You really ought to catch Cuban musician Israel Lopez -- a.k.a. Cachao right now. Homeboy is 87. Then again, one critic who saw his show wrote, Cachao on tour amazes in many ways, one being how a seemingly frail older gentleman can become a suddenly energized musician on top of his game.
Cachao, a composer and bass player, is known for revolutionizing Cuban music by introducing fast, syncopated rhythms to traditional salsa, specifically in his 1939 song Mambo. The mambo ignited a dance craze in the nation, and trickled up to North America to infect guys like Dizzie Gillespie, who then came to dig Afro-Cuban music.
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By 1993 Cachao had made his way to Miami. He was just bumping around, playing weddings, when actor and percussionist Andy Garcia invited him to California to record. The studio time resulted in an album, Master Sessions Volume I, which won a Grammy, and earned Cachao a Billboard award for Best New Artist. Around this time, Garcia also honored Cachao by releasing a film of him in concert, Cachao . . . Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos (Like His Rhythm There Is No Other). Today, the two old friends and heavyweights reunite for a concert at the James L. Knight Center (400 Se Second Ave., Miami) at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $49 to $99. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Fri., April 21