Delgado's professional career began in 1974, including
work with Orchestra Cimarron, Tipica Novel, Pupi
Legarreta, Chino y su Conjunto Melao, Ismael Quintana,
and Ray Barretto's Big Band with which he performed
for 9 months in 1976. In 1983, Jimmy rejoined
Barretto's band, a stint that lasted for 5 1/2
1977, Jimmy played bongos for Willie Colon.
The following year he became Willie's timbale
player, while he would also sub for Nicky Marrero
in the group Tipica 73.
first saw Jimmy play in 1976, on the East Side
of New York City at a club called
La Maganette. He was performing with a charanga
band named Tipica Novel, the same evening that
the Latin NY Music Awards were held at the Beacon
Theater. It was a heady time for Latin music,
with numerous clubs showcasing Latin music all
around New York City. It was also a time during
which my recording efforts were headed into "high
gear", as I was in the process of producing
the album My Own Image, Luis "Perico"
Ortiz' first recording (which, by the way, is
soon to be released on CD by LP). This proved
to be my most ambitious production, and, though
Perico could have asked for any timbalero to play
on this recording, he insisted on having Jimmy.
remember being so impressed with Jimmy's playing,
particularly by the fact that his performance
was not once the cause of our having to stop for
a retake. Though I would have thought it
would rather intimidating for a young player like
Jimmy to be working along side of Patato, it didn't
seem to faze him.
early influences were Nicky Marrero, Andy and
Jerry Gonzalez and Little Ray Romero. Jimmy found
working with the former singer with the Eddie
Palmieri band, Ismael Quintana, was especially
rewarding as Ismael coached Jimmy a great deal
in interpreting songs and gave him greater confidence
in playing timbales.
has traveled all over the world, having been to
Japan twice with Eddie Palmieri. Yet, the one
place that Jimmy says he has never been and would
love to go to is Italy.
he is best known for his timbale playing, he is
well versed in all elements of Latin percussion.
When performing on bongo and conga, Jimmy has
an exceptionally crisp and loud slap. During Tito
Puente's March 1999 engagement at New York
City's Blue Note jazz club, Delgado had the opportunity
to sub on bongos for Johnny Rodriguez, Jr.
Jimmy's own words, his gig with Harry Belafonte
is his best. He gets to play, for the first time,
all of the percussion instruments he has mastered.
Also, because he doesn't have to carry or set
up his gear as there is a professional roadie
to handle this work, he finds the Belafonte gig
stepped out as a bandleader for the first time
September 25, 1995, with a group called Master
Timbaleros. Because of the group's success in
performing in New York, the concept was taken
to Puerto Rico in February of the following year
for another successful performance. The intent
was to showcase the timbale, and he assembled
some of the finest players of this instrument
to perform in New York City and in Puerto Rico.
The group consisted of Endel Dueño, Orestes
Vilato, Nicky Marrero, and, of course Jimmy. On
August 7, 1999, Jimmy will perform with this group
in Puerto Rico, with Mike
Collazo replacing Nicky Marrero.
uses 14" and 15" brass LP® Tito
Puente timbales. He uses a mambo bell and a low
and high pitched cha cha bell. In addition he
uses LP's patented and indispensable red Jam Block
and a 19" Zildjian cymbal.
to Jimmy tell about his last experience with
Luis "Perico" Ortiz and how he managed
to collect his money for a recording session.
learn more about Jimmy Delgado, CLICK