Armando Peraza
Cuban musician
Armando Peraza
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.
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Ralph A. Miriello: Notes on Jazz's Annual 4th of July Living Legends of Jazz Celebration
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Jimmy Cobb photo by Lena Ashasheva ©2013 Another year has passed since Notes on Jazz published its annual Living Legend of Jazz feature. This is the fourth such compilation, a yearly reminder and a joyful celebration of the artistry and longevity of jazz artists that have been living in our midst. With each year we marvel at some familiar new members who have entered into the ranks of the Living Legends. The criteria are uncomplicated, simply induct any musician, working or retired who has reached their seventieth birthday and has contributed to the canon of the music, keeping the spirit and tradition of the music alive. They could be relatively obscure or internationally recognized, but in their own way they made a difference. Many of us grew up with these artists and have followed their careers through the years. As this is an organic list, ever-changing, like the music, its ranks are added to and depleted each year. Sadly, since last July 4th, ,we have continued to lo ...
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Ralph A. Miriello: Notes on Jazz Third Annual 4th of July Living Legends of Jazz Celebration
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Roy Haynes photo by Fran Kaufman © 2012 Notes on Jazz Third Annual Living Legends of Jazz 2012 Once again it is time for my annual Notes on Jazz listing of the Living Legend of Jazz .This is the third annual compilation, and with each year we gain some new members and sadly lose some old friends. The list is a celebration of those who have, for so long, graced us with their talents, their creativity and their love of the music. Last year, we saw the passing of some truly venerable legends. Musicians, performers, innovators, teachers and mentors who made an indelible mark on society at large and on the music in particular. Some were famous, some infamous and all will be missed. This fraternity of Jazz Legends lost two drummers. A onetime member of both the Ellington and Basie band's drummer Butch Ballard passed at the age of 92. The eclectic rhythm machine, Paul Motian, who together with bassist Scott LaFaro and pianist Bill Evans formed what was perhaps the mo ...
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'American Sabor': Latino influence in pop music - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
When Rios put Santana at the center of his ambitious three-panel mural "Inspire to Aspire," flanked by conguero Armando Peraza and pianist Eddie Palmieri (at South Van Ness Avenue and 22nd Street), Santana sought him out and started a two-decade
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Luis Ángel Silva Melón - La Jornada en linea
Google News - over 5 years
Debo hacer mención de dos percusionistas de liga mayor: Armando Peraza y Mongo Santamaría, sí monina, leyó usted bien. Peraza, al paso del tiempo, estuvo con Santana, y Mongo fue todo un figurón y uno de los primeros en interpretar lo que ahora llaman
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Enter Music Publishing Plays In The Community Again With Its 2nd Annual DRUM ... - dBusinessNews San Jose (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
... of amazing drum clinics and performances by Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Jeff Beck), Thomas Lang (Spice Girls, Tina Turner, Stork), and Santana's fiery percussion section: Karl Perazzo & Raul Rekow, with special guest Armando Peraza
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En la SEP, el mayor obstáculo educativo - El Diario de Yucatán
Google News - over 5 years
La raíz de los problemas de la enseñanza del país está en el modo en que se organiza la Secretaría de Educación Pública, cuya estructura centralizada es inadecuada para los objetivos que debe alcanzar, manifestó el doctor Armando Peraza Guzmán,
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POP/JAZZ: Arts Festival; Where They're Performing
NYTimes - over 28 years
LEAD: Here is the schedule for the JVC Jazz Festival. Festival information: 787-2020. Today Here is the schedule for the JVC Jazz Festival. Festival information: 787-2020. Today HILTON RUIZ: SOLO PIANO, 5 P.M. Weill Recital Hall. Tickets, $10. FOR THE LOVE OF LOUIS, a benefit for the Louis Armstrong Project at Queens College, with Lionel Hampton,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Armando Peraza
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 89
    He died of pneumonia on April 14, 2014 at the age of 89.
