Candido Camero

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Candido Camero
Percussionist Candido Camero.jpg
Percussionist Candido Camero playing at a concert in 2008.
Background information
Birth name Candido de Guerra Camero
Born (1921-04-22) April 22, 1921 (age 93)
Origin Cuba
Genres Jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, Disco
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Conga, bongo, various percussion instruments
Labels ABC-Paramount, Blue Note, Polydor, Salsoul
Associated acts Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Kelly, many others

Cándido de Guerra Camero, also known simply as Candido (born April 22, 1921) is a Cuban-born percussionist (mainly conga and bongo) who has backed several jazz acts since the 1950s. Although he has been credited as the first person to use the congas in jazz music,[1] both Diego Iborra and Chano Pozo preceded him in the 1940s.


Early in his career, Camero recorded in his native Cuba with fellow jazz musician Machito. He moved to New York in 1952 and started recording with Dizzy Gillespie. During 1953-54, he was in the Billy Taylor Trio and in 1954 he performed and recorded with Stan Kenton.[2][3]

He also enjoyed success during the disco era of the 1970s, most notably with the Babatunde Olatunji-penned track "Jingo" from his Dancin' and Prancin' album, which he recorded for Salsoul Records in 1979. The album has also been acknowledged as an influence and precursor to house music, predating the emergence of the genre by over 5 years.[4]

Camero was honored with the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2008.[1]


As leader[edit]

  • Candido Featuring Al Cohn (ABC-Paramount, 1956)
  • The Volcanic (ABC-Paramount, 1956)
  • Latin Fire (The Big Beat of Candido) (ABC-Paramount, 1959)
  • In Indigo (ABC-Paramount, circa 1960)
  • Conga Soul (Roulette, 1962)
  • Candido's comparsa (ABC-Paramount, 1963)
  • Thousand Finger Man (Solid State, 1969, reissued by Blue Note)
  • Beautiful (Blue Note, 1970)
  • Brujerias de Candido / Candido's Latin McGuffa's Dust (Discos Fuentes, 1971)
  • Drum Fever (Polydor, 1973)
  • Dancin' and Prancin' (Salsoul, 1979)
  • Giovanni Hidalgo, Candido, Patato Valdes - The Conga Kings (Chesky, 2000)
  • Candido & Graciela – Inolvidable (Chesky, 2004)
  • Hands of Fire / Manos de fuego (Live) (Latin Jazz USA, 2008)
  • The Master (Chesky, 2014)

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Billy Taylor

With Bennie Green

With Art Blakey

With Don Elliott

  • The Don Elliott Octet Featuring Candido - Jamaica Jazz (ABC-Paramount, 1958)

With the Lecuona Cuban Boys

  • Dance Along with the Lecuona Cuban Boys (ABC-Paramount, 1959)

With Randy Weston

With Sonny Rollins

With Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic

With Wynton Kelly

With Grant Green

With Illinois Jacquet

With Wes Montgomery

With Elvin Jones

With Ellen McIlwaine


  1. ^ a b "NEA Jazz Masters: Candido Camero, Percussionist". Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Candido Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Candido at All About Jazz". Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Discogs: Post-Disco/Proto-House/Garage

External links[edit]

Media related to Candido Camero at Wikimedia Commons