Essential Albums

Live Albums

About Machito

Born Francisco Grillo in Florida, the man who came to be known as Machito was raised in Cuba, where he began working as a singer and percussionist. In the late '30s, he came to New York and began playing with various Latin bands. In the early '40s, with the help of brother-in-law Mario Bauza, Machito started one of the most popular bands of the early mambo era, Machito & His Afro-Cubans. Bringing a strong element of jazz harmony and improvisation to his sound, Machito collaborated with numerous American jazz legends in the '40s and '50s, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Stan Kenton. Machito continued leading his band through the '70s, when salsa became the rage, and into the '80s, performing until his death in 1984.

Tampa, FL, United States of America
February 16, 1912