Jump to content

Andy González (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Andy González
Background information
Born(1951-01-01)January 1, 1951
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 9, 2020(2020-04-09) (aged 69)
Bronx, New York, U.S.
GenresAfro-Cuban jazz, salsa, son cubano, boogaloo, pachanga
Years active1968-2020
LabelsTico, Fania, Columbia Records, Truth Revolution Records

Andy González (January 1, 1951 - April 9, 2020) was a jazz double bassist of Puerto Rican descent recognized as was one of the innovators of Latin Jazz.[1]"González was a versatile player, as well as an arranger, composer, music historian and producer of other musicians' records. He embraced African, Cuban and Puerto Rican styles, various strains of jazz and other influences, often merging them into something fresh."[2] Raised in the Bronx, he played violin in grammar school and later picked up the bass after taking lessons with jazz bassist Steve Swallow from 5th to 8th grade, thereafter he attended the High School of Music & Art.[1] "Swallow turned Gonzalez on to Pablo Casals and Scott Lafaro, wrote out the second movement of the Bach Cello Suite in D minor, and helped Gonzalez prepare for his audition at Music and Art."[3] "Andy González came to the public's attention playing for future NEA Jazz Master Ray Barretto's band, while he was still a student at Music & Art High School. Although it was a salsa group in the Cuban conjunto trumpet tradition, Barretto treated the group like a jazz combo, featuring all the players as soloists."[4] While at Music & Art High School, he "play[ed] with other classmates such as Mongo Santamaria's son, Monguito, Jose Mangual Jr., Rene Mcclean, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Stafford Osborne, Nelson Samafiego, a Puerto Rican alto saxophonist, DJ Cousin Brucie, Eric Bibb (son of Leo Bibb), Wilbur Bascomb(son of Ted Bascomb, bassist for Erskine Hawkins), Allison Dean, and Janis Ian, who was in his homeroom and dropped out sophomore year just after recording 'Society's Child.'[3]


In 1974 González and his brother Jerry González founded the band Conjunto Libre (a band that, mixed salsa and jazz) and Grupo Folklórico y Experímental Nuevayorquíno, with whom he produced three albums: Concepts in Unity (1975), Lo Dice Todo (1976), and Homenaje a Arsenio (2011).[5][6] The band included Frankie Rodríguez, Milton Cardona, Gene Golden, Carlos Mestre, Nelson González, Manny Oquendo, Oscar Hernández, José Rodríguez, Néstor Torres, Gonzalo Fernández, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Willy García, Heny Álvarez, Virgilio Martí, Marcelino Guerra, Rubén Blades, Orlando "Puntilla" Ríos, and Julito Collazo on the first two albums.[7] The second group that Andy co-led was Manny Oquendo and Libre. In 1980, the third group González co-led was The Fort Apache band (named after a nickname for a Bronx police precinct house), with his brother Jerry González.[4] González also worked with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barreto, and Mongo Santamaria.[6]

"González's unique ability to play creatively within the confines of the tumbao — the repetitive patterns played by bass, piano, guitar, tres and cuatro in Cuban and Puerto Rican music — led him to be called for literally hundreds of recording sessions. But he was not limited to salsa-based dates, as he would be called upon by artists including David Byrne, Kip Hanrahan, Dizzy Gillespie and Astor Piazzolla for his expertise on both acoustic and baby bass."[1]

In 2016, at the age of 65, Gonzalez released his first album under his own name and leadership, "Entre Colegas." The recording featured a tribute to the well-known Cuban bassist Israel Lopez "Cachao". "Entre Colegas" was nominated for a grammy award for Best Latin Jazz album.[8]


González died from pneumonia and complications of diabetes in the Bronx on April 9, 2020.[9][10]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Conjunto Egrem – Tu Dices / Solamente Tuyo (Egrem 1975)
  • Concepts in Unity (1975)
  • Lo Dice Todo (1976)
  • Michael Manring, Andy Gonzalez, Francis Rocco Prestia & Victor Wooten – Bass Day '98 (Hudson Music, 1999)
  • Bob Mintzer, Giovanni Hidalgo, Andy Gonzalez, David Chesky, Randy Brecker – The Body Acoustic (2004)
  • Michael Simon (6) Featuring Marlon Simon, Andy Gonzalez, Edward Simon – New York Encounter (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2009)
  • Homenaje a Arsenio (2011)
  • Entre Colegas (Truth Revolution Records, 2016)


  1. ^ a b c "A Titan of Tumbao: Remembering Latin Jazz Bassist and Bandleader Andy González". WBGO 88.3 FM. April 11, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. ^ Genzlinger, N. (October 1, 2018). "Jerry González, Innovator of Latin Jazz, Is Dead at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Lapidus, Benjamin (2020). New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. p. 4. ISBN 9781496831309.
  4. ^ a b "A Career-Spanning Andy González Playlist, Curated by Bobby Sanabria of Latin Jazz Cruise". WBGO 88.3 FM. April 13, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ "Latin Jazz Bassist Andy González Dies in the Bronx". World Music Central. April 11, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Genzlinger, N. (October 1, 2018). "Jerry González, Innovator of Latin Jazz, Is Dead at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
  7. ^ "Andy Gonzalez". All About Jazz. April 11, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  8. ^ "Andy Gonzalez Grammy Nominations". Recording Academy Grammy Awards. Grammy.com. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  9. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (April 10, 2020). "Andy González, Prolific Latin Jazz Bassist, Is Dead at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  10. ^ "Bassist Andy González, Who Brought Bounce To Latin Dance And Jazz, Dies At 69". NPR.org. April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2020.

External links[edit]

  • Andy González discography at Discogs
  • Jerry González and Andy González Biography - (b. 1949 and 1951), conguero, bonguero, timbalero, conjunto, Ya Yo Me Curé - Jazz, Band, Musical, Music, Latin, and Oquendo

See also[edit]