Alberto Naranjo [nah-rahn'-ho] is a musician. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His mother, the singer Graciela Naranjo, was a radio, film and television pioneer in her homeland. Largely self-taught, Naranjo embarked on a similar musical course, becoming like his mother one of Venezuelans icons of contemporary popular music.
In his early years, Naranjo was influenced by diverse music genres such as jazz and classical, from Louis Armstrong to Duke Ellington; from Bud Powell to Thad Jones and Mel Lewis; from Bela Bartok to Claude Debussy, and specially, the music created by Tito Puente, one of the greatest all-time Latin jazz leaders. It is well know the fact that Puente revolucioned the role of the drums in stage performance, when he moved the drum kit and timbales from the back to the front of stage, highlighted it as a solo instrument, and demonstrated that a drummer can also be a gifted composer and arranger.
With Puente as his role model, Naranjo started professionally as a drummer in 1959, at age 18, playing with several local dance bands including Chucho Sanoja (1963-64), Los Melodicos (1965-66) and Porfi Jimenez (1966-67). A valuable sideman as well, he was adaptable to many different styles, being able to fit smoothly into the group in which he were playing. Later in the 1960s, he was focused exclusively in studio sessions becoming one of the sought after musicians in his country.
Sounds of Venezuela
Salsa et Venezuela
La Salsa in Venezuela
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