Ray Mantilla With The Tito Puente Band Performing Mambo Diablo

by chipboaz on May 5, 2017

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If there’s one guaranteed time when you can get fireworks on stage during a Latin Jazz concert, it’s putting two serious percussionists on stage. You can get musical explosives from any instrument – wind players, pianists, bassists, and guitarists can all light a stage on fire with their performances. Something different happens when you put several percussionists on stage though; they inevitably bring out the best in each other, raising the musical investment to a completely new level. Percussionists form a brotherhood that’s unlike any other type of connection among instrumentalists. This bond brings a respect onto the stage, as well as a friendship and unspoken need to push each other into new musical territories. When percussionists experience this connection in a music like Latin Jazz that’s a rhythmic paradise, the connection and desire to bring new ideas onto the stage becomes bigger, better, and ultimately, more exciting.

Percussionist Ray Mantilla has shared the stage with numerous percussionists throughout his illustrious career, finding the best in both himself and his musical peers. Inspired by the wealth of Cuban music in the South Bronx during the thirties, Mantilla started playing the congas and was soon performing alongside folks like Eddie Palmieri. Broadening his career to the world stage, Mantilla toured with Herbie Mann and recorded the legendary Freedom Now Suite with Max Roach. Mantilla was soon playing with Art Blakey, sharing the stage with one of the legendary percussionists in jazz. All of this experience has made Mantilla an in-demand studio musician, recording over 200 albums across a wide variety of styles. He has worked as a leader, recording albums scuch as Man-Ti-Ya, Good Vibrations, and the recently released High Voltage. In today’s video, Mantilla shares the stage with the master percussionist Tito Puente, delivering a fiery conga solo to the performance under Puente’s watchful eyes – it’s pretty amazing to see these two on stage together!

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

Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
A Bold Vision: Celebrating Mario Bauza
Drawing The Line Between Latin Jazz & Salsa: Ray Barretto Live
Putting The Bass Front & Center: Nicky Orta With The Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quintet
Recognizing A Living Legend: Candido Camero Performs Manteca
Re-Contextualizing Music: Michel Camilo Big Band Playing Caribe

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