Cachao: Uno Más
I watched this music documentary last night on Israel “Cachao” Lopez, one of the most influential musicians in the history of Cuba, the Father of Mambo and many other Afro-Cuban influenced styles of music. The man lived a truly inspiring life, struggling for many years but always remaining optimistic and doing what he loved wether or not he was being paid. He started out playing for the Havana Philharmonic at the age of 10 and played music every day of his life until he died at 90. Along the way he inspired countless famous musicians of all genres and styles and earned a seat alongside Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and Charlie Parker.
The actor Andy Garcia produced and narrated this documentary and was a very close friend of Cachao’s towards the end of his life. Garcia has spent much time and energy in the past couple decades towards spreading the legacy of Cachao and I commend him for his selfless dedication to teaching the world about this great man’s work.
The most inspiring thing about Cachao isn’t the music however, it’s his outlook on life, forever positive, humble and built upon a deep respect for people. He was a true gentleman.