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Mongo Santamaria

Cuban-born Mongo Santamaria is one of the most well-known percussionists in Latin music. In the early '60s he pioneered a new direction in Latin music by incorporating R&B, for a more mainstream sound exemplified by his 1963 Top 10 hit "Watermelon Man." He continued recording and performing as a bandleader and percussionist throughout the next three decades, still pursuing the Latin fusion style he helped inaugurate. Only his death in 2003 stilled the sound of Santamaria's drums. ~ Rovi

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