Cándido Camero

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Cándido Camero_table_infobox_0

Cándido CameroCándido Camero_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationCándido Camero_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameCándido Camero_header_cell_0_2_0 Cándido Camero GuerraCándido Camero_cell_0_2_1
BornCándido Camero_header_cell_0_3_0 (1921-04-22)22 April 1921

Havana, CubaCándido Camero_cell_0_3_1

DiedCándido Camero_header_cell_0_4_0 7 November 2020(2020-11-07) (aged 99)

New York City, USCándido Camero_cell_0_4_1

GenresCándido Camero_header_cell_0_5_0 Afro-Cuban jazz, disco, descarga, son cubanoCándido Camero_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Cándido Camero_header_cell_0_6_0 Musician, bandleaderCándido Camero_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsCándido Camero_header_cell_0_7_0 Conga, bongo, tres, bassCándido Camero_cell_0_7_1
LabelsCándido Camero_header_cell_0_8_0 ABC-Paramount, Blue Note, Roulette, Polydor, Salsoul, CheskyCándido Camero_cell_0_8_1

Cándido Camero Guerra (22 April 1921 – 7 November 2020), known simply as Cándido, was a Cuban conga and bongo player. Cándido Camero_sentence_0

He is considered a pioneer of Afro-Cuban jazz and an innovator in conga drumming. Cándido Camero_sentence_1

He was responsible for the development of tuneable conga sets, as well as the combination of congas and bongos, and other instruments such as the foot-operated cowbell. Cándido Camero_sentence_2

After moving to New York in 1946, Camero played with Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Taylor and Stan Kenton, and from 1956 he recorded several albums as a leader. Cándido Camero_sentence_3

His biggest success came in 1979 with his disco recordings for Salsoul. Cándido Camero_sentence_4

He continued to perform until the late 2010s, recording several albums for the audiophile label Chesky Records, including Inolvidable, with Graciela, which earned him a nomination at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards. Cándido Camero_sentence_5

Early life and family Cándido Camero_section_0

Cándido Camero Guerra was born in San Antonio de los Baños, near Havana, to Caridad Guerra and Cándido Camero. Cándido Camero_sentence_6

His interest in music began at the age of 4, when his maternal uncle Andrés, a professional bongosero for the Septeto Segundo Nacional, taught him to play bongos on condensed milk cans. Cándido Camero_sentence_7

At a very young age, he moved with his family to Cerro, a neighborhood in Havana. Cándido Camero_sentence_8

Camero's father taught him how to play the tres, a type of Cuban guitar. Cándido Camero_sentence_9

While focusing on the tres, he also learned to play bass and percussion, mostly bongo and conga. Cándido Camero_sentence_10

In 1935, at the age of 14, Camero began to play tres professionally for various son ensembles such as Gloria Habanera, Sonora Piñón and Conjunto Segundo de Arsenio Rodríguez (Arsenio's backup band). Cándido Camero_sentence_11

The increasing popularity of the conga drums—promoted primarily by Arsenio's conjunto—and the fact that Camero could not read sheet music, led him to switch to the conga, which became his primary instrument, although he would also record with other percussion instruments, especially the bongo. Cándido Camero_sentence_12

Early career Cándido Camero_section_1

Early in his career, Camero played as conguero and bongosero for the Cuba radio station (for 6 years) and for the Tropicana Club (also for 6 years). Cándido Camero_sentence_13

As a tresero, he was also a member of Chano Pozo's Conjunto Azul, where he met Mongo Santamaría, who then played bongos. Cándido Camero_sentence_14

He moved to New York City in 1946, after first arriving in the city on a tour. Cándido Camero_sentence_15

He first performed in New York in the musical revue Tidbits at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway in 1946 backing up the Cuban dance team of Carmen and Rolando. Cándido Camero_sentence_16

Influence Cándido Camero_section_2

At the Tidbits show, Camero pioneered the playing of two conga drums; traditionally, in rumba and conga music, drummers play a single conga. Cándido Camero_sentence_17

He later expanded the number of congas to three or more and combined congas with other instruments such as the bongo. Cándido Camero_sentence_18

