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Today in Latin American History

Cuban Conga Player Carlos Valdes was Born in 1926

Cuban Conga Player Carlos Valdes was Born in 1926

Photo: Carlos "Patato" Valdes

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Today in Latin American history, Cuban conga player Carlos Valdes known as “Patato” was born in 1926.

He invented and patented the tunable conga drum (earlier drums had nailed heads) which revolutionized use of the instrument. Tito Puente called him “the greatest conguero alive today”.

Since the 1950s Patato was among the congueros that are in highest demand in the Latin Music and jazz world.

His conga playing demonstrated the fusing of melody and rhythm, and his keen understanding of rhythm is rooted in dancing.

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