Born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York, Johnny Zamot experienced the hardships and economic problems familiar to most blacks and Hispanics.
Johnny was denied the luxury of pursuing his love of music. He attended public and trade school. However, in his spare time he followed his heart and taught himself to play all of the percussion instruments. One day he was faced with a decision which was to change the course of his life. It was whether to go into ship building or to strike out on his own as a professional musician. John inevitably chose music as his life’s work and Sociedad ’76 represents the culmination of 15 years in the music profession.
Johnny has recorded for several labels during his career including Decca, Grande, Mericana and Borinquen. He now records for Fania Records. As a composer he has written hit tunes such as “Fat Mama”, “La Historia de los Cueros”, “Amanecer” and “La Música P.R.”, and his original arrangements have won him fans in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States. He has played famous night spots in the local area including The Village Gate, Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden.
His interest in the youth and his success with students of all ages and economic backgrounds has convinced Johnny that music is the magic ingredient capable of motivating young Americans to a greater appreciation of the African Hispanic culture. His first experience with influencing young minds through music came with a summer program sponsored by the City of New York in which his orchestra played the street concerts in the South Bronx between 1976 and 1980. The enthusiasm for these concerts inspired Johnny to develop a musical program for the schools combining education and entertainment. His approach to the young mind is candid, straightforward and simple.
Johnny’s versatility is well-known. A leader with one of “Salsa’s” top bands, he is a percussionist, composer, conductor and producer.