(Est. 1980) When Concord Picante founder Carl Jefferson created the Concord Picante imprint in 1980, he wanted to provide a much-needed home for such seminal Latin jazz musicians as Cal Tjader, who released the label's first album, the GRAMMY-winning La Onda Va Bien. The rhythm and percussion-rich music that Picante produced caught fire and helped to popularize Latin jazz. A quarter of a century later, the label can boast an all-star roster of Latin music legends, Ray Barretto, Charlie Byrd, Pete Escovedo, Tania Maria, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, and Poncho Sanchez, among them.
CONCORD PICANTE FEATURED ARTISTS
Poncho Sanchez grew up in the Los Angeles area, where he was weaned on a broad range of Latin and non-Latin popular music. Inspired by the conga playing of Cuban great Mongo Santamaria, he honed his skills as a percussionist and broke into the limelight at the age of 23 when he joined vibraphonist Cal Tjader's famed Latin jazz ensemble in 1975.MORE
Something special happens when Mongo Santamaria sits down behind the congas. The man himself is transformed. He approaches the stage quietly, as if listening to some inner cue. He settles in his chair without a word. Perhaps he touches one drum with the palm of his hand, as if greeting an old friend.MORE
By virtue of his warm, flamboyant stage manner, longevity, constant touring, and appearances in the mass media, Tito Puente is the most beloved symbol of Latin jazz. He's managed to keep his music remarkably fresh over the decades; as a timbales virtuoso, he combined mastery over every rhythmic nuance with old-fashioned showmanship.MORE