Larry Harlow: Salsa

Larry Harlow

"El Judio Maravilloso"

Larry Harlow biography


Larry Harlow Latin legend

Discography

Interview
by Pachanga

Harlow World Tour Schedule
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Larry Harlow Biography
"Que viva la musica nuestra"

Larry Harlow is a true living legend of Afro-Cuban music. Born in Brooklyn, New York, his early influences were his father Buddy, who was a professional bass player and his mother Rose, who sang opera. A graduate of the prestigious N.Y. High School of Music and Art, he excelled on oboe, flute, violin, bass and the instrument that he is most noted for, the piano. Although jazz and the piano styling of Art Tatum were his first love, his growing exposure as a teenager to the music and culture of the New York Latino community fascinated him.
This led to him making a trip to Cuba in the late fifties where he began a two year adventure intensely studying Afro-Cuban music in all its manifestations: from West African based liturgical repertoire to popular dance styles. On his return to New York he quickly made a name for himself as a top bandleader and was signed by the new Fania Record Company, the most important label in the history of Latin music.
"El Judio Maravilloso", as he is affectionately called by his colleagues, completely revolutionized what is known today as "SALSA". Harlow developed the explosive, Tumpet/trombone sound of the contemporary salsa bands in the early 70's. He was the first to introduce the sacred batà drums of the Yoruba religion in Cuba to secular Afro-Cuban dance music in NYC. Known as IFA' or La Regla de Ocha, or commonly called by the lay public as Santeria, Harlow began studying its many secrets and eventually became a full fledged initiate being baptized as the child of Ochun, the Yoruba deity of the river, shekere and love.
For Fania records, he has produced over 260 CD's for various artists and as a leader over 50 cd's including the Masterpiece, "La Raza Latina, a Salsa Suite" in 1978, the first serious treatment of the genre, tracing the music's Diaspora and the evolution from West Africa to Southern Spain through the Caribbean and eventually New York City and the only Latin Opera ever written called "Hommy" which was performed to SRO crowds for 2 shows at Carnegie Hall and 2 shows in Puerto Rico. This opera is being revived in 2006 in San Juan, Puerto Rico's new Coliseo with an updated cast as well as recording an HBO special and new CD. Harlow is also the producer/pianist for the legendary Fania All-Stars. With the All-Stars he recorded over 60 cd's and spread clave Consciousness the world over.
Mr. Harlow also co-produced, and wrote music for and starred in, "Our Latin Thing" and "Salsa", two of the definitive documentaries on Afro-Cuban based music in New York City. He appeared in "Fania in Africa" as well as being the music producer. In 1997 Maestro Harlow composed the music for "SOFRITO", a multimedia, bilingual family musical, which features story teller David Gonzalez. Performed to sold out audiences at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway and across the Americas, the show incorporates ancient Caribbean folk tales with live on-stage performances of Harlow's Latin Legends Band. This CD is available on Laughing Horse records.
Mr. Harlow, as a Governor of the NY chapter of NARAS, was responsible for making the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences take notice of the contributions of Latin musicians, which made them establish the first Latin Grammy Award and now there are 10 different Latin Categories a swell as the Latin Grammys. He himself has been nominated 3 times for a Grammy.
He holds a BA in Music from Brooklyn College and a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the New School of Social Research in New York City. His classic CD entitled Larry Harlow's Latin Legends Band, on JMM/SONY DISCOS features a who's who of contemporary Latin musicians. The fascinating career and life of this "living Legend" is featured in an exciting new video biography/documentary entitled "The Golden Age of SALSA Through The Eyes Of Larry Harlow", produced by Tropical Visions Entertainment Group of Puerto Rico. Harlow was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame on April 5, 2000.
In January, 2003 Larry Harlow's Latin Jazz Encounter "Live at Birdland" was released on the new LATIN COOL label, thus beginning a new phase in Harlow's career, LATIN JAZZ. Look for them in all the jazz festivals worldwide. Harlow has just released a double CD and DVD from his 35th Anniversary Concert at Tito Puente Ampi-theater in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which will be released in Spring 2006.Harlow will be touring this year 2006 with his new Latin Legends Band with many different guest stars from the Fania Record Label. Including, Adalberto Sanitago, Junior Gonzalez, Cano Estremera, Andy Harlow, Nicky Marrero, Ralph Irrizary, Yomo Toro, Alfredo de La Fe as well as band members band members Bobby Sanabria, Chembo Corniel, Louie Bauzo, Bernie Minoso, Lewis Kahn, Joe Fiedler, Richie Viruet and Mac Gollehon and vocalists Luisito Rosario and Emo Luciano.

www.larryharlow.com


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