The Cuban father of salsa If you want to get a real...


May 06, 1999|By J. D. CONSIDINE

The Cuban father of salsa

If you want to get a real taste of Cuba this week, forget baseball. Instead, head down to the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater on Friday to catch Cachao.

A living legend in salsa circles, Cachao -- born Israel Lopez in Havana 80 years ago -- is the original Mambo King. After all, he and his brother, Orestes, are generally credited with having invented the form, which was first recorded on their 1939 hit, "Mambo." Since then, the bassist and composer has built a reputation comparable to that of Charles Mingus, being both a soloist and bandleader of unmatched ability.

Cachao will be headlining the first night of Expresiones Latinas, a two-day mini-festival of Latin American music; Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury tops the bill on Saturday. Show time each night at the Kennedy Center, off Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest, Washington, is 7:30. Tickets are $20, $25 and $32. Call 202-467-4600.

Pub Date: 05/06/99

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