He also created a foot-operated cowbell. Cándido Camero_sentence_19

These innovations were later developed by other musicians and manufacturers such as Carlos "Patato" Valdés and Latin Percussion, giving rise to the standard sets of tuneable congas that are commonly used nowadays. Cándido Camero_sentence_20

Later career Cándido Camero_section_3

In 1948, he made his first US recording with Machito and His Afro-Cubans on the tune "El Rey del Mambo", but he did not become a member of the band, since they already had Carlos Vidal Bolado on congas. Cándido Camero_sentence_21

When Chano Pozo was murdered in 1948 (he arrived in New York shortly after Cándido), Dizzy Gillespie contacted Camero and they began a fruitful collaboration that culminated in the 1954 recording of Afro. Cándido Camero_sentence_22

Camero was also a member of the Billy Taylor Trio, with whom he recorded in 1953–54, and in 1954 he performed and recorded with Stan Kenton. Cándido Camero_sentence_23

As one of the best known congueros in the US, Camero performed on variety shows such as The Jackie Gleason Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Cándido Camero_sentence_24

Camero recorded several albums as a leader for ABC-Paramount in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cándido Camero_sentence_25

In the early 1970s, he recorded for the independent jazz label Blue Note Records, before joining the dance music record company Salsoul. Cándido Camero_sentence_26

With the latter, Camero recorded two albums which were relatively successul and remain in rotation by DJs in the US. Cándido Camero_sentence_27

In the 2000s, Camero was a member of the Conga Kings alongside Patato and Giovanni Hidalgo. Cándido Camero_sentence_28

They recorded two albums for Chesky. Cándido Camero_sentence_29

He recorded another album for Chesky in 2004, Inolvidable, with Graciela, the long-time lead singer for Machito. Cándido Camero_sentence_30

This album earned a Grammy Award nomination. Cándido Camero_sentence_31

In 2014, Camero recorded his last album, The Master, also for Chesky. Cándido Camero_sentence_32

He continued to perform in jazz clubs in New York until the late 2010s. Cándido Camero_sentence_33

Death Cándido Camero_section_4

Camero died on 7 November 2020, at his home in New York. Cándido Camero_sentence_34

He was 99. Cándido Camero_sentence_35

Honors Cándido Camero_section_5

Camero's album Inolvidable was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2004. Cándido Camero_sentence_36

He received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2008. Cándido Camero_sentence_37

He received a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award the following year. Cándido Camero_sentence_38

A documentary about Camero titled Candido: Hands of Fire was released in 2006. Cándido Camero_sentence_39

Discography Cándido Camero_section_6

Source: AllMusic, unless otherwise stated. Cándido Camero_sentence_40

As leader Cándido Camero_section_7

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_0

  • Candido featuring Al Cohn (ABC-Paramount, 1956)Cándido Camero_item_0_0
  • Calypso Dance Party (ABC-Paramount, 1957)Cándido Camero_item_0_1
  • The Volcanic (ABC-Paramount, 1957)Cándido Camero_item_0_2
  • In Indigo (ABC-Paramount, 1958)Cándido Camero_item_0_3
  • Latin Fire (The Big Beat of Candido) (ABC-Paramount, 1959)Cándido Camero_item_0_4
  • Conga Soul (Roulette, 1962)Cándido Camero_item_0_5
  • Candido's Comparsa (ABC-Paramount, 1963)Cándido Camero_item_0_6
  • Brujerías de Candido / Candido's Latin McGuffa's Dust (Tico Records, 1966)Cándido Camero_item_0_7
  • Thousand Finger Man (Solid State, 1969, reissued by Blue Note)Cándido Camero_item_0_8
  • Beautiful (Blue Note, 1970)Cándido Camero_item_0_9
  • Drum Fever (Polydor, 1973)Cándido Camero_item_0_10
  • Dancin' and Prancin' (Salsoul, 1979)Cándido Camero_item_0_11
  • Candy's Funk (Salsoul, 1979)Cándido Camero_item_0_12
  • The Conga Kings (Chesky, 2000) – with Giovanni Hidalgo and Carlos "Patato" ValdésCándido Camero_item_0_13
  • Jazz Descargas (Chesky, 2001) – with Giovanni Hidalgo and Carlos "Patato" ValdésCándido Camero_item_0_14
  • Inolvidable (Chesky, 2004) – with GracielaCándido Camero_item_0_15
  • Hands of Fire/Manos de fuego (Live) (Latin Jazz USA, 2008)Cándido Camero_item_0_16
  • The Master (Chesky, 2014)Cándido Camero_item_0_17

