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A discographic profile of the Afro-Cuban singer, percussionist and composer.

Profile: Papaito (Mario Muñoz Salazar) by John Child (


(b Mario Muñoz Salazar, 5 Dec. '23, Buena Vista, Cuba, 4 June '00, New York City) Afro Cuban singer/ percussionist/ composer with engagingly poignant voice; worked with cha cha chá creator Enrique Jorrín, others; made films in Mexico and joined Sonora Matancera there, continuing as a member into the '90s; left Cuba for good '60. Sessioned on Patato & Totico '67 on Verve (reissued on Mediterraneo '92) by conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes and vocalist/ percussionist Eugenio Arango "Totico," Mark Weinstein's avant-garde Cuban Roots '68 on Musicor prod. by Al Santiago, Mongo Santamaría's Up From The Roots '72 on Atlantic, Roberto Torres' El Castigador '73 on Mericana, Patato's respected Ready For Freddy '76 on LPV, Israel "Cachao" López's esteemed descarga/ danzón sets Cachao y su Descarga '77 Vol. 1 '76 and Dos, Vol. 2 '77 on Salsoul.

Papaíto's solo debut was Robert Torres presenta a su amigo: Papaíto '79, the first of four hugely successful LPs on SAR; Papaíto '80 incl. memorable version of Cuban classic "Aprietala En El Rincon," both these with trumpet-led conjunto occasionally augmented by violin and flute: Papaíto Rinde Homenaje A Abelardo Barroso '80 used a charanga augmented by tres, was tribute to Cuban vocalist Barroso (1905-1972); it is regarded as one of his best. Switched back to conjunto for Papaíto '82, Para Mis Amigos '84. Made SAR All Stars Recorded Live In Club Ochentas, Album 2 '81 and SAR All Stars Interpretan A Rafael Hernández '81 with SAR All Stars; he also appeared with various SAR roster stars on El Cañonazo de la SAR! '84. Sessioned on recordings on SAR and other labels by Linda Leida, Henry Fiol, ex-Septeto Nacional singer Alfredo Valdés, his son Alfredo Valdés Jr. and Peruvian singer/ composer Melcochita.

Feeling betrayed by Torres, who had wound-down SAR at its peak and relocated the company from NYC to Miami, he refused to record for nearly 16 years, with the exception of providing lead vocals to two tracks on Valdésa Records Presenta Vol. 1: Salsa Sudada '90 (reissued on Osagaji). Sang lead on one track of the Caimán All Stars' Descarga Brava 2000! '99 as a prelude to making a major comeback with his own solo album on Caimán in 2000. Made solo UK debut '87, returned Nov. '93 as a member of Sonora Matancera.

-This is a revised version of one of over 130 Latin music entries written by John Child ( for The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2nd Edition, edit. Donald Clarke; Penguin Books; 1998; 1524 pages; US$22.95, UK£16.99.

They are published on the Descarga website by kind permission of Mr. Donald Clarke.

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