Armando Peraza

Cuban Musician
Born May 30, 1924

Armando Peraza is a Latin jazz percussionist. Through his long associations with jazz pianist George Shearing, vibraphonist Cal Tjader and guitarist Carlos Santana, he has been internationally known from the 1950s through to the 1990s. Although primarily known as a bongocero and conguero, Peraza is also an innovative and accomplished dancer and composer.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Armando Peraza.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Armando Peraza.


1924 Birth Born in Lawton Batista, Havana, Cuba in 1924 (although the birth year is uncertain), he was orphaned by age 7 and lived on the streets, making a living selling vegetables. … Read More


1948 24 Years Old He left Cuba for Mexico in 1948 to tend to his sick friend, conga drummer Mongo Santamaría.
1949 25 Years Old 1 More Event
They subsequently arrived in New York City in 1949, where after sitting in with Machito's big band, Peraza was personally requested by the great Charlie Parker to participate on a record date with Parker, Buddy Rich and many others.


1954 30 Years Old In 1954, while performing in San Francisco with pianist Dave Brubeck, Peraza met Cal Tjader, who was Brubeck's drummer at the time. … Read More
1959 35 Years Old 1 More Event
…  An example of this was an incident in Miami during dates with Shearing and Peggy Lee in 1959, Peraza and the other black members of the band were not allowed to stay at the same hotel as the white musicians. … Read More
1963 39 Years Old Through his friendship with Manne, he was introduced to Judy Garland, who immediately signed Peraza to play in her orchestra for the The Judy Garland Show, a television series that ran from 1963 to 1964.


1964 40 Years Old In the fall of 1964, he recorded the seminal LP Soul Sauce with Tjader. The single "Guachi Guaro" won a Grammy Award in 1965 and has recently enjoyed renewed popularity in both the London and Madrid Acid Jazz club scenes.
1968 44 Years Old 1 More Event
Although Peraza never desired nor welcomed the stress of being a bandleader in his own right, much preferring to be a featured performer, he did record one solo album in 1968. … Read More
1972 48 Years Old In 1972, at the age of 48, Peraza joined the Santana group, which was embarking on its most creative period and helped influence the band in melding the genres of Afro-Cuban, Jazz, Rock and Blues. … Read More


1990 66 Years Old Peraza retired from Santana in 1990 at the age of 66, although he did travel to Santiago de Chile for a major concert with Santana in 1992 in front of a crowd in excess of 100,000. … Read More
2002 78 Years Old He returned to his native Cuba in 2002, his first trip to the island in more than 50 years and plans to return as many times as possible.
In July 2006, Peraza, at 82 years of age, made a rare appearance with the Santana Band for a three show performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. … Read More
2007 83 Years Old In January 2007, Peraza received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Voices of Latin Rock. … Read More
2010 86 Years Old In February 2010, Armando was interviewed in his home for Japanese television. … Read More
2014 90 Years Old He died of pneumonia on April 14, 2014 at the age of 89. … Read More
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