“Cachao was the center of the musical universe in Cuba!” exclaims producer and Latin music historian Rene Lopez about bassist and composer Israel “Cachao” Lopez.
Lopez is a Latin-music consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center, where on Friday and Saturday the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will play the music of the legendary Cuban musician, who died in 2008.
“”We’re going to give the whole lineage of Cachao during these shows,” says fellow bass player Carlos Henriquez, the gig’s musical director.
Henriquez and orchestra will offer “some of his danzónes, traditional Cuban music he was accustomed to playing as a young boy. We’re going to play some mambos also, and some of his descargas — which means jam sessions — one thing he’s primarily known for.”
Lopez was friends with Cachao, and produced several tours and recordings with the bass master in the 1970s. “Cachao and his older brother Orestes Lopez are considered the two of the three most important contributors to the mambo. I compare mambo in Latin music to bebop in jazz. It’s an evolution.