Candido Camero

NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero

At the remarkable age of 91, Candido Camero is a true living legend who is still going strong and wowing audiences. Heralded as the father of modern conga drumming, he pioneered the use of multiple drums tuned to specific pitches, and coordinated independence, as well as multiple percussion played all by one person.

In 1946 he became the first in a wave of virtuosic conga drummers to come from Cuba to New York City arriving six months before the legendary Chano Pozo. He has performed with such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Wes Montgomery, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and his Afro-Cubans, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughn, Pearl Bailey, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, to name just a few.

Having played on over one thousand albums, Maestro Camero is the most recorded conga drummer in the history of music.

Pianist Billy Taylor wrote, “I have not heard anyone who even approaches the wonderful balance between jazz and Cuban elements that Candido demonstrates.”

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