Now that we have a Cuban Grooves class, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the incredible Latin pianists I’ve been listening to for some time.
First up is Michel Camilo from the Dominican Republic (b. 1954). I won’t go into his biography since you all have Wikipedia if you’re interested. But, like most Latin players, he’s classically trained.
I have trouble with right-hand / left-hand independence at times playing simple montuno exercises with a single-note tumbao bass line. Camilo has devised a “salsa stride” that, according to Riccardo Scivales, is “[o]ne of the most exciting and challenging of all left hand stylings.” I figure @Hayden with his love of stride piano will find this interesting.
Here are four videos that show some of Camilo’s incredible range. The first two demonstrate that “salsa stride.” The third is a Latin standard. The last is just there because it’s one of the most beautiful piano pieces that I’ve ever heard. (Side note: on the first video you have Paquito D’Rivera on sax and the legendary Cachao on bass. More on him later) Enjoy!