May 30, 1924 - April 14, 2014
Armando Peraza was one of the most important and revered figures in the world of percussion. A legendary master on both congas and bongo, whose unorthodox style and rich history are inspirations to countless younger musicians. Most of today's top percussionists cite Armando as one of their biggest influences.
Upon arriving in New York City in 1949, Armando was an instantly sought-after musician, especially in the contemporary Bebop and Latin Jazz scene. He proceeded to build upon a reputation of amazingly fast, complicated handwork, experimental techniques and a flair for showmanship. He thrived in progressive settings that combined Jazz and Afro-Cuban idioms and was at the vortex of a new musical expression named "Cubop." He has performed on more than 100 albums and is the songwriter of more than 40 songs. Some of these works include collaboratorations with Mongo Santamaria, George Shearing, Cal Tjader and Carlos Santana.
During his long and prolific career, which has spanned more than 60 years, Armando Peraza has performed and recorded with such musical icons as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Josephine Baker, Art Tatum, Dave Brubeck, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Zappa, Rick James, Aretha Franklin and Jaco Pastorius. It's been noted that this cumulative, wide ranging, eclectic musical experience has arguably made Armando Peraza the most traveled and widely-heard percussionist.