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Jack Costanzo


A premier percussionist and one of the few to emphasize bongos over congas, Jack Costanzo taught himself both bongos and congas, and made three visits to Havana in the '40s to learn Afro-Cuban rhythms. He toured and performed with Stan Kenton in 1947 and 1948, then worked with Nat King Cole from 1949 to 1953. Costanzo continued to periodically play with both Cole and Kenton through the '50s, working with Kenton until 1957 while also heading out his own. This group recorded in 1954 and 1957, later touring London in 1961. Costanzo also worked in the '50s with Peggy Lee, Pérez Prado, Harry James, Charlie Barnet, and Pete Rugolo. Costanzo kept a relatively low profile during the latter decades of the 20th century, but made a comeback in the late '90s. His return-to-form album "Back from Havana" was released in 2001 followed by "Scorching the Skins" in 2002 (both on Cubop Records)


Article: Year in Review

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018

Read "In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018" reviewed by Maxim Micheliov

As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to NEA Jazz Masters Bob Dorough, Nancy Wilson and Cecil Taylor as well as trumpeters Hugh Masekela, Tomasz Stanko, Jerry González and Roy Hargrove.


News: Obituary

Jack Costanzo, 1920-2018

Jack Costanzo, 1920-2018

The percussionist Jack Costanzo was so closely identified with his instrument that early in his career he became known as “Mr. Bongo.” Costanzo died over the weekend at his home near San Diego, California. He was 98. During his long career he worked with Stan Kenton, Nat Cole, Charlie Parker and dozens of other musical stars. ...


Article: Album Review

Nat King Cole Trio: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950

Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Nat King Cole means two very different things to two different segments of the music-loving populace today. To those simply plugged into popular culture he's the golden-voiced baritone crooner, debonair and delightful as can be while travelling over the airwaves. But to those steeped in jazz history he's known as a mighty and true pianist, throwing ...


Mr. Bongo Has Brass

Label: Strand Records
Released: 2013


News: Video / DVD

Weekly Latin Jazz Video Fix: Jack Costanzo

Weekly Latin Jazz Video Fix: Jack Costanzo

Many people have contributed toward the spread of Latin Jazz around the world, pushing the music into the public through a variety of means. Some people have taken a challenging path, sticking steadfastly to their roots, taking their music to the public as a cultural expression. These artists keep the history of the music alive, but ...


Article: Big Band Report

Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast

Read "Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Artistry in Rhythm, the Ken Poston / Los Angeles Jazz Institute's 2009 homage to the renowned bandleader Stan Kenton, was held October 8-11 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel. As always, there was much to see, hear and admire: films, panel discussions, special presentations and, last but not least, no fewer than nineteen concerts by ...


Latin Fever

Label: Strand Records
Released: 2003


Latin Percussion With Soul

Label: Strand Records
Released: 2003


Rewind 12"

Label: Strand Records
Released: 2002


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