Candido Biography

Candido Camero de Guerra, 22 April 1921, Havana, Cuba. Turning to percussion in his early teenage years, after a brief flirtation with bass and guitar, Candido became an important member of the Cuban musical hierarchy. Despite his popularity in Cuba, in 1952 he was tempted to the USA by Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he played and later recorded. During the mid-50s, he played with Billy Taylor, Stan Kenton and others, usually performing on conga and bongo drums. Eclectic in taste and style, Candido was able to blend his urgent, exhilarating Latin roots with the demands of bop and mainstream artists alike. A list of his musical associates from the late 50s through to the late 70s rings with important names such as Erroll Garner, Al Cohn, Art Blakey, Phil Woods, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Elvin Jones and Lionel Hampton. From the 80s onwards, Candido was still active in the USA but was heard less in jazz circles, more often playing in studio orchestras. A seminal figure in the growth of popularity of Latin rhythms in jazz in the third quarter of the century, Candido’s skill, dexterity and propulsive swing has set standards achieved by only a few of his successors.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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