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

Little Johnny Rivero’s Heat Wave and Lula Valdivia

On October 10, 2010 Little Johnny Rivero brought his Latin jazz band, Heat Wave to the congahead.com studio.  Accompanying Johnny were  Hector Davila, Luques Curtis, Louis Fouché, Anibal Martinez and David Silliman.  An added attraction for this wonderful Sunday afternoon of great music was the lovely singer from Peru, Lula Valdivia with John Benitez,Yuri Juarez and Hector Morales.

First San Francisco Photo Shoot

This is a photo from my first San Francisco Photo Shoot taken at the Mission Cultural Center.  I think the year was 1985 but some of the guys in the photo might know the exact year.  Some of the guys in the photo are Eric Rangél, Babatunde Lee, Michael Pluznick, John Santos, Karl Perazzo, Chalo Eduardo, Benni Duarte, Orestes Vilato, Mario Abruzo, Michael Spiro.  Please get in touch with me with missing names.Thanks to Rafael Ramierez the following info was supplied:Top Row ~ Sammuel Ramirez, Rsafael Ramirez,Daryl Rogers

 

Ralph MacDonald with Toph-E and the Pussycats

Percussionist and composer, Ralph MacDonald appeared with Toph-E and the Pussycats at elegant club, Covet Lounge in NYC.  Amongst the audience were 90 year old music business legend, Morty Craft and music promoter, Charles Carlini.

In the band along with Ralph were Will Lee on bass, Chris Parker on drums, Clifford Carter on keyboard and David Mann on sax.

Vivianne’s Birthday Party

Vivianne celebrated her birthday a bit late this year but it was successful party.  Perfect weather and great gathering of family and friends.  Everyone was amazed that Vivianne prepared all the food with help from Maria.  Papilon brought a great merengue band  that had the dancers going.  As usual, DJ Javick killed it with his amazing mixes.

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