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    (circa December 3, 1908-April 19, 1984)
    Birth name was Francisco Raul Gutierrez Grillo
    Maracas player, singer and bandleader
    Formed the band the Afro-Cubans (1940)
    Pioneer of Latin jazz and salsa
    Recorded the albums ‘Mucho Macho Machito’ (1949), ‘Kenya’ (1957), ‘Vacation at the Concord’ (1958), ‘Machito with Flute to Boot’ (1959), ‘Machito at the Crescendo’ (1961), ‘Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods’ (with Dizzy Gillespie, 1975), ‘Fireworks’ (1977) and ‘Machito & His Salsa Big Band ‘82’ (1982)
    His birth year has been listed anywhere from 1908 to 1915.
    There is debate over whether he was born in Havana or in Tampa, Florida.
    He went by a single name.
    His popularity peaked during the early 50s mambo craze.
    His band was the first to fuse jazz improvisation and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
    His Afro-Cubans were one of the first racially integrated bands.
    His Latin rhythms influenced bebop musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
    He won a Grammy for Best Latin Recording (1982).
    He died in the wings of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London while waiting to take the stage with his band.
    An intersection in Spanish Harlem was named ‘Machito Square’ in his honor (1985).

Credit: C. Fishel

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