example.

Among his best known compositions are "Felices Dias' (Happy Days), "No Me Toques" (Do Not Touch Me), "Idilio" and "Maldito Amor" (Damned Love).

Later years

Juan Morel Campos suffered a stroke on April 26, 1896 during a concert in Ponce. He died of the stroke soon thereafter on May 16, in the City of Ponce.

Among the honors and recognitions bestowed on Juan Morel Campos are the following: The Free School of Music Juan Morel Campos in San Juan. There is a Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn, New York and a Jr. High School in Ponce. There is a monument to Juan Morel Campos in the "Parque las Delicias" in Ponce and a section of the city (a barriada) is also named after him. On May 23, 1984, the Government of Puerto Rico declared May 16 of every year to be celebrated as "Juan Morel Campos Day" and that November 23 be known as "The Day of the Composer". In 2001, Campos was poshumously inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. His nephew Pedro Albizu Campos went on to become a famous political leader.

See also

External links

You may listen to "No me toque" by Juan Morel Campos: Here

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