Mongo, Mexico 1948.

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Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby Omelenko1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:43 am

Mongo 1948, Yucatan, Mexico. Conjunto "Clave De Oro". 40's pre mechanical hardware Vergara. Como dice el coro: "Preparen Candela, Pa' Afinar Los Cueros"!!!!
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:28 am

Mighty Mongo!

Dario, I have a question about Mongo's red jicamo on the picture.
Did the red conga had a layer of fiberglass over the wood?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPQCYj2d_2U&noredirect=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPlfoXogtdI
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Mongo Santamaria.png
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby Omelenko1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:33 pm

Ritmo,

In the late 80's, Mongo kept the 3 Vergaras in my garage for about 6 months, as they were being repaired by a Cuban artisan by the name of Farach. I asked him about the red, he stated " la roja es pa' Chango". Mongo was Abakua and had Santo done in La Habana, he was devoted to Chango (Sta. Barbara) that's why the conga was painted in red. It had fiberglass on the inside, as I remember Farach had to remove it in order to glue some of the staves. Those Vergaras are in California with Tommy Saito, a Japanese American friend of Mongo.
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:53 pm

Ok they were fiberglassed inside, thank you.
Them congas are good candidates for the Smithsonian
or a museum in La Habana, Cuba.
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby Omelenko1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:43 pm

It was Mongo's intention to donate them to the Egrem Museum in La Habana, I had a friend that took Arsenio's tres there and was willing to do the same with Mongo's Vergaras, but Mongo had borrowed these 3 from Saito in 1962, when his set was stolen at the Black Hawk club in San Francisco. Saito took a trip here to Miami in 2002, after Mongo's first stroke and asked Mongo if he could have his drums back, as Mongo was no longer playing. I helped in shipping them back to California.
I got his Vergara bongos and the rest of the stuff is at the Smithonian, where his daughter donated them.
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:44 pm

Omelenko1 wrote: got his Vergara bongos and the rest of the stuff is at the Smithonian, where his daughter donated them.


Good, Mongo one of the true greats.
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:59 pm

I will tell anyone that is learning how to play..'study' Mongo..he is 'the root's' of Afro Cuban and Latin Jazz music...forget trying to play like Giovanni and all the other "congaslingers' out there...why? because he was the first "commercially" successful conga drummer in America...he has over 85 albums NO conga drummer today will ever come close to that....and he was known around the world before any others on the drum...Mongo brought the Conga drum to the musical forefront of music in this country..he was my inspiration and for many many others as well...he cannot be replaced, or duplicated...and for those that say that Poncho Sanchez plays like Mongo..not even close..sorry...if u want to see how Mongo played I'll drop a video for you, because I know how he played, lick for lick..with 'HIS' slap included...
Mongo+and+Me.jpg
Mongo+and+Me.jpg (26.14 KiB) Viewed 1220 times
Mongo and me 1980 concert in Los Angeles..
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby vinnieL » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:03 pm

Oye how about this little gem I found by a mutual friend back in the day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT3gqq99guk
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Re: Mongo, Mexico 1948.

Postby Omelenko1 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:03 am

Miguel Cruz's album was ahead of its time, it was recorded in 1979 and I consider it a gem. He later recorded another one "Musico, Poeta y Loco', which is also exceptional. Miguel is an incredible talent, but like every musician in So. Florida, he's having a hard time making it.
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