José Louis Ocejo was born in Escalante (Cantabria, Spain), he has been the director of the Santander International Festival from 1979 until 2012. Since 1975, he is the founder and director of the Salvé de Laredo chorus, with which he has given concerts in numerous countries all over the world.
He has also been the director of the Automn Festival of Madrid from 1984 to 1988. In 1999 he received the Medal of Fine Arts from the King's Juan Carlos, the most important Spanish recognition in favour of the arts. Since 1996 he is a board member of EFA and from 2012 until 2013 he has been its vice-president.