From the 23 de Enero neighborhood of Caracas to Cologne – Germany
October 4, 1952: Javier Ernesto Plaza Castillo was born in the Tiro al Blanco area of the Sarría neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a musician, percussionist, singer, and composer.
Javier Plaza is a great and veteran Venezuelan sonero that was trained in the 23 de Enero parish.
He started his professional career as a member of groups such as Rumbón 10, Sexteto Juventud, and Enrique “Culebra” Iriarte y Su Orquesta. It was “Culebra” who allowed him to be one of the singers of the orchestra.
He participated in records from different groups such as José Rosario y Sus Soneros, Federico y Su Combo, and El Clan de Victor.
Javier visited Cali to promote his album “Con Sabor a Coco” and had the opportunity to listen to his live music accompanied by the Coimbre Orchestra formed by young musicians from Cali at the Baile Swing Latino Academy in March 2011. Without a doubt, it was a unique experience, Javier demonstrated that he is a true sonero.
In the early ’80s, Plaza created his band called Orquesta Café in the company of Joe Ruiz and Carlos Espósito, making possible the recording of one of his most important songs.
Sometime later, he participated in the group called Combo Ventú established in Paris.
In Europe, he participated in different groups and collaborated in recordings and performances of other artists.
Thanks to the performances with the Combo Ventú group, the Conexión Latina Orquesta’s director, contacted him, he has continued to remain in this orchestra for 18 years, being now the most ancient musician of the group.
He has also participated in groups such as: Kimbiza, La Charanga Nueva de Alfredo Cutuflá, pianist Francisco Zumaqué, Salsamanía, César “Chino” Pérez and Gerardo Rosales. All this without dropping his responsibilities to the Conexión Latina orchestra.
Thanks to the orchestra, he has had the opportunity to accompany international figures in Latin music such as Luis Perico Ortiz, Ismael Miranda, Adalberto Santiago, and Camilo Azuquita, among others.
Since 1992, Javier Plaza has been managing his personal project, which is the Son-Risa Orchestra. Additional to that, he has performed two productions titled “Libre Soy” and “Mi Música” and most of the songs of his authorship.
Javier Plaza is one of the most recognized Venezuelan percussionists in Europe, with a career spanning more than 20 years in the salsa and Latin music industry. Do you want to know more about him? Here are the details.
While growing up, music was one of the most important things, and practiced different instruments with friends and family. Among those friends were future stars such as Bitervo Plaza, José “Cheo” Navarro, and Alfredo “Cutuflá” Franchesqui.
In the mid-’70s, his career took off when he joined different Latin bands such as Rumbón 10, Sexteto Juventud, and Enrique “Culebra” Iriarte, and his orchestra; this allows him to open the doors to a new recording market from the hand of producer Víctor Mendoza.
After many years, Alfredo Cutuflá invited him to join the Combo Ventú group in Paris with other Venezuelan musicians.
This is when Plaza started a career in Europe playing with different bands and in projects by other artists.
Thanks to the Combo Ventu group’s connections, the Conexion Latina orchestra’s manager offered him to join the group in Munich, Germany, and from that moment he has been in this band for 18 years.
Currently, he is still in Germany, working on his project that is the salsa band Son-Risa and his mission is to spread the Venezuelan flavor throughout Europe.