Jose Mangual - bongos, timbales, percussion (1924 - 1998)
He set a standard in bongo playing and was considered by many to have the greatest sound on the instrument. In the music industry where a bandleader or a vocalist is usually the only musician recognized, José Mangual's exceptional percussion skills made him an exception to the rule. It began for him in August, 1942, when bongocero Chino Pozo and timbalero Tito Puente left the Machito orchestra the join the Jack Cole dancers in Chicago. Their replacements were Polidor Allende on bongos and José Mangual on timbales. One month later Tito Puente returned as the timbalero, Polidor switched to conga and Mangual to bongos. For the following 17 years and over 300 Machito recordings, Latin and jazz music aficionados marveled at Mangual's percussion skills.