Category: Classic Photos

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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NPR Blog on Martin Cohen the Photographer

NPR’s Felix Contreras flattered me with a wonderful story about my photography on jazz and Latin musicians.

Click below for the story.

NPR Story

 

Classic Photos 1

Classic Photos is a peak at the early years of my photography covering the jazz and emerging Latin/Salsa scenes including icons such as Tito Puente, Carlos “Patato” Valdez, Arsenio Rodriguez and more

 

 

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