Juan Carlos Calderón López de Arróyabe (1936 – 2012) was born in Santander (Spain) where he began his musical studies at a very young age. During his lifetime he would go on to become an inspired composer, arranger, talent scout and record producer.
By the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies he turned all his attention to Jazz. He recorded several albums: “Juan Carlos Calderón presenta a Juan Carlos Calderón” (awarded Premio Ondas), “Bloque 6” (republished by the record label Blue Note in 1996) and the three volumes of “Los Talleres de Música de Juan Carlos Calderón” (1974, 1975 and 1976). In 1978 “Solea”, an album of Jazz-Flamenco fusion, was recorded with important collaborations from artists such as Enrique Morente and Goyo Montero. In parallel to his Jazz output he also became prolific in the pop world, as an arranger, musical director and composer of film music and songs for the most important artists of the moment.
He arranged works for Joan Manuel Serrat (he wrote and directed the arrangements of his mythic album “Mediterráneo”), Luis Eduardo Aute, Los Brincos, El Dúo Dinámico, Raphael, Ana Belén, Victor Manuel, Mari Trini and a long list of Spanish singers of that era. Thanks to the record company Zafiro, he met the band Mocedades and Sergio & Estíbaliz, for whom he became the main composer and musical producer for over 14 years. Together they achieved many important successes that are still played worldwide today, the most famous being “Eres tú” that won second prize in Eurovision 1973, reached no. 1 in the international charts and has since been sung in many languages. Other hits with Mocedades and afterwards El Consorcio include: “¿Quién te cantará”, “Tómame o déjame”, “El vendedor” and “Secretaria», among many.
Being a composer and producer of renown in Spain, he moved with his family to the USA. In 1981 he met Herb Alpert, famous trumpeter and owner of the record company A&M. Together with Alpert he records “Fandango”, an album that reached the top of the US charts with tracks like “Route 101” and the title track «Fandango». During the years he produced many albums in Los Angeles and Madrid for artists from Spain, Mexico, South America and USA. These include: Maria Conchita Alonso, Ricky Martín, Alejandra Ávalos, Chavela Vargas, Myriam Hernández, Marcos Llunas, Edith Márquez, Lani Hall, etc.
In 1984 he started a professional relationship with Luis Miguel and composed and produced several albums with him, achieving a lot of international success with hits such as “La Incondicional”, “Fría como el viento”, “Entrégate”, “Culpable o no”, “O tú o ninguna” and many others.
His songs have also been performed by many international artists such as: Plácido Domingo, José José, Martika, Laura Branigan, Camilo Sesto, Nino Bravo, Pablo Abraira, Sheena Easton, Sergio Mendes, Ray Conniff, Richard Clayderman, Bing Crosby, Paul Mauriat, Perry Como, Pedro Vargas and Johnny Mathis, etcetera.
In his less known guise as a film composer, he has written for national and international movie directors such as Pedro Masó, Jaime de Armiñán, Luis Revenga, León Klimovsky and Germán Lorente.
Among his last works, the most remarkable are his musical direction, arrangements and adaptions for the album “Navidades Luis Miguel” which was released in 2006; his work on the album “Querido Juan” in 2008 with El Consorcio which saw his reconnect artistically with his friends of Mocedades and Sergio & Estíbaliz after a 20-year gap; and his production and arrangements for Marco Antonio Solis’ 2010 album “En total plenitud”.
He has won many international awards including Billboards, Grammies, ASCAPs, Premio Ondas, Premios SGAE, BMI, Premio Amigo, etc. But above all he prized having a life in which he never stopped creating.