2. Giovanni Hidalgo (John Santos)
conga de comparsa / Afro-son montuno

Juan Luís Pérez - lead voice, coro
Marco Díaz - piano, trumpets
Saul Sierra - bass
David Flores - drumset
Dr. John Calloway - flute
Charlie Gurke - baritone sax
John Santos - congas, timbales, bombo, bongos, bells, chékere, coro
Anthony Carrillo - quinto, conga
Christelle Durandy - coro
José Roberto Hernandez - coro

This is my humble homage to my friend, brother and teacher, the great Puerto Rican percussion genius and exceptional human being, Giovanni Hidalgo, inarguably one of the greatest congueros of all time. I had the honor of meeting him in the 70s when he was about 12 years old. He was already a child prodigy when he sat in with the band I directed at the time, the Orquesta Típica Cienfuegos, at the Mullen Street Festival in the Bernal Heights neighborhood where I grew up in San Francisco. We've remained close friends and family throughout the decades. I - as well as every contemporary Afro-Latin percussionist - owe him a great debt for the extent to which he has pushed the parameters of the artform of conga drumming in terms of technique and imagination. This composition has an element that may be a first - it intentionally slows down during the percussion solos! It is also dedicated to his father, the great Puerto Rican tumbador, Mañengue Hidalgo.


Eres humilde y sincero
y hoy que es tu día
del alma yo quería
expresar al mundo entero
que si miento me muero
y sin aire ni actitúd
te deseo mucha salud
porque eres mi hermanito
y el sombrero me lo quito
que mi maestro eres tú.

Un gran artista Giovanni
Boricua hermano
pero aun más grande eres
como un ser humano

Un hijo del mundo
prodigio hijito
nieto de Don Nando
y orgullo de Puerto Rico

Giovanni Hidalgo
un nombre para la historia

Ese un moro

Giovanni Hidalgo
un hombre para la historia