After crafting sunset sounds since 1975, Ibiza legend José Padilla of Café del Mar fame passes on after battling Colon Cancer.
Legends pass the torch on, and cultures thrive thanks to the efforts of the talents that make part of the patchwork quilt we share of experience. Revelers of Ibiza will undoubtedly feel the passing of the legendary José Padilla. Credit Padilla with an undeniable legacy after becoming a DJ in 1975.
This past July José announced a battle with colon cancer. He had exhausted his own funds and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds. In August he announced he was recovering from surgery. José passed on the island he loved (Ibiza) at Can Misses Hospital just outside Ibizatown. He was 64.
While we mourn his passing, let us look back on the body of work left to us to celebrate the career of this talent.
José represents a marked different end of the electronic world. Heralded as the godfather of chillout and sunset sets, José Padilla crafted the sounds of Ibiza‘s now-famous sunset strip – the place where so many travelers journey to enjoy a cocktail, a sunset, and a soothing pallet of sound to ease their troubles away.
Padilla’s most famous accolade is his work with the illustrious Café del Mar brand and its headquarter venue in Ibiza – the grandfather of sunset clubs around the world. He was never solely focused on the technical aspects of beatmatching or mixing, but instead related to the atmosphere of the moment where people could keep dancing or keep their feet moving. Just watch this Bolier Room set from 2017 for evidence.
Born in Barcelona, José stepped onto the White Island well before the mega-clubs took over. He crafted the first Café del Mar compilation in 1994 and continued to do so even in the later years of his career. While José departed a Café del Mar residency in the mid-2000s, he continued to DJ. Recently he tackled new creative works with Corona performing and curating efforts under the Corona SunSets brand worldwide – including locales such as Okinawa in Japan, Playa del Carmen in Mexico, and Punta del Este in Uruguay.
José was likewise an accomplished producer: he celebrates life in his three original albums: 1998’s Souvenir, 2001’s Navigator, and 2015’s So Many Colors; and one collaborative album, 2013’s Binary Sun with Kirsty Keach. Numerous singles over the decades of his career found their ways onto chill-out and lounge compilations around the world. He even remixed more than a few artists: most recently he proudly discussed the pleasure of remixing Norah Jones.
Perhaps the greatest memory to carry on the spirit of José Padilla is simply that he lived his life sharing the music he loved with the world. Padilla offered a mellow vibe and brought good memories to people around the world, always sharing that one special relationship where everyone was simply his amigos. José Padilla will be missed, but his legacy will live on. Rest in peace.