Home / Biography / Israel “Cachao” Lopez

Israel “Cachao” Lopez


b. 14 Sept 1918, Havana, Cuba, d. 22 March 2008, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. The name of revered bass participant Cachao (who also organized, composed and performed piano, tres, bongo, trumpet and trombone) was associated with the roots of mambo and was practically associated with descarga, that was described by pianist/music group head Charlie Palmieri as having ‘… simply no music created. It’s a soloists independence of appearance, ad-libs, an improvisation from the melody… whatever he (she) feels at this time…’ (quoted by Latin music historian Utmost Salazar). Leading Cuban music group leader from the 50s, Bebo Valdés stated in 1991: ‘… if Cachao and Arsenio Rodríguez was not delivered, the Cuban music from the 50s as well as perhaps the final 30 years, could have sounded just like the music from the 30s’. López was created to some musical family members and began learning acoustic guitar when he was six years. When he was about eight he performed acoustic guitar and bongo with Conjunto Miguel De Seste. This is accompanied by a stint with Ignacio Villa (who later on became well-known as Bola De Nieve), whose music group offered the music for silent movies at a film home in Guanabacoa, Havana. In 1931, he became a member of the Havana Symphonic Orchestra and continued to be an associate for over 30 years. In the mean time, López performed using the dance music group of violinist Marcelino González, turning out fascinating bass solos that gained him the nickname ‘Cachao’ (produced from ‘cachandeo’, signifying ‘exciting with pleasure’). Between 1934 and 1936 he caused Ernesto Muñoz, Antonio Maria Cruz and Orquesta Antillana. In 1937, López became a member of La Maravilla Del Siglo, a flute, strings and tempo section music group led by vocalist Fernando Collazo. The next year, the music artists mutinied following a row with Collazo and produced themselves right into a co-operative aimed by Antonio Arcaño Betancourt, which became referred to as Arcaño Y Sus Maravillas. Besides Cachao and Arcaño, account from the music group included Cachao’s sibling Orestes López (b. 29 August 1908, Havana, Cuba; cello, bass, piano), Enrique Jorrín (b. 1926, Cuba, d. 1988, Cuba; violin; he afterwards joined up with Orquesta América, created the cha cha chá tempo and became a music group head in his very own best), Félix Reina (violin; he continued to utilize Orquesta América, José Fajardo and business lead Estrellas Cubanas), Elizardo Aroche (violin), Jesús López (piano), Ulpiano Díaz (timbales), and Oscar Pelegrin (güiro). The music group, and also other flute and strings clothes from the period, specialized in executing the Cuban ballroom dance type known as the danzón, that was descended in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century French contradanza. Amid the ongoing controversy in regards to the creation from the mambo, Orestes López’s 1938 danzón structure known as ‘Mambo’, which experienced its debut overall performance on the air train station Mil Diez, continues to be cited among the earliest types of the tempo. Inside a 1979 interview with Erena Hernández, Orestes stated: ‘… I have to provide Arcaño credit within the advancement of my mambo. ONCE I performed it for him, he blew flute montunos (improvisations) I experienced never noticed before. His floreos (ad-libs) are what improved my mambo’. Furthermore to Orestes and Arcaño, two leading contenders for the name of most likely inventor from the mambo are considered to become Pérez Prado and Arsenio Rodríguez. Cachao mentioned his position within the argument to Maximum Salazar: ‘Prado’s mambo differs to my sibling’s mambo… he’s deserved all of the fame and prosperity with his fresh audio… we Cubans are pleased with him… Arcaño con sus Maravillas had been the first ever to play the mambo… we performed it before Arsenio’s diablo (his preliminary name for the tempo) and we achieved it on the radio.’ The brand new danzón-mambo audio took some time to gain approval. Motivated by Arsenio, who was simply the first music group leader to include the conga right into a trumpet-led conjunto (group/music group), Arcaño added the conga of Eliseo Un Colorao to his line-up in 1939. By 1943, Arcaño’s music group rivalled Arsenio because the best orchestra in Cuba. Nevertheless, working with a favorite dance music group eventually had taken its toll on Cachao. ‘In 1943, I couldn’t consider the pressure of organizing music, playing each day, and becoming on the road the whole day. I was within the verge of the nervous break down’ (quotation from ‘Un Gran Cachao’, 1991). Following a break in Miami, he came back towards the arduous regular. In 1948, Cachao experienced an additional stress-related episode of despair and despite another respite, including an interval in NY along with a stint with an American glaciers follies orchestra back Cuba, he ultimately quit Arcaño’s music group on amicable conditions in 1949. Stints with Mariano Mercerón and José Fajardo implemented; using the last mentioned he performed at New York’s famed Palladium Ballroom in 1954. The initial pieces that might be referred to as Latin jam or descarga (which actually means ‘release’) were documented in NY within the 40s. It really is presently believed the 1st descarga to become documented in Cuba was most likely ‘Con Coco Poco’ in 1952 by Bebo Valdés and users from the Tropicana nightclub orchestra, carrying out beneath the name from the Andres All Celebrities. The quantity was later on included on the 10-in . recording Cubano released within the Panart label. In 1956, Panart utilized the bait of the well-advertised ‘party’ to attract a few of Cuba’s leading music artists to some jam session that they received a nominal payment. The individuals were told the recording getting produced was for personal use but quickly soon after Panart released Cuban Jam Program, Vol. 1. The record was an enormous achievement and was carefully followed by quantity two. Popular musician Julio Gutiérrez was acknowledged as the movie director on both amounts. However, the level of his participation afterwards became the main topic of speculation. Panart continuing withCuban Jam Program, Vol. 3 aimed by Niño Rivera. In 1957, Cachao arranged an organization to record Cuban Jam Periods In Small: “Descargas” for Panart. The recording, which sold more than a million copies, accomplished the status of the traditional and acted because the launch-pad for Cachao’s wide-spread acclaim. He adopted up with additional descarga produces: Jam Classes With Feeling within the Maype label and Cuban Music In Jam Program within the Bonita label. The ultimate quantity within the Panart Cuban Jam Program series was supplied by José Fajardo And His All-Stars. In the past due 50s, Cachao reassembled the disbanded people of Arcaño Y Sus Maravillas for just two albums of danzones over the Kubaney label. Cachao performed with Chico O’Farill’s Cuban All Superstars on ‘Descarga Numero Uno’ and ‘Descarga Numero Dos’ for the Gema label, that have been included on the many performers collection Los Mejores Musicas De Cuba (reissued by Palladium Information in 1988). He performed bass on Cuban Jazz aka Sabor Cubano on Gema (reissued by Palladium in 1988) by percussionist Walfredo de los Reyes, who made an appearance over the initial two Panart Cuban Jam Program volumes. The record also highlighted pianist Paquito Echavarría. On the other hand in NY, the Cuban Jam Program releases inspired the very first in some Latin jam albums with the Alegre All-Stars in 1961. Descarga recordings by various other New York-based performers and bands implemented, including