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Jack Costanzo

RIYL

Frank Colón, Desi Arnaz, Santana, Bobbye Hall

Influences

Xavier Cugat, Dizzy Gillespie, Desi Arnaz, Stan Kenton

Discography

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Percussionist Jack Costanzo, aka Mr. Bongo, came up during the golden age of jazz, playing with everyone from Nat “King” Cole to Xavier Cugat, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Barbra Streisand, Esquivel, Desi Arnaz, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Eddie Fisher, and his longtime friend Marlon Brando. After visiting Havana three times in the 1940s, his first album as a bandleader, Afro Cuban Jazz North-of-the-Border, debuted in 1955. He started billing himself as Mr. Bongo after releasing his same-named 1957 album, a moniker he kept for his next several releases before going back to his given name.

His film soundtrack work includes Orson Welles' 1958 film Touch of Evil, and he appeared in Elvis Presley's Harum Scarum. In addition, he gave bongo lessons to actors like Gary Cooper, James Dean, and Van Johnson.

After moving to San Diego, Costanzo played and recorded with locals like Charles McPherson, the Bi-National Mambo Orchestra, Patti Page, Greyboy Allstars, and Gilbert Castellanos. He was 82 years old in 2001 when he released a "comeback" album called Back From Havana.

Costanzo passed away in August 2018.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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