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New York Gypsy All Stars

On November 6, 2010 the exciting and different New York Gypsy All Stars created 3 videos at congahead.com studio featuring a United Nations of musicians.  Tamer Pinarbasi, kanun (Turkey); Ismail “Smajko” Lumanovski (Macedonia), clarinet; Engin Gunaydin (Turkey), drums; Panagiotis Andreou (Greece), bass; Jason Lindner (US), keyboard and Sebastian Nikoll (Germany), conga

THREE exciting videos

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Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Symphony Space

On November 6, 2010 Arturo O’Farrill brough the legacy of his father, Chico O’Farrill to Smyphony Space in NYC for an evening of the finest Latin jazz music with an all star orchestra that just returned from their sold out trip to Taiwan.

Celebrating Carlos “Patato” Valdez’s birthday.

Born roughly November 4, 1925, Carlos “Patato” Valdez was one of the most influential figures in the development of my career and that of the LP, percussion company I founded in 1964.  It was love at first sight for me.  He was talented, funny and a bit crazy.  He helped me hone my hanging out chops in the after hour clubs in the Bronx and in the parties in his apartment. He was a part of my life for nearly 40 years.  With his help I introduced a conga design that has his name and a bata drum set in fiberglass that was a bit oversized.  In 1979 he was part of a band I founded that included Tito Puente and Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez called the Latin Percussion Jazz Ensemble that made 3 European trips and one to Japan.  If the trips themselves were costly to me, they helped me develop a global business that became a powerful brand in percussion.

Patato died in a hospital outside of Cleveland, Ohio on November 11, 2007


Patato Birthday Celebration

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