Arriba! has all of the music from two of Mongo Santamaria's first records after leaving Cal Tjader: Arriba and Mas Sabroso. Featured is Mongo's modern charanga band, with strong flute from Rolando Lozano, occasional tenor solos from Jose Silva, spots for pianist Joao Donato and violinist Pupi Legaretta, and singing from Rudy Calzado.
Born: 07 April 1922 in Havana, Cuba
Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s
A Mongo Santamaria concert is a mesmerizing spectacle for both eyes and ears, and even in his seventies, this seemingly ageless Cuban percussionist/bandleader could energize packed behemoth arenas such as the Hollywood Bowl. A master conguero, Santamaria at his best creates an incantatory spell rooted in Cuban religious rituals, quietly seating himself before his congas and soloing with total command over the rhythmic spaces between the beats while his band pumps out an endless vamp (a potent example... Full bio