Biographies of All Musicians

San Antonio
Conjunto, Tejano
This band is one of the pioneers of Tejano rhythm and blues in San Antonio, Texas. In the early ‘50s they were playing covers of R&B tunes under two conjunto names; Conjunto San Antonio Alegre and Conjunto Mexico. At...
New York City
Cubop, Latin Jazz
Born in Cuba, Mario Bauzá was a child prodigy on the clarinet. As a 9-year-old, he played in the Havana Philharmonic and also performed with popular dance bands. Bauzá first traveled to New York for a recording...
Los Angeles
Chicano Rock
Mark Guerrero was born in Los Angeles, California, grew up in East Los Angeles, and graduated from California State University Los Angeles, with a B.A. in Chicano Studies.  He began playing in rock & roll bands at age 12...
Miami
Miami Music Scene
In the 1980s Miami Sound Machine were the most successful Latino music group in mainstream America, scoring hits on Billboard’s Latin, pop, soul, and dance charts. The band had started out in 1975 playing weddings as the...
San Francisco
Latin Jazz, Latin Rock
Mike Carabello’s grandparents were among the earliest Puerto Ricans to settle in San Francisco’s Mission District. He grew up hearing lots of music and drumming in their home. As a teenager, he played baseball and...
New York City
Latin Jazz, Rumba
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría established himself as one of the premier congueros (conga players) in the Havana dance band scene. In the late 1940s he played with Orquesta...
San Antonio
Conjunto, Corrido, Tejano
The accordionist Narciso Martínez and bajo sexto player Santiago Almeida together made landmark recordings in the 1930s. These recordings have given them the reputation as the “Fathers of Conjunto.” Their style...
New York City
Cha Cha Cha, Mambo
For many people, Dámaso Pérez Prado personified the mambo in the 1950s.  Garnering attention as the pianist and arranger for Cuba’s most famous band, La Sonora Matancera, he worked with a variety of...
San Francisco
Latin Jazz, Latin Rock
Azteca, an influential Oakland band that brought together musicians from diverse scenes, including rock, jazz, and Latin, was founded by Brothers Pete and Coke Escovedo in 1972. Chicanos born and raised in the Bay Area, the...
Los Angeles
Chicano Rock
Quetzal is a band from East Los Angeles, California, respectfully committed to continuing the legacy of over 70 years of Chicano rock. Standing on the shoulders of giants like Lalo Guerrero, Ritchie Valens, Lydia Mendoza, Los...
Los Angeles
Chicano Rock, Latin Rock
Ritchie Valens, born Richard Steven Valenzuela outside of Los Angeles, California, in 1941, was the first Chicano rock musician to gain national popularity in the U.S. and one of the first "rock stars" as we know them...
Los Angeles
Chicano Rock
Fourteen-year-old Mexican American Rosie Mendez-Hamlin wrote the melody and lyrics for Angel Baby in 1959. The song became a national hit in 1960.  After recording the song in an airplane hangar with a makeshift two-...