Rudy Regalado (musician)

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Rudy Regalado
Rudy Regalado (musician).jpg
Background information
Born (1943-01-29)January 29, 1943
Caracas, Venezuela
Died November 4, 2010(2010-11-04) (aged 67)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Genres Latin, rock, Latin Jazz, Cuban music, Puerto Rican music, Music of Venezuela
Instruments Timbales, drums
Years active 1960–2010
Associated acts Alex Acuña
El Chicano
Aretha Franklin
Alphonse Mouzon
Quincy Jones
Bill Summers
Zawinul Syndicate

Héctor José Regalado (January 29, 1943 – November 4, 2010) was a Venezuelan Latin music bandleader, percussionist, composer and educator. He played professionally under the name Rudy Regalado.[1]


Although he toured extensively in a career spanning more than 50 years, Rudy Regalado is better known for being one of the key members of El Chicano's percussion section, a popular Los Angeles-based group that surfaced during the Santana and Malo Latin-tinged rock era in the early 1970s. Besides this, Regalado led his own groups including the stage band Chévere and performed on countless recording sessions with distinguished artists. In addition to recording five albums with El Chicano, he also collaborated in projects led by Alex Acuña, Quincy Jones, Alphonse Mouzon, Bill Summers and Joe Zawinul, among others.[2]

Early life[edit]

Regalado was born and raised in a working-class family in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. Largely self-taught, he started to play drums and timbales as a teenager in his home town. A devoted baseball fan, he adopted his nickname after former Cleveland Indians infielder Rudy Regalado.[3]

Professional career[edit]

In 1963, Regalado moved to Puerto Rico and started playing in hotels and clubs in the San Juan area, while studying harmony and percussion at Pablo Casals Conservatory of Music. He settled in Los Angeles, California in 1970, where he played with local jazz and Latin groups before joining El Chicano late in the year.[2]

Regalado spent twelve years with El Chicano, singing and playing the timbales in five albums, which included Top 40 hits during the 1970s with the songs "Viva Tirado" and "Tell Her She's Lovely". El Chicano also created the theme song for the television series Baretta, which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1978.[1][4]

After spending 12 years with El Chicano, Regalado formed his own Latin Jazz All-Star Band in 1983, which included a select group of musicians from Los Angeles. Initially known as Todos Estrellas, the band eventually became known as Chévere and appeared at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Disneyland and Fiesta Broadway, among other engagements. The band also performed overseas in summer festivals in Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and throughout the European continent.[2]

As part of an El Chicano reunion in 2009, Regalado performed during the 40th anniversary of Woodstock Festival at the Golden Gate Park Music Concourse in San Francisco, where the group actually celebrated their own 40th Anniversary, and last played with them at the Greek Theatre of Los Angeles.[2][4][5]

Other credits[edit]

Regalado also toured with Aretha Franklin in charge of her percussion section, was a drummer for Los Melódicos on its 1980 tour of United States, and performed on The Tonight Show, the Nancy Wilson Show and American Bandstand.[2][6]

His film credits include The Skeleton Key (2005), as well in the television series Pepe Plata (1990) and Clubhouse (2004).[7]

Regalado moved later to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 67.[4]

Selected discography[edit]

Year Album Artist Credit
1972 Celebration El Chicano Percussion, drums
1973 Chicano El Chicano Percussion, drums
1974 Cinco El Chicano Percussion, drums
1974 Yaqui Yaqui Drums
1975 Pyramid of Love & Friends El Chicano Percussion, drums
1976 Viva El Chicano! Their Very Best     El Chicano Vocals, timbales, percussion
1977 Blue Note Live at the Roxy Alphonse Mouzon (Various Artists)   Timbales, percussion
1977 Roots Quincy Jones Percussion
1988 Immigrants Joe Zawinul Vocals, percussion
1990 Thinking of You Alex Acuña and the Unknowns Percussion
1992 Iroko Bill Summers Composer
1993 Moliendo Café Rie Akagi and Rudy Regalado with Chévere Timbales, percussion
1994 La Gloria Rudy Regalado y Chévere Producer, drums, vocals, timbales
1996 My People Joe Zawinul Percussion, composer
1998 Painting the Moment El Chicano Percussion, timbales
1999 Suckers Original Soundtrack Percussion
2000 Late Night Sessions Caravana Cubana Catá, timbales
2000 Acuarela de Tambores Alex Acuña Maracas, chekeré
2002 Faces & Places Joe Zawinul Percussion
2002 Cinco de Mayo Celebration Various Artists Timbales, percussion
2002 Del Alma Caravana Cubana Timbales, catá
2004 20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection     El Chicano Timbales, percussion


Selected videos at[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Los Angeles Times article". November 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Rudy Chevere website". 
  3. ^ Enciclopedia de la Música en Venezuela – José Peñín, Walter Guido, Tomo 2, pag. 510. Publisher: Fundación Bigott, Caracas, Venezuela, 1998. Format: Hardcover, 778pp. Language: Spanish. ISBN 978-980-6428-03-4
  4. ^ a b c " – Obituary". 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Enciclopedia de la Música en Venezuela
  7. ^ Rudy Regalado at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ credits