Carlos "Patato" Valdes

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For other people with the same name, see Carlos Valdés (disambiguation). Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_0

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_table_infobox_0

Carlos "Patato" ValdésCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_0_0
Birth nameCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_1_0 Carlos Valdés GalánCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_1_1
Also known asCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_2_0 PatatoCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_2_1
BornCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_3_0 (1926-11-04)November 4, 1926

Los Sitios, Centro Habana, La Habana, CubaCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_3_1

DiedCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_4_0 December 4, 2007(2007-12-04) (aged 81)

Cleveland, Ohio, USCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_4_1

GenresCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_5_0 Cuban rumba, son cubano, big band, Afro-Cuban jazzCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_6_0 Musician, bandleader, composerCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_7_0 Congas, percussionCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_7_1
Years activeCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_8_0 1944–2007Carlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_8_1
LabelsCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_9_0 Panart, Blue Note, Verve, Latin PercussionCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_9_1
Associated actsCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_10_0 Armando Peraza, Mongo Santamaría, Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Herbie Mann, Eugenio "Totico" Arango, The Latin Percussion Jazz EnsembleCarlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_10_1
WebsiteCarlos "Patato" Valdes_header_cell_0_11_0 Carlos "Patato" Valdes_cell_0_11_1

Carlos Valdés Galán (November 4, 1926 – December 4, 2007), better known as Patato, was a Cuban conga player. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_1

In 1954, he emigrated 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. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_2

He contributed to the development of the tunable conga drum which revolutionized the use of the instrument in the US. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_3

His experimental descarga albums recorded for Latin Percussion are considered the counterpart to the commercial salsa boom of the 1970s. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_4

Tito Puente once called him "the greatest conguero alive today". Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_5

Nicknames Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_0

Like most Cuban musicians, Carlos Valdés had several nicknames throughout his artistic career. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_6

Early on he was known as "El Toro" (The Bull) as a young dancer and boxer. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_7

In school he was known as "Patato" (Potato) due to his short stature; more disrespectfully he was known as "Remache" and "Tampón de bañera" around his neighbourhood. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_8

While playing alongside Armando Peraza in Havana's Zombie Club, he was known as "El Zombie", "Zombito" or "Pequeño Zombie" (Little Zombie). Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_9

Due to his dancing style he was known as "Pingüino" (Penguin). Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_10

Nonetheless, "Patato" was the name that stuck and he carried this pseudonym to the US, where he was often miscredited as "Potato Valdez". Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_11

Life Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_1

Early life and career Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_2

Carlos Valdés Galán was born in the neighbourhood of Los Sitios in La Habana on November 4, 1926. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_12

His father, Carlos Valdés Brito, was a tres player who was part of the seminal coro de clave Los Apaches, and author of the son "Maldita timidez" recorded by Sexteto Habanero. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_13

The rest of his family included many other musicians and santeros; his cousin was the singer Francisco Fellove aka "El Gran Fellove". Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_14

Carlos soon followed his father footsteps, learning to play the tres and a wide variety of percussion instruments, including the marímbula, the botija, the shekere, the tambourine, the cajón and the double bass. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_15

He became a member of the comparsa Las sultanas in which he played the congas (tumbadoras). Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_16

He became a master of the instrument at a young age, playing alongside other greats such as Mongo Santamaría, Cándido Camero, Julito Collazo and Armando Peraza. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_17

The latter was his neighbour and partner in the Conjunto Kubavana led by Alberto Ruiz. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_18

He was only 18 years old when he joined this band in 1944. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_19

He left the group in 1947 to join the well-known Sonora Matancera, where he stayed for a year. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_20

From 1949 to 1954 he played for the Conjunto Casino, one of the most popular bands in La Habana at the time. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_21

In 1952, they toured New York City, where fellow drummer Cándido Camero decided to stay. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_22

Patato would make the same decision two years later. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_23

Exile Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_3

Attracted by New York's thriving jazz scene, Patato left Cuba indefinitely on October 5, 1954. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_24

His first full-length recording as a sideman was the notorious LP Afro-Cuban by Kenny Dorham. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_25

He went on to perform live alongside Mongo Santamaría and Tito Puente in Harlem. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_26

