Cachao’s Mambo All Stars
Cachao’s Mambo All Stars carry on the legacy of the Grammy-winning bassist and composer Israel “Cachao” Lopez, the legendary “father of the mambo”. Cachao’s Mambo All-Stars’ energetic “descargas”, are improvised, Latin jam sessions of which Cachao was both inventor and master of. They conjure images of Havana’s heyday, and remember the man who transformed Cuban music. Cachao’s Mambo All-Stars feature an unmatched ensemble of Afro-Cuban artists, many whom played with Cachao throughout his unprecedented career. The All-Stars are Federico Brito, violin; Ramses Colón, bass; Anthony Columbie, singer; Adalberto Lara, trumpet; Mark Gregory, trombone; Daniel Palacio, singer; Rafael Palau, saxophone; Raymer Olalde, Timbal and Jorge L. Sosa, piano.
Israel “Cachao” López is considered by many to be the creator of mambo music. Cachao, who passed away at the age of 89 on March 22, 2008, spent 44 years living in Cuba, where he revolutionized the Cuban music scene. He eventually made it to the U.S. and moved to Miami, where he spent almost a decade with little recognition by American music fans. That changed in 1992, when Andy Garcia – a longtime fan of Cachao’s music – made a documentary about Cachao titled Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos – a title which honors Cachao’s uniqueness as a musician and innovator. In March of 1995, Cachao earned a Grammy Award for Master Sessions, Vol. 1, his successful album of descargas that came out of his collaboration with Garcia. As Garcia’s fondness for Cachao continued, he followed up Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos with a second documentary, Cachao: Una Mas, a tribute to the life and music of his friend.
Cachao was born in 1918 in Cuba, and became one of the world’s leading jazz bassists and exponents of Afro-Cuban music. Over his lifetime, Cachao wrote over 3,000 “danzónes” – a traditional style of Cuban music – mostly for Orquesta Arcaño y sus Maravillas. He is credited with inventing the “mambo” in 1938; a style of Cuban music later popularized by Perez Prado. In 1957 he introduced jazz-like improvisation and created what became known as “descargas.” This new form of “jamming” mixed jazz-like improvisation, Cuban idioms and extended soloing in a loose format not seen or heard before. These Cuban jam sessions had a profound effect on the growing Latin music scene in New York. Shortly after Fidel Castro’s rise to power in 1962, Cachao left Cuba for the U.S., settling in New York and performing with and influencing, among others, Tito Rodriguez and Charlie Palmieri; two of New York’s most famous bandleaders of the era. Over the years, Cachao has recorded with Tito Rodriguez, Charlie Palmieri, Rolando Valdez, Gonzalo Fernandez and many more. Cachao’s performing career spanned 80 years. Cachao passed away at the age of 89 on March 22, 2008, leaving a remarkable legacy of mambo music behind.