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Cachao at Blue Note with His 10-Piece Latin Band
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Cachao at Blue Note with His 10-Piece Latin Band

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Israel “Cachao” Lopez
(Cachao Website)

With His Latin Band:
Cachao on Bass
Alfredo Valdes, Jr. on Piano, Kiwzo Fumero on Trumpet, Jimmy Bosch on Trombone,
Rafael Palau on Sax, Fedirico Brito on Violin, Richie Flores on Conga,
Jimmy Delgado on Timbales, Anthony Columbie on Vocals, Daniel Palacio on Coro
Blue Note
131 West 3rd Street at Sixth Ave.

Media Contact: Carolyn McClair

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 11, 2005

Cachao, born in Cuba in 1918, began his career playing bongos with a group at age eight, prior to joining Arcano Orchestra (1937 – 1949). In 1962, Cachao left Cuba to work with Ernesto Duarte in Spain and soon arrived in New York. He performed with the Charlie Palmieri Orchestra and Machito, among others. In the 1970’s Cachao moved to Las Vegas and then to Miami, where he was finally re-discovered in the 1980’s in a documentary made with actor fan, Andy Garcia. In 1993, at the film’s release, Cachao was invited to perform at Radio City Music Hall. Cachao is now 86 and works in Miami with Emilio Estafan. (Program Notes).

Tonight’s second set at Blue Note brought the renowned Cachao (I’ve been listening to his CD’s for years and find them magnetic and magical, transporting me to a tropical island, every time) on stage right away with energetic his 10-piece Latin band. They broke into rambunctious Latin mambo, following a classically fused, abstract, solo bass introduction. Cachao created a conversation with bass and timbales, as they mimicked and complemented each other, right up to the end, with massive, vibrating sound. The steel edge of Jimmy Delgado’s timbales was backed by Jimmy Bosch on trombone, before Bosch took the theme and went wild. Cachao played with bass percussion, as he slapped his bass for added effects. At times, Cachao let his bass stand alone and reverberate with undulating sound. Cachao interacts with his bass, like man to woman, and he seems to get whatever musical effect he desires.

Why! Why Not? involved audience participation, and the audience chanted on cue with clavé beat. The cymbals and Latin percussive instruments created a perfect Salsa foot rhythm, on beats 2, 6, 7 count. Soon musicians were chanting and dancing and using wooden percussion, just as Jimmy Bosch took a sliding solo, and then this band was on fire! Fedirico Brito on violin then created a frenzied duet with Cachao, which merged into a softer, danceable rhumba. Before we saw what was happening, the band left the stage and wound through the audience, who loudly and excitedly chanted with Cachao. The next song, introduced by Bosch’s trombone and Kiwzo Fumero’s trumpet, drew Cachao into abstract bass effects. This musician is almost 87 years old, and he kept his music challenging and charismatic. Before we knew what was happening, Richie Flores and Anthony Columbie were on the floor, playing a tempting trio on conga and vocals, and Flores used his arm and elbow for muffling tones.

Delgado on timbales was soon joined by Rafael Palau on sax, moving from back row to front center. Solo riffs were presented on sax, piano (Alfredo Valdes, Jr. on Bosendorfer), and violin, with a hint of brass in the backup. This was the summer’s greatest dance event, but no dance floor was in sight! Yet, hearts and souls danced a raging mambo with this magnificent, Cuban bassist and his 10-piece Latin band. Kudos to Cachao at age 86 plus!

Cachao Signs for His Fans
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Osi, Guest, with Federico Brito
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Jimmy Delgado and Jimmy Bosch
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at