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by Judy Cantor-Navas

October 2, 2013

Hispanic Icons: Mambo Kings

by Judy Cantor-Navas  |  October 2, 2013

The Cuban orchestras that toured the United States in the 1940s paved the way for the '50s mambo craze, when big bands created a new Latin sound for ecstatic crowds in New York and beyond. While Israel "Cachao" Lopez and his brother Orestes experimented with the mambo rhythm in Havana and Perez Prado is credited with taking the style internationally, bandleaders Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente brought the music to a boiling point in the U.S. This playlist pays homage to those Mambo Kings and other music royalty who made the cha-cha-cha, charanga and rumba household terms in this country. From Arsenio Rodriguez, Beny More and Orquesta Aragon to Cal Tjader, Chico O'Farrill and Desi Arnaz, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we thank these artists with our heart, our hips and feet for bringing so much sabor to this land.

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