20 Facts About Armando Peraza


Armando Peraza was a Latin jazz percussionist and a member of the rock band Santana.


Armando Peraza left Cuba for Mexico in 1948 to tend to his sick friend, conga drummer Mongo Santamaria.


Armando Peraza recorded with Slim Gaillard in New York in November 1949 in a session that produced "Bongo City".


Armando Peraza toured the US with Gaillard's band until they reached San Francisco, where Gaillard owned the nightclub Bop City.


Armando Peraza led an Afro-Cuban dance review at the Cable Car Village club in San Francisco, attracting a clientele from Hollywood that included Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando, and Rita Hayworth.


In 1954, while in San Francisco with pianist Dave Brubeck, Armando Peraza met Cal Tjader, Brubeck's drummer at the time.


Armando Peraza was introduced to British pianist George Shearing by bassist Al McKibbon.


Armando Peraza spent the next twelve years with Shearing, a collaboration that put Peraza at the front of Afro-Cuban music.


Armando Peraza toured all over the world with Shearing, but it was in America that he experienced persistent and institutionalized racism.


In 1959, Armando Peraza joined Mongo Santamaria for the Mongo album with conga drummer Francisco Aguabella, another contemporary and friend of Armando Peraza.


Armando Peraza was encouraged to perform and record in southern California by jazz drummer Shelly Manne.


Armando Peraza performed throughout the area at such venues as Shelly's Manne-Hole and The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach.


When rock music became popular in the 1960s, Armando Peraza was the first Afro-Cuban percussionist to add conga drums to a rock track, notably on Harvey Mandel's Cristo Redentor album in 1968.


In January 1972, at the age of 47, Armando Peraza joined the rock band Santana and influenced the band in melding Afro-Cuban, jazz, rock, and blues.


Armando Peraza remained with Carlos Santana for nearly twenty years and played to millions of people around the world, partnering with percussionists Jose Areas, Mingo Lewis, Raul Rekow, and Orestes Vilato.


Armando Peraza wrote or co-wrote sixteen songs recorded by Santana, such as "Gitano" from the album Amigos for which Peraza sang the lyrics.


Armando Peraza retired from Santana in 1990 at the age of 66, although traveled to Santiago de Chile for a 1992 concert with Santana in front of a crowd of over 100,000 people.


Armando Peraza taught drum clinics in California with Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzo, both members of Santana.


Armando Peraza recorded with pianist Rebeca Mauleon on Descarga en California and co-wrote a song on Cepeda Forever in honor of his friend, baseball player Orlando Cepeda.


Armando Peraza died of pneumonia on April 14,2014, at the age of 89.