Chano Pozo, the greatest drummer

Chano Pozo, the greatest drummer
Fecha de publicación: 
6 September 2023
Imagen principal: 

Luciano Pozo González (1915-1948), better known as Chano Pozo, is a legend of Cuban music. A great percussionist, he surprised audiences on big stages with his mastery of the drums.

Part of that mystique has to do with the humility of his origins. He shined shoes and sold newspapers, played music in many places and danced in the well-known “Los Dandy” troupe.

He belonged to the Abakuá society and in his congas he used to introduce religious themes. He worked in the public broadcasts of the radio station Cadena Azul. He went to the United States and there he made history in the nightlife of clubs and cabarets, together with stars like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

With Dizzy, he popularized the song "Manteca," which is now a classic. Jazz and Afro-Cuban touches, a perfect mix. No coincidence that Chano Pozo is regarded as a pioneer.

Chano Pozo died very young, 33 years old. A fight in a bar ended a meteoric rise. But in the neighborhoods of Havana where he played his drums, his spirit is still alive, which is ultimately the immortal spirit of rumba.

Rumberos de ayer

Benny Moré

I get emotional

Every time I remember

the famous drummers

I get emotional

Oh Chano, Chano Pozo died

The death of Andrea Baró

Malanga also died

Ninon and Paulito died

Mulense and René died

Oh Chano, Chano Pozo died

Without Chano I do not want to dance

I cannot do it anymore

To the rumba, I go no more (without Chano)

I do not want to dance on the rumba (without Chano)

Oh people, I'm not going anymore (without Chano)

Anita wants to play, uh! (without Chano)


Break boy, break!


Look, God sends you to glory!


Oh baby, I do not want to dance

To the rumba, I go no more

If Chano Pozo is not there, I go no more

Yes, to the rumba I go no more

Without Chano.


Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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