albums by Kako, Johnny Pacheco, percussionist Osvaldo ‘Chi Hua Hua’ Martínez, Tico All-Stars, Cesta All-Stars, Salsa All-Stars, Fania All Superstars and SAR All Superstars. In 1963, Cachao used residence in NY and was desperate for function. Charlie Palmieri persuaded his regular bass participant to stand down for some time (he previously gigs with various other bands obtainable) in order that Cachao could step-in to receive some cash. Stints with several music group leaders implemented, including Johnny Pacheco, Tito Rodríguez, Candido, Eddie Palmieri, Julio Gutiérrez, Lou Pérez, George Hernández and Pupi Campo (he caused the second option two in NEVADA), before he relocated to Miami. Rodríguez paid tribute to him using the monitor ‘Descarga Cachao’ on his 1964 launch Tito Tito Tito. Cachao received the chance to record using the Alegre All-Stars in 1965. Al Santiago described: ‘… we made a decision to execute a tribute to Noro Morales and we known as it the Kako After Hours Orchestra; picking right up the music artists at five each day after individuals were finished with their regular gigs. We’d Cachao there, and Bobby Rodríguez, one performed one side from the record and something performed another!…’ (quotation from 1990 interview with Nancy Rodríguez). He made an appearance on recordings from the Tico All-Stars in 1966, at New York’s Town Gate, and in 1974 at Carnegie Hall. Cachao once again distributed bass playing tasks with Bobby Rodríguez on 1968’s Salsa All-Stars made by Al Santiago. Cachao made an appearance at the unforgettable March 1977 Lo Dice Todo (This Says EVERYTHING) concert in the Avery Fisher Hall, NY. Shortly afterwards, a number of the music artists who participated within the concert, such as for example Charlie Palmieri; Don Gonzalo Fernández (flute); Felix ‘Pupi’ Legarreta, Alfredo De La Fé and Eddie Drennon (violins); and Chi Hua Hua and Rolando Valdés (percussionists), had been one of the staff on Cachao’s Cachao Y Su Descarga ’77, Vol. 1 and Dos on Salsoul Information. In 1981, Cachao collaborated with Walfredo De Los Reyes, Paquito Echavarría and Cuban percussionist Tany Gil around the Latin jam-orientated Walpataca around the Miami-based Tania Information label. In 1986, he led a descarga group on Maestro De Maestros: Israel López ‘Cachao’ Y Su Descarga ’86 also around the Tania label, including José Fajardo, de los Reyes and Echavarría. In November 1987, Cachao journeyed to NY to perform in a tribute to him at Hunter University Auditorium, which presented Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Pupi, José Fajardo, Alfredo ‘Chocolates’ Armenteros, José ‘Chombo’ Silva (violin/saxophone), Barry Rogers (trombone) among others. During his years in NY and Miami, Cachao sessioned on albums by way of a string of performers and rings, including Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdez and Eugenio Arango ‘Totico’, Candido, Hubert Laws and regulations, Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaría, Lou Pérez, Pedro Rafael Chaparro, Héctor Rivera, Charlie Palmieri, Chano Montes, Pepe Mora, Hernán Gutiérrez, Ñico Rojas, La India De Oriente, Roberto Torres, Hansel And Raúl and Grupo Market. He also performed using the Miami Symphony Orchestra. Within the 90s, Cachao’s profession gained a higher profile because of the support of Andy Garcia. The Cuban-born professional and musician directed the 1994 documentary Cachao… Like His Tempo THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO Other, and created and documented Cachao’s Grammy Prize winning Master Periods series. Cachao earned several additional Grammy Honours during his life time, both for single recordings and efforts to various other albums, the final to arrive 2005 for the record ¡Ahora Si! He passed away on 22 March 2008 in Coral Gables, Florida, from problems caused by kidney failure.

