Carlos Vidal Bolado

Carlos Vidal on conga (right) playing alongside José Mangual on bongos (left) and trumpeter Mario Bauzá (center) at the Glen Island Casino, New York, 1947.

Carlos Vidal Bolado (1914–1996) was a Cuban conga drummer and an original member of Machito and his Afro-Cubans. Vidal holds the double distinction of being the first to record authentic folkloric Cuban rumba[1] and the first to play congas in Latin jazz (with Machito and his Afro-Cubans).[2]

Carlos Vidal was one of a handful of Cuban congueros who came to the United States in the 1940s and 1950s. Other notable congueros who came to the U.S. during that time include Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza, Chano Pozo, Francisco Aguabella, Julito Collazo and Cándido Camero. Vidal arrived in the U.S. in 1943, before any of the other previously mentioned musicians.

In 1948, Vidal led an unsuccessful revolt in Machito's Afro-Cubans. However, he failed to convince anyone except Andino to leave the Machito orchestra for better-paying job in Los Angeles. Vidal and Andino joined the Miguelito Valdés orchestra and traveled to Los Angeles, where Andino found that jobs were not all that plentiful.[3]


  1. ^ Ritmo Afro-Cubano SMC 2519-A and 2520-B, circa 1948.
  2. ^ Earliest Known Audio Documentation of Folkloric Rumba
  3. ^ Article on Julo Andino- Latin Beat Magazine May 2001 by Max Salazar

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