Cheo (aka José Luis Pardo) is an artist, guitar player, DJ, songwriter and music producer based in Brooklyn, NY; also known for his career as founder and director of dance/funk band Los Amigos Invisibles. 

Cheo holds a Latin Grammy and has achieved another ten nominations, (seven as an artist, three as producer) making his mark and carving his own space in the dance music genre. 

He has compiled a soulful body of impressive work over the years, this is reflected in every work he does: studio recordings, live shows, DJ sets, remixes, compilation albums, mix tapes, podcasts, etc. 

Pardo started his DJ career in Caracas, Venezuela around 1995, warming up the shows with his band. Club owners immediately became interested in his eclectic taste and in his ability to fill the dance floor. 

Soon after, Cheo was hosting a weekly residence (“Super Sancocho Variety”), which ran for more than two years, and gave him the bug for making his own remixes and edits for his DJ Sets. 

In 2001, he moved to New York with his band  and soon became part of the dance scene of the city, landing opening slots in places like Centrofly, Cielo, Shine and parties like Giant Step, PS-1 warm up series, Punchy and Roots. 

His work caught the attention of legendary DJ producer Little Louie Vega who took him under his wing and made him the guitar player for a lot of his remixes as well as his album “Elements of Life”. Blue Six, Nicodemus, Sir Piers and Dimitri from Paris started calling Pardo to add his flavor as a guitar player to their music. 

In 2007, Cheo released a remix compilation called: “Will Work for Fun”. The success of the album was followed up by his first solo EP-1 and an LP called “Free”(Nacional Records) released in 2011. That same year, he started collaborating with soul singer Manchildblack releasing music under the name “The Copasetic” and started experimenting with Venezuelan music in what became his trio “Los Crema Paraiso” with Neil Ochoa and Alvaro Benavidez. They made two critically acclaimed albums: “El debut” and “De película”. NPR  declared the latter, one of the ten favorite albums of 2015. Pardo and Neil Ochoa created “Cutupra Studios” in Manhattan.

After “La que me gusta” was nominated as the best song of 2013 for the Latin Grammys, he decided to finish his work with Los Amigos Invisibles and take a different direction as musician and producer. 

In 2011, he produced Rawayana’s “Trippy Caribbean” and started working as a producer on a series of successful albums for other new artists such as Okills, La Garfield, Sofia Stainer, Simon Grossman andYordano among others. This opened a new opportunity to become a mentor for other artists. 

To keep his hand in, Cheo joined “Chicha libre” as a substitute guitar player and, eventually after splitting, the band evolved into LOCOBEACH, which has become Brooklyn’s favorite live band. This has exposed him to new horizons in the world music scene. They released an album called “Psychedelc Disco Cumbia” (Peace and Rhythm) and a second album is soon to be released. 

One winter night in 2016, Ulises Hadjis convinced Cheo to write an album with him where they sang duets, and in 2017 they released “Dónde?”. Here, he debuted as a singer and returned to writing his own music for the first time since his break up with Los Amigos. 

In the spring of 2019, a production gig was canceled and he used the time to record songs he had been writing in recent years. He finished “Sorpresa” (Nacional Records) without telling anyone which, in his own words, marked his return to “being an artist”. His single “Todo el día en la cama” became viral, thanks to the lockdown.

During the pandemic, he started streaming DJ sets on weekends calling them “Casaecheo” and “Bajo Perfil” which achieved over 20,000 live viewers during his 4 hour long sets. You can still catch his sets sometimes when he is home. 

“Música para verse bien”, his second album was released in May 2023 (Nacional Records). The songs were tailored and recorded with his live band. He plays monthly in NY in an outfit where they can spread their wings playing disco, funk, jazz, salsa, Bossa nova and Pardo’s beloved Boogaloo.

After being a regular DJ at the legendary NUBLU, he partnered with them to start “LATINOS DEL MUNDO”,  a weekly celebration of Latin Rhythms where he put together “Cheo y los consentidos de la casa” a full Latin band to fill the void of live orchestras at Latin parties in Manhattan. 

It is impossible to talk about Latin dance music without mentioning Cheo or one of his songs, soon it will be impossible to mention Latin music in NYC without naming one of his bands.