He then joined several ensembles, including those led by Willie Bobo, Machito and Charlie Palmieri. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_27

He recorded with jazz drummers Art Blakey, Art Taylor and Max Roach. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_28

By the early 1960s, Patato was amongst the most sought-after conga drummers in New York. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_29

His association with flautist and bandleader Herbie Mann would last over fifteen years. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_30

In 1959, the United States Department of State funded a trip for bandleader Herbie Mann to visit Africa, after they heard his version of "African Suite." Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_31

The grueling 14-week tour took place between 12/31/1959 to 4/5/1960 featuring Mann (bandleader, flute and saxophone), Johnny Rae (vibraphone and arrangements), Don Payne (bass), Doc Cheatham (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Carlos "Patato" Valdés (congas) and José Mangual (bongos). Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_32

They toured Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rhodesia, Tanganyika, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_33

Patato accompanied Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones on extended tours throughout Europe. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_34

He acted in and composed the title song of The Bill Cosby Show. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_35

In 1977 he took part in the recording of Cachao's comeback albums. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_36

In 1991, he contributed to the movie soundtrack for The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_37

Patato was the leader of his own band, Afrojazzia, which toured Europe in the spring of 1994. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_38

In 1995 he recorded the album "Ritmo y candela" with fellow percussionists Changuito and Orestes Vilató. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_39

Similarly, together with Giovanni Hidalgo and Candido Camero he released an album in 2000 entitled The Conga Kings. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_40

That year he appeared in the documentary Calle 54. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_41

In 2001, Patato was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_42

Death Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_4

A lifetime smoker, Patato had emphysema and died of respiratory failure in Cleveland, Ohio on December 4, 2007. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_43

Style and craft Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_5

For over 60 years Carlos "Patato" Valdés demonstrated how a musician could combine technical skill with superb showmanship. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_44

His conga playing demonstrated the fusion of melody and rhythm. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_45

It also reflected his keen understanding of rhythm as a biological constant that is rooted, quite literally, in the human heartbeat. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_46

During his performances, Patato even mastered the art of playing his congas while dancing on top of them, to the delight of the audience. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_47

Valdés dazzled audiences well into his seventies with his rumba moves. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_48

He is also the man who gave Brigitte Bardot a mambo lesson in the film And God Created Woman. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_49

Valdés also expressed his understanding of melody through bass and tres. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_50

During the late 1940s he helped develop the first tunable congas, as earlier models were tuned by the unwieldy method of heating them with a sterno can. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_51

His interest in design, as well as his friendship with LP Founder Martin Cohen, led to the development of the LP Patato Model Congas, one of the top-selling conga drums of all time. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_52

Personal life Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_6

Valdés was the father of Carlos Hernández, better known as Chick Hernández, a sports anchor/reporter for Comcast SportsNet/NBC sports. Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_53

Discography Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_7

As leader Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_8

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_0

  • 1967: Patato & Totico (Verve) (also reissued as Nuestro barrio) - with Eugenio "Totico" ArangoCarlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_0
  • 1976: Authority (Latin Percussion Ventures)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_1
  • 1976: Ready for Freddy (Latin Percussion Ventures)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_2
  • 1980: Batá y rumba (Latin Percussion Ventures)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_3
  • 1993: Masterpiece (Messidor)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_4
  • 1995: Ritmo y candela (Tonga) - with Changuito and Orestes VilatóCarlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_5
  • 1996: Ritmo y candela II (Round World)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_6
  • 1997: Único y diferente (Connector Music)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_7
  • 2000: The Conga Kings (Chesky) - with Giovanni Hidalgo and Cándido CameroCarlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_8
  • 2001: Jazz descargas (Chesky) - with Giovanni Hidalgo and Cándido CameroCarlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_9
  • 2004: El hombre (Mambo Maniacs)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_10
  • 2006: Live at the Canal Room (USA Records)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_0_11

As sideman Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_9

With Art Blakey Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_54

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_1

With Willie Bobo Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_55

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_2

With Alberto Beltrán & Conjunto Casino Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_56

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_3

  • El negrito del batey (Panart, 1955)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_3_14

With Cachao Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_57

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_4

  • Descarga '77 (Salsoul, 1977)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_4_15
  • Dos (Salsoul, 1977)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_4_16

