EL MAESTRO CACHAO! “COMO SU RITMO NO HAY DOS’
(Like his Rhythm there is No other)
On this morning March 22, 2008, thelegendary musician, composer, arranger andcultural icon Israel Lopez better known to all of his admirers as CACHAO! passed away.
He leaves with us a legacy ofextraordinary trendsetting music, and anunequaled example of humanity, that was a gift to all of us, who had the good fortuneand honor to experience. He had a religious dedication to his artform that began at the age of twelve debuting with the Havana Philharmonic playing acoustic Contra Bass while standing on a wooden box. He created the Mambo in 1939 along with his closest collaborator, his brother Orestes. That composition entitled “Danzon Mambo” laid the foundation for the Mambo craze that sweptthe world. Later in the 1950’s he brought together the greatest musicians from the Havana music scene and again revolutionized Cuban music with his now legendary Descargas,“Jam Sessions”.Cachao is “La Mata”, “The Tree”, from this tree rooted in the deepest traditions of Cuban music everything in modern Cuban music, music known to many as Salsa stems. His passing marks the end of an era. An era that brought to us some of the mostgenial talents in Cuban music history, musicthat has influenced music for nearly acentury. Talents such as, Ernesto Lecouna, Beny More, Ignacio Piñero, to name a few. Andthe magnificent Bebo Valdes, one of Cachao’scompatriots and collaborator. Who is still spreading the traditions of our music around the world with great influence and popularity.
I had the great privilege of collaborating with Cachao as his producer and band member since 1990. Together we recorded four records. Master Sessions Vol. I and II, which earned Cachao his first Grammy, and “Cuba Linda’ which again brought him Grammy and Latin GrammyNominations. Also directing a Documentary onhis life entitled “Cachao, Como Su Ritmo NoHay Dos” set around the now legendary concert in 1990. And the film “Cachao, Ahora Si” which chronicles his creative process duringour last Grammy and Latin Grammy award winning CD/DVD. And most recently anothertribute documentary entitled “Cachao, Uno Mas” documenting an honor bestowed upon himfrom San Francisco State University and concert that followed.
After a lifetime of listening to Cachao’s music and eighteen years of Concerts andrecords together. I consider our collaboration and friendship one of most important accomplishments of my life. Cachao is our musical father. He is revered by all who have come in contact with him and hismusic and is referred to simply as ELMAESTRO! He has been honored around the worldand has his rightful place in the Smithsonian Institute.
What is one to do know? How does one moveforward in the face of such a monumentalloss? In the only way that Cachao would wantus to. To honor him with the maximum effortto carry out what was most important to him. Which is continue and never abandon the traditions of our music and culture. This is what Cachao was all about and the example that set for us will continue to inspire generations to come.Maestro, your music has accompanied me all my life and will continue to do so untilwe meet again. You have been my teacher, andyou took me in like a son. So I will continueto rejoice with your music and carry our traditions wherever I go, in your honor.
And proud member of the Cachao Orchestra
Los Angeles, Ca3/22/08
DOWNLOAD CACHAO's Master Sessions, Vol. 1