ariel’s groove

RIP Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez

Posted on: August 22, 2009

cachaitoCachaito – Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez (2001)

I have sadly just realized that one of my favorite artists has passed away on February 9, 2009 from a Prostate surgery complication.

Quote from Wikipedia:

“Born in Havana on February 2, 1933, Orlando “Cachaito” López first got actively involved in music when he was only nine years old. By the age of eleven he was involved with an orchestra with his aunt. His early desire was to play the violin, but his Grandfather Pedro insisted he take up the double bass, as there had been a long tradition of bassists in the López family – legend has it that there are over 30 bassists in its lineage; a trend that they did not want stopped.[1] He started learning the double bass on a cello, quickly moving onto a double bass when he was large enough. His musical career is said to have started when he was twelve, and at the age of 13, Cachaíto composed his first piece, a danzón called Isora Infantil. By the time he was 17 he replaced his uncle as the bassist with Arcana y sus Maravillas, a band that had been around since before Cachaito was born. He made such an impression on the group that he was asked to stay.

In the 1950s, he helped create the descarga style of music that is a mix between jazz-styled improvisation with Afro-Cuban rhythms, and by 1957 he was playing with the hugely popular Havana dance band, Orquesta Riverside. In the 1960s, he became a bassist with the National Symphony,[1] and was also a key member of Irakere, a Cuban experimental band that combined pop, classical, Cuban folk, African and jazz influences.

He was also a member of the Buena Vista Social Club (appearing in Wim Wenders’ documentary “Buena Vista Social Club”[1]). After a career spanning some 60 years, Cachaito was still touring and recording (including playing bass as part of a Cuban touring group also featuring Guajiro Mirabal, Aguajé Ramos and Manuel Galbán), and many considered him to be one of the finest bassists in Cuba.

López died in a Cuban hospital on February 9, 2009, of complications from prostate surgery. He was 76. ”

Orlando made me love music again in a whole other way. I first discovered him through a post by Urbanology after posting myself the Buena Vista Social Club album which he appears in. Since then I couldn’t stop listening to him, everytime I put the album it’s always like the first time I listened to it. Orlando wasn’t a closed mind musician, he was a revoloutionary. He was able to modernize Cuban music in a very special way. You can tell all the sounds in each song were well thought out.  He is one of the most talented musician I have stumbled on. He said in the Buena Vista Social Club documentary that he was able to predict the next note in a melody before it was played. I believe him.

His album “Cahachito” is sadly he’s only album released to date, Released by World Circuit Records. The album consists of the Funk legend Pee Wee Ellis, the well known Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer, the father of French Hip-Hop DJ Dee Nasty and many more! So now you can understand when I say that Cachaito was able to revoloutionize Cuban music with open minded music.

Do yourself a favor and listen to this album and even buy it, it’s one of those albums that are worth every penny in your pocket. My only regret is that I haven’t had the chance to see him live, oh well, in the next life maybe uh?



2 Responses to "RIP Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez"

Awesome album and an awesome post! Thanks now I got something new to listen to.

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