RIP: Pepe"Papa Joe" Muñoz

Submitted by ub on Tue, 05/25/2021 - 13:22

I am saddened to inform you all that my daddy Papa Joe is now in heaven with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and The Lord.

He was such an amazing father, grandfather, husband, and performer. He had a standing command both at home and on stage. He lit up every space he entered and took hold of everyone’s hearts with his voice, and his music.

His heart and soul were felt every time he played a melody and sent everyone joy and happiness. My father always told me he never wanted anyone to be sad or cry when he died. He wanted a celebration of his life and music to carry on in the hearts of all who loved him.

He was a fighter and strong as hell, god just wanted him home. I ask all of you to please keep his memory alive, play his songs, and remember all the times you all were able to enjoy his music. He’s playing in heaven now and will always look over his family. Thank you all for loving him so much.

Anjelica Muñoz 

I first met Pepe Muñoz on Miami Beach while in high school. We kept in touch and remained friends and brothers from a different mother since then. Papa Joe played a fine guitar, whether it was electric or acoustic-unplugged. He was the Cuban BB King of the Blues. He died as a result of medical complications from a ruptured ulcer.

Papa Joe played with many greats, like Teddy Washington, former 1st trumpet player, and director for James Brown. Also, with Roy Roberts, who played with Steve Wonder, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Sam Cook. Additionally, some of the Latin greats, like Jose Fajardo, Paquito Echevarria, who played with Gloria Estefan, Afredito Rodriguez, Luis Santi, Willie Chirino, Richie Puente, Tito Puentes’ son, Patato Valdes, and many more.  Papa Joe’s first band was called the Wild Surfers.

Papa Joe grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, a world that is known as “South Beach.” He fell in love with the sport of surfing and went all the time with the other members of the Wild Surfers. They were so wild that they used to surf whenever there was a hurricane nearby. That’s why they called themselves the Wild Surfers. They played at just about every fraternity party and teenage dance hall around town. After that, Pap Joe went back to playing with a group called the Baby Blues, a band composed of 4 musicians: keyboards, bass, drums, and him on guitar. They traveled all over the country doing from one day to a week in different cities and towns. Now he is traveling all around the United States of America and has 2 CDs that are doing really well.

The 2nd CD’s title is “Nobody Nobody Home.” It features a crossover Latin song called “Se Le Fue La Guagua” which means “She Missed the Bus.” You’ve got to hear them, your feet won’t stop moving with these songs. They will make you sing, dance and everything else, what a groove !!! Papa Joe is a Cuban born and raised in the United States of America, arriving at Key West, Florida. At an early age, he took a big interest in Afro-American music listening to the greats like Ray Charles, BB King, James Brown, Ottis Redding, and many, many more. Papa Joe’s soulful powerful voice and guitar-playing talent are only matched by his stage persona. His talent as an entertainer leaves no one sitting on their lonely behinds. He feels what the fans want to hear and gets them all dancing and grooving all night long!!!

When in South Florida, live music fans went to his shows. They loved his Cuban Afro-Blues sound! The fans at a recent gig kept asking him for more and more songs. They kept screaming “one more, one more!!!” This bluesman has a unique style that catches all the different cultures from the Caribbean, South and Central America, and the European continent as well!!! Experience the Cuban-Salsa, Dominican Merengue, Colombian Cumbia, and Latin jazz. There are no words to describe the awesome talent of this maestro.

All we can say is get some of his CDs and you will love him too. Ride on, Captain.