One of my oldest percussion affiliations is with the legendary master,
In 1958, while I was still in college and working on my engineering degree, I had the
opportunity to hear Candido, in jam sessions, at Birdland. This brief exposure was enough to
shape my career as a designer and builder of
professional percussion instruments.
Candido was one of the first percussionists who brought
drumming to both jazz and
pop music. He is also credited for introducing the use of two and later three congas.
Prior to this, percussionists used a single drum. He was also the first conguero to use the
thus helping to commercialize this product. Candido has played and recorded
with such greats as
Billy Taylor, Tony Bennett and countless others.
He is one of my greatest inspirations, not only because of his immense talent but because of
his strong sense of personal ethic. I've never known a person that has had anything but great
things to say about this honest and humble man. This is certainly not my sentiment alone:
recently ASCAP hosted a documentary film, "Candido: Hands of Fire" by Ivan Acosta,
which illustrates Candido's incredible career. Among the hundreds that attended the film's
screening was Candido's good friend, Tony Bennett, who gave a heart-warming testament to
Candido's musical talent and genuine and loving personality.
Whenever Candido performs, he always thanks LP
and me for providing him with the white
drums that have become his trademark: the
LP Original Model Congas in fiberglass.
In Candido's own words, "The sounds are pure and clear and they inspire my feelings
and my soul."