The Fania All-Stars was a musical ensemble established in 1968 by the composer, Johnny Pacheco, as a showcase for the musicians on the record label Fania Records, the leading salsa record company of the time. In 1964, Fania Records was founded in New York City by Jerry Masucci, an Italian-American lawyer with a love for Latin melodies, and Johnny Pacheco, a composer and bandleader, born in the Dominican Republic. Masucci later bought out his partner Pacheco from Fania Entertainment Group Ltd., and was the sole owner for many years until his death in December 1997.
Throughout the early years, Fania used to distribute its records around New York. Eventually success from Pacheco's Cañonaso recording would lead the label to develop its roster. Masucci and Pacheco, now executive negotiator and musical director, respectively, began acquiring musicians such as Bobby Valentín, Larry Harlow and Ray Barreto.