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Israel "Cachao" Lopez

Israel "Cachao" Lopez (born 1918 in Havana, Cuba), often known just as "Cachao" (pronounced kah- CHOW) is a Cuban mambo musician and composer, who has helped bring mambo music to popularity in the United States of America in the early 1950s. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been described as "the inventor of the mambo". He is considered a master of descarga (Latin jam sessions). Lopez played the acoustic bass with his late brother, multi- instrumentalist Orestes Lopez. The brothers composed literally thousands of songs together and were heavily influential on Cuban music from the 1930s to the 1950s. They introduced the ritmo nuevo ("new rhythm") in the late 1930s, which transformed the danzón by introducing African rhythms into Cuban music, which led to mambo. Lopez has won several Grammy Awards for both his own work and his contributions on albums by Latin music stars, including Gloria Estefan. In 1995, he won a Grammy for Master Sessions Volume 1. In 2003, he won a Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album together with Bebo and Patato Valdes for El Arte Del Sabor. Lopez won a further Grammy in 2005, again for his own work, ¡Ahora Si!. His nephew, Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez became one of the mainstays of the famed Buena Vista Social Club group. Cachao has played with artists such as Tito Puente, and his music has been featured on movies such as The Birdcage, and on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. Actor Andy Garcia produced a documentary entitled Cachao... Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos ("With A Rhythm Like No Other") in 1993 about his music. Cuban American actor Andy Garcia, who made a 1993 documentary about the bassist's career, credited Cachao with being a major influence in Cuban musical history and said his passing marked the end of an era. "Cachao is our musical father. He is revered by all who have come in contact with him and his music," Garcia said in a statement Saturday. "Maestro . . . you have been my teacher, and you took me in like a son. So I will continue to rejoice with your music and carry our traditions wherever I go, in your honor." Cachao (ka-CHAH-o) and his late brother, multi- instrumentalist Orestes "Macho" Lopez, are known for the creation in the late 1930s of the mambo, which emerged from their improvisational work in Cuba with the danzon, an elegant musical style that lends itself to slow dancing.

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Film Review

Cachao: Uno Mas

Read "Cachao: Uno Mas" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

Israel “Cachao" LopezCachao: Una MasDOC Film Institute2008 It's a cliché to say that any one man is largely responsible for a large part of modern music. But in the case of Israel “Cachao" Lopez--the Cuban-born, Miami-based bassist, composer and bandleader, who died in 2007 at around the age of 90--that claim is true. Without the pioneering musicianship of this tanned, slightly hunched over, bowlegged musician, Latin music would not exist as it ...


Cachao: Mambo Man

Read "Cachao: Mambo Man" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

At 89 years of age, Israel “Cachao Lopez continues to perform the mambo, the Afro-Cuban rhythm that he helped create with his late brother, multi-instrumentalist Orestes Lopez; a genre that gained international fame through the efforts of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and ,principally, Perez Prado, among others.

Cachao, however, did not enjoy the initial fame of his creation due to his own shyness and because, as a young man, he had been pursuing other musical genres, as he stated during ...

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TV / Film

THIRTEEN'S American Masters celebrates the Father of Mambo, Israel "Cachao" López, in Cachao: Uno Más, premiering September 20, 2010 on PBS

THIRTEEN'S American Masters celebrates the Father of Mambo, Israel "Cachao" López, in Cachao: Uno Más, premiering September 20, 2010 on PBS

Source: All About Jazz

The Grammy-winning bassist Israel “Cachao" López died in Coral Gables, Florida in March 2008, almost 90-years old. A maestro of legendary status on the world stage and ultimately considered one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time, he had made his home in the United States for the past four decades. Coming from a family of classical musicians, he had formal conservatory training and held a seat in the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra for 30 years, performing under the direction ...



Remembering a Legend: Israel "Cachao" Lopez (1918 - 2008)

Remembering a Legend: Israel "Cachao" Lopez (1918 - 2008)

Source: All About Jazz

Greg Diamond
guitar, electric
Walter Areia
bass, acoustic





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