Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros

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Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros
Armenteros performing at Star 64 in New York City
Armenteros performing at Star 64 in New York City
Background information
Birth nameAlfredo Armenteros
Born(1928-04-04)4 April 1928
Santa Clara, Las Villas, Cuba
Died6 January 2016(2016-01-06) (aged 87)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresSon cubano, descarga, big band, Latin jazz, salsa
Instrument(s)Trumpet, Flugelhorn
LabelsAlegre, Fania, Salsoul, Epic

Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros (4 April 1928 – 6 January 2016) was a Cuban trumpeter. He played with artists such as Arsenio Rodríguez, Generoso Jiménez, Chico O'Farrill, Orchestra Harlow, Eddie Palmieri, Cachao and Sonora Matancera. Due to his characteristic approach to Afro-Cuban trumpet playing as well as his extensive recording career, several monographs have been written on his music.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Armenteros performing at Café Havana, Cartagena de Indias.

Armenteros was born on April 4, 1928, in Santa Clara, Las Villas Province, Cuba. He first began playing in a band led by the sonero/composer René Álvarez called Conjunto Los Astros and soon after with Arsenio Rodríguez. The nickname "Chocolate" was bestowed on him owing to a case of mistaken identity, when someone took him for Kid Chocolate, the champion boxer. After the Cuban Revolution, Armenteros moved to New York, where he lived until his death.

Armenteros went on to play with José Fajardo, Beny Moré, Tito Puente, César Concepción, Machito, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, Marcelino Guerra, Charlie Palmieri, John Santos, Israel "Cachao" López, Noro Morales, Johnny Pacheco, and many others.[3] He was a member of La Sonora Matancera from 1977 to 1980. He died of prostate cancer on 6 January 2016.[4]


Solo albums[edit]

  • Chocolate... En El Rincon (Salsoul Records, 1976)
  • Y Sigo Con Mi Son (SAR Records, 1979)
  • Monsieur Chocolate Prefiero El Son (SAR Records, 1980)
  • Chocolate Dice (SAR Records, 1982)
  • Chocolate y Su Sexteto Rompiendo Hielo (Caiman Records, 1984)
  • Chocolate & His Cuban Soul (Caiman Records, 1997)

With Generoso Jiménez[edit]

  • Ritmo (Kubaney, 1957)

With Mongo Santamaría and La Lupe[edit]

With Orlando Marin[edit]

  • Qué chévere (Alegre, 1964)

With Orchestra Harlow[edit]

  • Heavy Smokin' (Fania Records, 1965)
  • Gettin' Off / Bajándote (Fania, 1966)

With Eddie Palmieri[edit]

With Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino[edit]

  • Concepts in Unity (Salsoul, 1975)

With Cachao[edit]

  • Cachao y su Descarga 77 (Salsoul, 1977)
  • Dos (Salsoul, 1977)
  • Master Sessions, Volume 1 (Epic, 1994)
  • Master Sessions, Volume 2 (Epic, 1995)

With Machito[edit]

With Cedar Walton[edit]

With Kip Hanrahan[edit]

With El Trabuco Venezolano[edit]



  1. ^ Gerard, Charley (2001). Music from Cuba: Mongo Santamaria, Chocolate Armenteros, and Cuban Musicians in the United States. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 9780275966829.
  2. ^ Davies, Rick (2003). Trompeta: Chappottín, Chocolate, and the Afro-Cuban Trumpet Style. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Afro-Cuban Jazz. Miller Freeman Books. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-87930-619-9.
  4. ^ Obituary. Billboard website. Retrieved on May 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros Discography. Discogs website. Retrieved on May 14, 2019.

External links[edit]