Israel Cachao Lopez

Cuban musician
Died: March 22, 2008 (Coral Gables, Florida)
Best Known as: Cuban musician who introduced the mambo

Israel Cachao Lopez was a Cuban bassist and composer who took part in the invention of the popular Latin dance, the mambo. In the 1930s, he and his brother, Orestes Lopez, created the mambo together when they added swing to the end of the Cuban danzon. The mambo became the foundation of salsa and modern Cuban music. Cachao also created descargas in the late 1950s by combining jazz, Cuban songs, and Afro-Cuban music. He first learned how to play music in Havana at the age of 8. Cachao first learned Classical music playing in the Havana Philharmonic and accompanying silent films. His career lasted 80 years in which he played in Cuba, Spain, and the United States, and wrote thousands of songs with his brother.