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Jose Monguito Santamaria

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Biography

Piano player Monguito Santamaria recorded a series of LPs for Fania during the late '60s and early '70s that earned notice for their bass-heavy grooves and anthemic status for Latin soul fans. The son of Afro-Cuban conga hero Mongo Santamaria (and not to be confused with the vocalist Monguito who recorded with Johnny Pacheco), Monguito Santamaria grew up in New York surrounded by music, especially while his father played in Tito Puente's orchestra during the '50s. He also studied music and made a few recordings while at Brooklyn College. Name recognition undoubtedly helped him get a contract with Fania, but his late-'60s LPs, Hey Sister and Black Out, were some of the best in the Latin soul style sweeping the scene during that era. Still, he released only one more LP, 1974's En Una Nota!.

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