Rare Mongo Santamaría Performance & Interview Documentary Footage

by chipboaz on February 17, 2017

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We live in a day and age where – for better or for worse – everything, from major political events to concerts, friendly gatherings, and meals, gets documented and stored somewhere online. Most of us carry cell phones that give us the ability to take pictures, shoot video, and capture audio, effectively giving us the endless opportunity to capture anything that strikes our fancy. In some cases, this is great – we get access to so much entertainment that would have previously been unattainable. On the other hand, a lot of bandwidth gets dedicated to things that really don’t need our attention . . . still, somehow they end up distracting us. Regardless of the content’s worth, it’s all there, just waiting for someone to listen, watch, or consume it. This is taken for granted today, but it’s important to remember that this wasn’t always the case.

There’s dangerously few great clips of conguero Mongo Santamaría talking about his art form. If you dig through YouTube, you’ll find plenty of clips featuring Mongo’s prodigious playing, usually leading a great band. Mongo spoke volumes through his music, and that’s usually where we heard his voice; his speaking voice rarely took center stage. The music was enough for most of us, but the story behind the music has always been an intriguing prospect. Mongo lived in a day and age where we didn’t have cell phones to capture every word he said, and now, we have very little of his story.

That’s what makes today’s video feature such a gold mine – this 30 minute video was taken from a 1980 documentary on Mongo Santamaría that includes both performance and interview footage. We get to hear Mongo’s musical voice and his speaking voice, giving us a much more complete picture of the man. Check out all 30 minutes – it’s an important look at a master musician.

Do you have a Latin Jazz video to share? E-mail a link to latinjazzcorner@gmail.com

Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Dizzy Gillespie Performing Tin Tin Deo With An All Star Band
Arturo Sandoval Big Band Performing Funky Cha Cha
Flora Purim And Airto Moriera Live
Luis Perdomo Trio Performing Nomads
Jerry Gonzalez And The Fort Apache Band Performing Ron Carter’s 81

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