Orlando Marin

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Orlando Marin
Orlando Marin 2.jpg
Background information
Birth name Orlando Marín
Also known as The Last Mambo King
Born 1935 (age 79–80)
Genres Latin Jazz, Mambo
Instruments Timbales
Years active 1951-present
Labels Plus, Fiesta
Associated acts Orlando Marin and his Orchestra
Website Orlando Marin
Notable instruments

Orlando Marin is an American band leader and timbales player born in the Bronx, New York in 1935. He formed his first band, Eddie Palmieri and his Orchestra, in 1951-52 with himself as director and Eddie Palmieri as musical director and later on the piano.[1] He is of Puerto Rican descent.


After his first group broke up, Orlando got a contract at Sunnyside Garden for almost three years to play every Saturday. This was his first steady gig.[1]

Along with his music, he studied as a commercial artist, or comic book illustrator.[1]

He played with several different bands in the famous Palladium Ballroom.[2]

Orlando went into the army in 1958 for service in Korea. While on duty, he won first prize in the All Army Talent Competition in the Pacific Command.[3] He then toured Korea and Japan and went to Washington DC for the final competition. This was followed by a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. When stationed in California, Orlando sat in for Tito Puente on timbales at the Hollywood Palladium.[1][2]

Orlando left the army in 1960 and formed a new band with many of his previous members.[1] He returned to New York. He again appeared at the Palladium Ballroom and other New York dance venues, including the Limbo Lounge, the Bayside Manor, the Hotel Taft, and the Bronx's Hunts Point Palace, among others.[2]

Orlando was a contemporary of such greats as Tito Puente, Machito, and Tito Rodriguez. He is the only orchestra leader from New York’s golden era of mambo who still performs regularly.[4]


  • In 1976, Orlando was invited to represent Hispanic America at the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration on Ellis Island.[2]
  • In 1993 in Colombia, Orlando was honored with a lifetime musical achievement award in Calis Plaza de Toros.[2]
  • In 1997, Latin music historiographer Max Salazar presented Orlando a plaque at New York's at La Maganette in recognition of nearly five decades of uninterrupted contribution to Latin music.[2]
  • In 1999, New York's governor George E. Pataki presented Orlando with the Bobby Capó Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of nearly a half century of dedication to Latin music.[2]
  • In 2006, Congressman Jose E. Serrano honored Orlando as “The Last Mambo King,” for his continuing to provide Latin American music and his willingness to devote time to helping the less fortunate.[5]

Recording career[edit]

In 1954 he recorded his first 78 with his first composition, My Mambo.[1]

His first two albums Arriba Cha-Cha-Cha, and Lets Go Latin were recorded with Fiesta records. He recorded Mi Mambo on the Plus label.[2]

He recorded Se Te Quemó La Casa, and Que Chévere for Alegre Records. Orlando then returned to Fiesta Records, for whom he recorded Está en Algo (English: He's Up To Something) which included the smash hit Aprende a Querer. In 1970, he recorded Out of My Mind, for the Brunswick label. Then, he released his albumn Saxophobia.[2]

In 1961, Orlando released his hit charanga record Se Te Quemó la Casa.[6]


  • Que Chévere (English: That's Great) Label:Alegre Records, Released:1960
  • Se Te Quemó La Casa (English: You burn the house) Label:Alegre Records, Released:1961
  • Out of My Mind Label:Brunswick, Released:1970
  • Saxophobia Label:Manana Records, Released:1970
  • Latin Cool Classics: Orlando Marin Label:Latin Cool Records, LLC, Released:2006
  • Orlando Marin And His Orchestra, Vol. 2 Label:Fania, Released:2000
  • Arriba Cha-Cha-Cha (A compilation with Monchito and Marquez)Label:Fiesta Records, Released:1959
  • Lets Go Latin (A compilation with Ramon Marquez and Chico Sesma)Label:Fiesta Records, Released:
  • Está en Algo (English: He's Up To Something) Label:Fiesta Records, Released:

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "At Casa de Orlando Marin". Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Orlando Marin". Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Orlando Marin on City Island @ Tito Puente's Restaurant". Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "Circuit Productions Inc.: Orlando Marin Ensemble". Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Serrano to Honor Orlando Marin, Latin Music Great". Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "Field of Drums". Village Voice. 9/5/2000. Retrieved 4 December 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)