With Antonio "Chocolate" Díaz Mena Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_58

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_5

  • Eso es Latin Jazz ...Man! (Audio Fidelity, 1963)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_5_17

With Dizzy Gillespie Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_59

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_6

With Benny Golson Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_60

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_7

With Johnny Griffin & Matthew Gee Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_61

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_8

  • Soul Groove (Atlantic, 1963)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_8_22

With Quincy Jones Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_62

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_9

With the Latin Percussion Jazz Ensemble Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_63

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_10

  • Just Like Magic (Latin Percussion Ventures, 1979)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_10_24
  • Live at Montreux (Latin Percussion Ventures, 1980)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_10_25

With Johnny Lytle Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_64

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_11

With Machito Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_65

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_12

  • Kenya (Roulette, 1958)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_12_27

With Herbie Mann Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_66

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_13

With Johnny Pacheco Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_67

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_14

  • His Flute and Latin Jam (Fania, 1965)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_14_48

With Charlie Palmieri and His Charanga "La Duboney" Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_68

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_15

  • Pachanga at the Caravana Club (Alegre, 1961)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_15_49

With Duke Pearson Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_69

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_16

  • The Phantom (Blue Note, 1969)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_16_50

With Dave Pike Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_70

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_17

With Tito Puente Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_71

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_18

  • Puente in Percussion (Tico, 1956)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_18_52
  • Top Percussion (RCA Victor, 1958)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_18_53
  • Tambó (RCA Victor, 1960)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_18_54

With Kenny Dorham Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_72

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_19

  • Afro-Cuban (Blue Note, 1955)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_19_55

With Don Ellis Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_73

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_20

With Stan Free Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_74

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_21

  • Piano a la Percussion (Old Town, 1961)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_21_57

With Mike Longo Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_75

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_22

  • Matrix (Mainstream, 1972)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_22_58
  • Funkia (Groove Merchant, 1974)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_22_59

With Johnny Richards Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_76

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_23

  • The Rites of Diablo (Roulette, 1958)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_23_60

With Al Jazzbo Collins Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_77

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_24

  • Presents Swinging At The Opera (Everest, 1960)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_24_61

With Grant Green Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_78

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_25

  • The Latin Bit (Blue Note, 1963)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_25_62

With Charlie Rouse Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_79

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_26

With Max Roach Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_80

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_27

With Jorge Dalto Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_81

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_28

  • Rendez-Vous (Eastworld, 1983)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_28_65
  • Urban Oasis (Concord Jazz Picante, 1985)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_28_66

With Orchestre Keur Samba Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_82

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_29

  • Une soirée a Keur Samba (BAM, 1961)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_29_67

With Elvin Jones Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_83

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_30

  • Mr. Jones (Blue Note, 1973)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_30_68

With Ben Tucker Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_84

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_31

  • Baby, You Should Know It (Ava, 1963)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_31_69

With José Mangual Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_85

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_32

  • Buyú (Turnstyle, 1977)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_32_70

With Alfredo Rodríguez Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_86

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_33

  • Alfredo Rodríguez (Espérance, 1983)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_33_71

With Onelio Scull Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_87

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_34

  • Santería cubana (Santero)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_34_72
  • Fiesta santera (Santero, 1983)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_34_73

With Sonny Stitt Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_88

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_35

With Art Taylor Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_89

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_36

With Cal Tjader Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_90

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_37

  • Soul Burst (Verve, 1966)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_37_76

With Bebo Valdés Carlos "Patato" Valdes_sentence_91

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_38

  • Bebo Rides Again (Messidor, 1995)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_38_77
  • El arte del sabor (Blue Note, 2001)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_38_78

Compilations Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_10

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_39

  • The Legend of Cuban Percussion (Six Degrees, 2000)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_39_79

Contributing artist Carlos "Patato" Valdes_section_11

Carlos "Patato" Valdes_unordered_list_40

  • Afro-Cuba: The Jazz Roots of Cuban Rhythm (Nascente, 1995)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_40_80
  • Nu Yorica 2! (Soul Jazz, 1997)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_40_81
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa (World Music Network, 1997)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_40_82
  • Diggin' the Crates for Afro-Cuban Funk (Empire Musicwerks, 2001)Carlos "Patato" Valdes_item_40_83


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos "Patato" Valdes.