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Walfredo Reyes Sr.


"Master drummer/percussionist Walfredo Reyes, Sr. was born in Havana, Cuba, into a renowned musical family. His father, also Walfredo, was the lead trumpeter for Casino de la Playa. After moving to New York City in 1941, "Wally" found himself at the epicenter of the burgeoning jazz movement known as be-bop. Influenced by drummers such as Buddy Rich and Max Roach, he and other pioneering Latin percussion and drumset artists began to combine the rhythmic vocabularies of jazz and Cuban drumming into a unified style.

Inspired by the multi-percussion experiments of fellow Cuban conga/bongo virtuoso Candido Camero, he began to utilize a set-up that would allow him to play congas, timbales, cowbells, etc. along with the drumset simultaneously.
Wally is also in many ways responsible for the famed descarga (jam session) movement as he was one of the first, along with colleagues Cachao and Julio Gutierrez, to expand the boundaries of the written arrangement. He has performed with an array of musicians including Linda Ronstadt, Josephine Baker, Tony Bennett, Xavier Cugat, Wayne Newton and on numerous television and movie soundtracks. "

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