    More Details Hide Details With Gato Barbieri With Charles Kynard and Buddy Collette With Mongo Santamaria With Santana With George Shearing With Cal Tjader With Randy Weston Miscellaneous
  • 2010
    Age 85
    In February 2010, Armando was interviewed in his home for Japanese television.
    More Details Hide Details In January 2011, the BBC from London came to interview Armando for a documentary they are filming on the music of Santana, specifically, the early to mid-1970s, when Armando first joined the band. Peraza has a daughter Traci and three grandchildren: Adriel, Jalil and Jehireh. Armando's son-in-law, musician Tony Williams, is a talented writer, singer and composer, who is currently recording and performing with Kanye West.
  • 2007
    Age 82
    In January 2007, Peraza received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Voices of Latin Rock.
    More Details Hide Details The tribute show was held at the historic Bimbo's nightclub in San Francisco, California and was attended by Carlos Santana, who presented Peraza with an award. Also attending and performing were members of the group Malo and a reunion of the original Santana band, with José Areas, Mike Carabello, Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve. Every January, The Voices of Latin Rock, present the "Armando Peraza" award for achievement in the San Francisco/Bay Area.
  • 2006
    Age 81
    Also in 2006, Peraza recorded with Bay Area pianist Rebeca Mauleon's album Descarga en California (Universal/Pimienta).
    More Details Hide Details He also co-wrote a tune on the album titled Cepeda Forever, honoring his longtime friend and baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.
    Later, in August 2006, Peraza appeared at the San José Jazz Festival in California, sitting in with the Julius Melendez Latin Jazz Ensemble, as well as giving a drum clinics throughout California with Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzo, both currently with Santana.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first of a number of summer live appearances.
  • 2002
    Age 77
    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.
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  • 1990
    Age 65
    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.
    More Details Hide Details As of the late 1990s through 2009 Peraza was in semi-retirement in San Francisco, California with Josephine, his wife and partner of more than 30 years. He continues to hold workshops and play selective engagements and Jazz festivals around the world. In 2005 he appeared on a recording by Bay Area musician John Santos. Santos' 20th Anniversary set included the piece "El Changüí de Peraza", which highlighted Peraza's superb bongo playing.
  • FORTIES
  • 1972
    Age 47
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Peraza remained with Carlos Santana for nearly twenty years and played to millions around the globe, partnering with other outstanding percussionists like Chepito Areas, Mingo Lewis, Raul Rekow and Orestes Vilató. The profile of Afro-Cuban percussion had never been higher. While with the Santana band, Armando wrote and co-authored a total of 16 songs which were recorded by Santana. The best known is probably "Gitano" from the album Amigos (1976) and has Peraza singing the lyrics he wrote himself. His jazz-inflected piece "Mandela" was recorded on the album Freedom (1987). Santana's recordings featured many outstanding performances from Peraza, notably his conga solos on "Mother Africa" (Welcome 1973), "Hannibal" (Zebop 1981), "Bambele" and "Bambara" (both Viva Santana! 1988). Latin percussionist John Santos says that Peraza is "perhaps the greatest bongocero in the history of that instrument."
  • 1968
    Age 43
    Adaptability and an open mind are the hallmarks of Peraza's approach, so that when Rock music took hold of the business in the late 60s, Armando was the first Afro-Cuban percussionist to add conga drums to a rock track, notably on Harvey Mandel's Cristo Redentor album in 1968.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details His Wild Thing LP on the Skye label, which was co-owned by Tjader, Gary McFarland and Gábor Szabó, features performances from pianist Chick Corea and Japanese saxophonist Sadao Watanabe and flautist Johnny Pacheco. He had previously been featured as a solo artist on the 1959 album More Drums on Fire. His performance on conga and bongos on the piece "Artistry in Rhythm" was widely lauded as a standard-setting masterpiece.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1964
    Age 39
    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.
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  • 1963
    Age 38
    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.
