Orlando 'Cachaíto' López

Orlando "Cachaito" López was a Cuban bassist, who gained international attention especially since his involvement in the Buena Vista Social Club recordings. He was nicknamed Cachaito ("little Cachao") after his uncle, the famous bassist and innovator of mambo music Israel "Cachao" López. Born in Havana, Cuba in 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. ...show more

Orlando "Cachaito" López was a Cuban bassist, who gained international attention especially since his involvement in the Buena Vista Social Club recordings. He was nicknamed Cachaito ("little Cachao") after his uncle, the famous bassist and innovator of mambo music Israel "Cachao" López. Born in Havana, Cuba in 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 to took 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. 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, 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"), a formal, upper class social club for young people to drink and dance. ...show less

Playlists Containing Tracks by Orlando 'Cachaíto' López

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