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Miguel “Angá” Diaz

Acclaimed as the utmost original and dynamic Cuban conguero of his generation, Miguel “Angá” Díaz Zayas was the spiritual descendent of Latin jazz immortals like Chano Pozo and Pancho Quinto. Given birth to June 15, 1961, within the traditional western Cuban city of San Juan de Martinez, Díaz was the child of a specialist saxophonist who bequeathed him the nickname “Angá,” produced from the name of the Yoruba prince. Díaz started playing percussion at age 15 while students on the Pínar del Río arts boarding college. A lifelong follower from the Afro-Cuban religious beliefs Santería, he kept fiercely to its tenet that drums serve to mediate between human beings and their gods, so when he extended his fluency across an increasing number of percussion musical instruments, adapting and refining their particular ways to hone his very own distinctive design, his religious fervor grew increasingly more extreme. While students at Havana’s Country wide College of Arts, Díaz moonlighted as an associate from the Latin jazz combo Opus 13. He also tenured under percussion experts including Cesar Ribero, Luís Lopez Nussa, and Tata Guines, and collaborated with Sergio and Jose Marie Vitier. Within the wake from the tragic loss of life of Irakere drummer Lazaro Alfonso, Díaz was called his substitute by head Chucho Valdés, carrying on the five-conga technique pioneered by Alfonso, Díaz surfaced as the top percussionist in modern Afro-Cuban jazz, with Irakere earned some Grammy Honours. He relocated to Paris in 1993 but produced regular comes back to Havana, and in the years to check out collaborated with works as different as American avant-jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and Cuban hip-hop clothing Orishas. Díaz’s worldwide profile grew exponentially via his efforts to Juan de Marcos Gonzalez’s groundbreaking 1996 LP using the Afro-Cuban All Superstars and the next Buena Vista Public Club spin-off tasks headlined by Rubén Gonzalez, Ibrahím Ferrer and Omara Portuondo. In 2000, he also released a much-celebrated instructional video, Angá Mania!, which Drum mag named the very best percussion video of the entire year. Believe it or not significant was Díaz’s focus on bassist Orlando “Cachaíto” Lopez’s 2001 single work Cachaíto a groundbreaking fusion of jazz, funk, reggae, and hip-hop which was instrumental in getting the percussionist his very own record cope with the London-based Globe Circuit label, and in nov 2005 he released his boldly eclectic debut work Echua Mingua, therefore named honoring his patron saint Elugguá. A few months after relocating to small San Sadurní d’Anoia, Spain, Díaz experienced a fatal coronary attack on August 9, 2006. He was simply 45-years-old.

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