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Jack Costanzo

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Born: September 24, 1922    Primary Instrument: Bongos

Jack Costanzo

A premier percussionist and one of the few to emphasize bongos over congas, Jack Costanzo taught himself both bongos and congas, and made three visits to Havana in the '40s to learn Afro-Cuban rhythms.

He toured and performed with Stan Kenton in 1947 and 1948, then worked with Nat King Cole from 1949 to 1953. Costanzo continued to periodically play with both Cole and Kenton through the '50s, working with Kenton until 1957 while also heading out his own. This group recorded in 1954 and 1957, later touring London in 1961.

Costanzo also worked in the '50s with Peggy Lee, Pérez Prado, Harry James, Charlie Barnet, and Pete Rugolo. Costanzo kept a relatively low profile during the latter decades of the 20th century, but made a comeback in the late '90s....
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Afro-Cubano
Verve
1954

Afro Cuban Jazz North-Of-The-Border
Norgran
1954

Latin Fever
Blue Note
1958

Mr. Bongo Has Brass
Zephyr
1959

Mr. Bongo Plays Hi-Fi Cha Cha
Tops
1959

Naked City & Other Themes
Liberty
1959

Back from Havana
Cubop Records
2001

Scorching the Skins
Cubop Records
2002

Versatile Mr. Bongo Plays Jazz, Afro and Latin
Fresh Sound
2005

Bongo Cha Cha Cha
Evon

King of the Bongos
Clarity Recordings

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Scorching The Skins (2002)

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