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  • 1959
    Age 34
    In 1959, Peraza joined Mongo Santamaría for the classic Mongo album, one of the most important recordings of Afro-Cuban "folklore" music ever.
    More Details Hide Details It included conga drummer Francisco Aguabella, another contemporary and friend of Peraza, and "Afro-Blue", a song that became a jazz standard once John Coltrane had recorded it. The album Mongo was later combined with the 1958 Mongo Santamaria album Yambo as the compilation Afro Roots in 1972. In the early 1960s, Peraza joined Cal Tjader's band for the next six years. He also was encouraged to perform and record in Southern California by his friend, jazz drummer Shelly Manne. Peraza performed throughout the area at such venues as Shelly's Manne-Hole (owned by Shelly Manne) and The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. A highlight was performing with the Stan Kenton Band for the opening of the Hollywood Bowl.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Shearing and Lee resolved the situation by threatening to pull out of the performance unless Peraza and the others were "allowed" to stay at their hotel. Shearing was one of the first racially integrated jazz groups, which was groundbreaking in its own right. While with Shearing, Peraza had the distinct opportunity to play with the classical symphonies of Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Oklahoma City. He also participated while with Shearing, in a command performances for Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1954
    Age 29
    In 1954, while performing in San Francisco with pianist Dave Brubeck, Peraza met Cal Tjader, who was Brubeck's drummer at the time.
    More Details Hide Details The jazz writer Leonard Feather recommended Armando to Fantasy Records, along with Tjader to record an Afro-Cuban album, which was titled Ritmo Caliente and was groundbreaking in its use of Afro-Cuban rhythms with a Jazz sensibility and was followed up in 1957 with Mas Ritmos Caliente. During this period, Peraza was introduced to British pianist George Shearing by bassist Al McKibbon. Peraza joined Shearing's band for the next 12 years and was a collaboration that found Peraza at the forefront of a new wave of popularity for Afro-Cuban music. Shearing's music is now regarded as "light" in jazz terms, but the rhythms and harmonic structures Peraza introduced to the pianist's music were unerringly authentic. It was during his time with Shearing that Peraza emerged as a composer, writing and recording twenty-one songs for Shearing, such as "Mambo in Chimes", "Mambo in Miami","Ritmo Africano", "Armando's Hideaway", "This is Africa", "Estampa Cubana" and many others. These recordings were at the heart of the "mambo craze", which swept the U.S. and the world and Peraza became highly visible, which was a major achievement for an Afro-Cuban at that time.
  • 1949
    Age 24
    He also recorded with Slim Gaillard in New York in November 1949, a session that produced an exemplary virtuoso performance from Peraza on "Bongo City".
    More Details Hide Details He toured the entire U.S. with Slim Gaillard's band and ended up in San Francisco, where Gaillard owned the famous San Francisco nightclub named Bop City. After a period in Mexico, where he recorded with Perez Prado and also recorded many soundtracks for the Mexican movie industry, he returned to the U.S. and settled in San Francisco, a city of such charm and beauty that he stayed there through his final days. While located on the West Coast, he worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Gaillard, toured extensively with Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon and performed up and down California for the Mexican farm workers with Puerto Rican actor and musician Tony Martinez (who played "Pepino" on the TV show The Real McCoys). Armando also headed up an Afro-Cuban dance review at the Cable Car Village club in San Francisco, attracting a clientele from Hollywood that included Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and Rita Hayworth.
    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.
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  • 1948
    Age 23
    He left Cuba for Mexico in 1948 to tend to his sick friend, conga drummer Mongo Santamaría.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1924
    Born
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Peraza gained a reputation as a sportsman, and became proficient at baseball and boxing. At one time he was a boxing coach. A natural musician, a chance encounter at a baseball game led to his first professional gig with famous local bandleader Alberto Ruiz. He then made his reputation as drummer and dancer playing with the cream of Havana's small bands or "conjuntos", the most famous being Ruiz's Conjunto Kubavana.
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