out from behind his father's shadow to be
recognized as a musician in his own right
was not an easy task for Jose Mangual, Jr.
Those familiar with the pioneers of Latin
music will attest to the fact that Jose
Mangual, Sr., was one of the most talented
and respected bongo players in the world.
I witnessed this talent firsthand when I
first heard Jose Sr., perform in 1956 at
Birdland, and his phenomenal playing was
one of the inspirations that motivated me
to start Latin Percussion.
the urging of his father, Jose Jr. attended
business school and City College in New
York City. Not surprisingly, though, music
was in his blood, and he soon heeded its
call and left the business world. Jose Jr.,
first played with Mongo Santamaria through
whom he met Hector Levoe. Hector invited
him to play straight bell and sing with
Willie Colon, an idea Jose liked as it was
something different from what his famous
father did. This responsibility soon enabled
the younger Mangual to establish his own
identity among his fellow musicians, as
well as with the public. "Up until
that point I was always referred to as "Mangual's
son," Jose, Jr. recalls.
had such a unique style that it was hard
to fill his shoes, so I decided that I would
do what came naturally with me rather than
try to compete with my father's legacy."
with Willie Colon peaked Jose, Jr.'s interest
in teaching. After the shows, young musicians
would ask him how to play certain rhythms,
and he welcomed the opportunity to educate
1979, Jose, Jr. recorded Understanding
Latin Rhythms, one of many sessions
organized and funded by LP's Chairman and
Founder, Martin Cohen, that have now been
released on compact disc. This recording
experience gave Jose the momentum he needed
to pursue teaching, a practice which he
continues today internationally, mainly
in South America. In addition, this summer
he will tour Europe with Sombadiqua (a seven-piece
band), playing bongos and singing.
Jose Mangual, Jr., has not only managed
to carve a respected name for himself in
the industry, he has done it in a way which
would certainly have made his father proud.
read a review and hear a sound sample of
Jose Mangual, Sr's CD, Buyu, please CLICK
to interviews where Jose discusses how
he helped launch LP®'s recording business
the same time convert him into a solo act
and producer of recorded music. Jose also
performs a tribute to congahead, available