As sideman Cándido Camero_section_8

With Gene Ammons Cándido Camero_sentence_41

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_1

With Art Blakey Cándido Camero_sentence_42

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_2

  • Drum Suite (Columbia, 1957)Cándido Camero_item_2_21

With Ray Bryant Cándido Camero_sentence_43

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_3

With Kenny Burrell Cándido Camero_sentence_44

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_4

With Duke Ellington Cándido Camero_sentence_45

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_5

With Don Elliott Cándido Camero_sentence_46

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_6

  • Jamaica Jazz (ABC-Paramount, 1958)Cándido Camero_item_6_25

With Erroll Garner Cándido Camero_sentence_47

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_7

  • Mambo Moves Garner (Mercury, 1954)Cándido Camero_item_7_26

With Bennie Green Cándido Camero_sentence_48

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_8

With Grant Green Cándido Camero_sentence_49

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_9

With Dizzy Gillespie Cándido Camero_sentence_50

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_10

With Coleman Hawkins Cándido Camero_sentence_51

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_11

With Bobby Hutcherson Cándido Camero_sentence_52

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_12

  • Now! (Blue Note, 1969)Cándido Camero_item_12_33

With Illinois Jacquet Cándido Camero_sentence_53

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_13

  • Spectrum (Argo, 1965)Cándido Camero_item_13_34

With Jazz at the Philharmonic Cándido Camero_sentence_54

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_14

  • Jazz at the Philharmonic in Europe (Verve, 1963)Cándido Camero_item_14_35

With Elvin Jones Cándido Camero_sentence_55

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_15

With Wynton Kelly Cándido Camero_sentence_56

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_16

With Stan Kenton Cándido Camero_sentence_57

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_17

With Benjamin Lapidus Cándido Camero_sentence_58

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_18

  • Ochosi Blues - Latin, Soul, Organ Jazz - Benjamin Lapidus & Kari B3 (2014)Cándido Camero_item_18_41

With the Lecuona Cuban Boys Cándido Camero_sentence_59

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_19

  • Dance Along with the Lecuona Cuban Boys (ABC-Paramount, 1959)Cándido Camero_item_19_42

With Machito Cándido Camero_sentence_60

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_20

  • Kenya (Roulette, 1958)Cándido Camero_item_20_43

With Gary McFarland Cándido Camero_sentence_61

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_21

With Ellen McIlwaine Cándido Camero_sentence_62

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_22

With Wes Montgomery Cándido Camero_sentence_63

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_23

  • Bumpin' (1965)Cándido Camero_item_23_47

With Tito Puente Cándido Camero_sentence_64

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_24

  • Cuban Carnival (RCA, 1956)Cándido Camero_item_24_48

With Sonny Rollins Cándido Camero_sentence_65

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_25

With Bobby Sanabria Cándido Camero_sentence_66

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_26

  • Afro-Cuban Dream: Live & in Clave!!! Bobby Sanabria Big Band (Arabesque, 2000)Cándido Camero_item_26_50
  • 50 Years of Mambo - A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado - The Mambo All Stars Orchestra (Mambo Maniacs, 2003)Cándido Camero_item_26_51
  • Kenya Revisited Live!!! Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra conducted by Bobby Sanabria (Jazzheads, 2008)Cándido Camero_item_26_52

With Billy Taylor Cándido Camero_sentence_67

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_27

With Tico All-Stars Cándido Camero_sentence_68

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_28

With Randy Weston Cándido Camero_sentence_69

Cándido Camero_unordered_list_29

  • Uhuru Afrika (Roulette, 1960)Cándido Camero_item_29_55
  • Tanjah (Polydor, 1973)Cándido Camero_item_29_56


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cándido Camero.