What more fitting choice
Hidalgo to occupy Ray Barretto's chair
during the tribute to the recently departed
pioneer of conga drumming in America? Some
of the finest percussionists were chosen
for this musical journey covering Ray's
long and productive career in salsa music.
While, toward the end of his life, Ray's greatest love was jazz,
it was salsa that brought both his best successes and his widest recognition,
yet it was in both genres that he assembled the finest bands, and
produced some of the finest recordings. Among the percussionists
Hidalgo on stage were Orestes Vilato, Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez, Jimmy
Irizarry, and Carlito Soto. The vocalists were Ray De La
Paz, Tito Allen, and Adalberto Santiago.
The program opened with the Machito Orchestra featuring the amazing
legendary conguero Eddie
Montalvo, as well as bandleader Mario Grillo -- son of the late,
great Machito -- on timbales, and Frank Valdes on bongos.
Other guests included keyboard players and arrangers Gil Lopez, Luis
Cruz, and Oscar Hernandez.
Click here to see exclusive performance photos!
here to see online video of Giovanni's solo!