Cándido de Guerra Camero was born April 21, 1921 in Havana, Cuba, which makes him 96 and half years old (and one day) on the day of this recording.
Cándido is the most recorded conga player in the history of jazz having appeared on well over 1,000 albums.
Perhaps even more remarkable – and this is something many people have trouble wrapping their minds around – he is the first person to perform with multiple congas at the same time.
It may seem like an “obvious” idea, but as for all obvious ideas, someone had to go first and that somebody was Cándido de Guerra Camero.
Here’s the story straight from the Maestro’s mouth…
When Cándido first visited the US in 1946, in addition to being a percussionist, he also was a master on the bass, guitar and tres.
The rabbit hole goes even deeper…
Everyone is aware that Afro-Caribbean music was created from elements of African music. What fewer people are aware of is that the creative contributions have flowed both ways.
The practice of a single drummer performing with three or more drums first appeared in Senegal in the 1970s.
According to the liner notes of “Bougarabou: Solo Drumming of Casamance” (Village Pulse Records) the Jola of Senegal played just one drum, adding two later, then finally graduating to three or four in the late ’70s.
What stimulated this sudden innovation in an already well developed musical tradition?
Believe it or not, the evidence points to the influx and popularity of salsa records in the region.
So we come full circle…From Africa to the Caribbean to New York City and back to Africa.
And who was on those records that changed the way the Jola of Senegal approached the drums? Almost certainly Puertorriquenos
Hanging around at home, Bacary Olé Diedhiou, Senegalese master of Bougarabou, gives an informal demo.
OK, we’ve informed you and hopefully entertained you.
Over forty musicians donated their time and talents to create the material we’ve shared with you in this series.
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– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube
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