John Hidalgo

John Hidalgo auditioned and was hired by the Batacumbele Band in 1980.

In 1981, he traveled with the band to Cuba, where he met a musician named Jose Luis Quintana, aka Changuito.

Together they created a rhythmic style that began a new era in Latin music.

In 1985, Hidalgo was performing with Eddie Palmieri at the Village Gate in New York City when Dizzy Gillespie walked in and heard him play.

Gillespie was so impressed with Hidalgo that he told him that someday in the future they should meet and play together. In 1988 Hidalgo joined Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra.