|Carlos “Patato” Valdés|
|Birth name||Carlos Valdés|
|Also known as||Patato (because he was very small)|
|Born||November 4, 1926
Los Sitios, Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba
|Died||December 4, 2007 aged 81
in Cleveland, Ohio, US
|Genres||Cuban rumba, son cubano, big band, Afro-Cuban jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, bandleader, composer actor and showman|
|Instruments||Congas, percussion bata drums bongoes|
|Labels||Panart, Blue Note, Verve Chesky, Messidor, Timba, Pimienta|
|Associated acts||Armando Peraza, Mongo Santamaría, Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Herbie Mann, Eugenio “Totico” Arango, The Latin Percussion Jazz Ensemble, Machito and The AfroCubans, Mario Bauza y Graciela, Vicentico Valdés, Dizzy Gillespie, Bebo Valdés, El Conjunto Casino “Los Campeones del Ritmo”, …|
|LP Patato Model Congas|
In 1954, he migrated from La Habana to New York City where he continued his prolific career as a sideman for several jazz and Latin music ensembles, and occasionally as a bandleader. He invented and patented the tunable conga drum which revolutionized the use of the instrument in the US.
Tito Puente once called him “the greatest conguero alive today”.
Just a few lines today. I do agree with Mr. Tito Puente, he was one of the greatest tumbadores ever. You have to listen to PATATO VALDES in the album BEBO RIDES AGAIN in a Trio with BEBO and guitarist CARLOS EMILIO MORALES playing LA COMPARSA de ERNESTO LECUONA.
IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITES PIECES, AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE VERSION AS WELL.
Patato, Vilato y Changuito recorded two albums RITMO Y CANDELA also known as RHYTHM IN THE CROSSROADS when the Cuba US diplomatic relations were very tough. But they three found a place and date for an unforgettable REUNION in SAN FRANCISCO.
In my first BLOG in VERMONT in 2008, I presented WHAT DO ALL THESE GUYS HAVE IN COMMON ? – it was posted in the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Blog.
I was aided by editor Eric Ford from The Burlington City Arts.
My search expressed my respect and consideration for all the Great Cuban Percussionists who had spent and lived all their lives working in the US. For sure, PATATO VALDES was among them.
DJ Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and on television