WBAI-FM Recently Aired Program
Con Sabor Latino

12/31/2017   3:00 PM


Mongo Santamaria
"Mongo's Centennial - A Musical Snapshot Marking the 100th Birthday of Mongo Santamaria" was a tribute to Grammy-winning master conguero Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria.  Mongo's 100th birthday was April 7, 2017  and host Marysol Cerdeira did not want to let 2017 go without giving him a deserving tribute.

The broadcast contains live audio of Mongo speaking about his musical career and influences as well as some of his greatest hits spanning five decades of studio and live recordings. Two notable tunes are "Watermelon Man" and the Grammy-winning "Dawn".

Some biographical info:

Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría Rodríguez (April 7, 1917 – February 1, 2003) was an Afro-Cuban percussionist, bandleader, and composer.  In 1950 he moved to New York City where he played with the most notable names in Afro-Cuban music, Salsa and Latin Jazz, including Perez Prado, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader and the Fania All-Stars.  His discography as a solo artist fronting his own band show is formidable and a must in any Latin Music lover's collection.  Mongo's raw and unapologetic approach to percussion broke ground for many to follow and has earned him a place among the all-time greats in Salsa and Latin Jazz.  He was also an integral figure in the fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with R&B and Soul.  Mongo's 1963 hit rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" (recorded on December 17, 1962) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.