Quick Facts

Full Name Cachao López
Died March 22, 2008, Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Profession Composer, Double bassist
Nationality Cuban
Siblings Orestes López
Awards Latin Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Album, Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album
Music Songs Cuba Linda, Malanga Amarilla, Descarga Cubana, Descarga Guajira, Monte Adentro, A Gozar Con Mi Combo, Guajira Clásica, Isora Club, Juan Pescao, Yenyere Guma, Cogele el Golpe, Mi Guajira, Goza Mi Mambo Cubano, Sorpresa de flauta, Descarga Mexicana, Mambo Cambió De Swing, Redención, Los Tres Aces, Guajira de mi corazón, Lindo Yambi, Camina Juan Pescao, Marianao Social, El Bombin de Perucho, Lluvia, Viento Y Caña, Avance Juvenil, Why? Why Not!, Descarga mambo, Descarga General, El Son No Ha Muerto, Si Me Pudieras Querer, A Gozar Timbero, Goza Mi Trompeta
Albums The Last Mambo, Master Sessions Volume I, Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature, Master Sessions, Volume II, Descargas Cubanas, Superdanzones, Descargas: Cuban Jam Sessions, Maestro De Maestros, Cuban Music In Jam Session (Digitally Remastered), Descargas y Mambo, Descargas, Perlas Cubanas: Cuban Music In "Jam Session", JazzCuba, Vol. 2: Bebo Valdes & Cachao, Walpataca 1, La Leyenda, Cuban Jam Session - Remastered, Walpataca 2, Cuba Linda, Descarga, ¡Ahora Sí!, Maestro De Maestros Cachao Y Su Descarga, Cuban Jam Sessions, Volume 2, Perlas Cubanas: Super Danzones Vol. 1, Original Descargas (Remastered), Danzón (Remasterd), Cuba: Cachao López, Perlas Cubanas: Super Danzones Vol. 2, Perlas Cubanas: Bobby Collazo, Cachao's Gonna Make You Dance Vol.2, Dos, Descarga Cubana- Cachao, Tropical Classics: Cachao (2013 Remastered Version), Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature: "Descargas", From Havana to New York, Dos Leyendas de Cuba, Goza Mi Trompeta, Guajeo De Saxos - A Buscar Camarones, Cachao Y Su Ritmo Caliente, Recuerdos de Latinoamérica- Cachao, Descargando, Trombón Criollo - Descarga Nániga, Descarga Mejicana, El Manisero - La Floresta, Cachao Te Pone a Guarachar!, Cachao's Gonna Make You Dance Vol. 1, Siboney - La Inconclusa, Descarga Cubana, Perlas Cubanas: Cachao, Cógele El Golpe - Redención, Famous Hits by Israel Lopez, Descarga Guajira
Nominations Latin Grammy Award for Best Tropical Song
Movies Calle 54, Cachao (Como su Ritmo No Hay Dos)

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

1 He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6554 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
2 Received honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music in 2006.



Putzfrau Undercover 2008 TV Movie performer: "Mi Guajira" - uncredited
The Lost City 2005 performer: "Mambo", "Descarga Cubana #1", "Goza Mi Mambo Cubano", "Yenyere Guma", "Es Diferente", "Guajira Clasica", "A Gozar Con Mi Combo", "Club Social de Marianao", "Cachao's Guiro", "Si Me Pudieras Querer", "Cuba Linda" / writer: "Goza Mi Mambo Cubano", "Es Diferente", "Guajira Clasica", "A Gozar Con Mi Combo", "Club Social de Marianao", "Cachao's Guiro"
Chasing Papi 2003 performer: "El Progresso"
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 2002 Video Game performer: "A Gozar Con Mi Combo"
Yank Tanks 2002 Documentary performer: "Goza Mi Mambo Cubano" - as Israel "Cachao" Lopez Rodriguez / writer: "Goza Mi Mambo Cubano" - as Israel "Cachao" Lopez Rodriguez / writer: "Soy El Matancero" - as Israel "Cachao" Lopez
Buena Vista Social Club 1999 Documentary writer: "Chanchullo" - as Israel López
Dance with Me 1998 arranger: "Los tres golpes/The Three Beats" - as Israel López Cachao / performer: "Descarga cachao", "Romántica mujer", "Los tres golpes/The Three Beats", "Lindo yambu" / writer: "Descarga cachao" - as Israel López Cachao / writer: "Romántica mujer" - as Israel López 'Cachao'
The Birdcage 1996 performer: "Mi Guajira" / writer: "Mi Guajira" - as Israel "Cachao" Lopez
Two Much 1996 performer: "Caribe" - as Israel "Cachao" Lopez
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead 1995 performer: "A Gozar Con Mi Combo", "Lluvia, Viento Y Cana" / writer: "Lluvia, Viento Y Cana" - as Israel "Cachao" López



For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story 2000 TV Movie Wedding bassist (uncredited)
No seas cruel 1996



Celia: The Queen 2008 Documentary Himself
Cachao: Uno Mas 2008 Documentary Himself
Calle 54 2000 Documentary Bass (as Israel Lopez 'Cachao')
Somos un solo pueblo 1995 TV Movie documentary
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 1994 TV Series Himself
Cachao... Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos 1993 Documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2003 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Recording Awarded on March 14, 2003 at 6553 Hollywood Blvd.

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1 His suits and dark-colored tuxedos.
2 Double bass.

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