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Candido Camero


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Candido Camero is credited with being the first percussionist to bring conga drumming to jazz. Well known by his first name alone, Candido is a key figure for jazz aficionados to know. Born in Havana in 1921, Camero is know for his contributions to the development of mambo and Afro-Cuban jazz. In the early 1950s, Camero was a featured soloist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He created a unique playing style by tuning his congas to specific pitches, so that he could play melodies. The 2005 documentary, “Candido: Hands of Fire” captures the remarkable energy of a performer who continues to play well into his 80s. He received a special achievement award from ASCAP as a “Legend of Jazz” in 2005 and a Jazz Master award from the NEA in 2008.


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