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Grammy winner, Mambo creator Israel 'Cachao' Lopez
to receive lifetime achievement award on March 4



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665


Ariane Bicho, Publicist
College of Creative Arts
San Francisco State University
(415) 338-1442
(415) 338-0520 fax

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


SFSU International Center for the Arts inaugural event also features Andy Garcia paying tribute

"To Cuba, With Love," the inaugural event of San Francisco State University's International Center for the Arts, kicks off with the West Coast AfroCuban All-Stars paying their debt to Israel "Cachao" Lopez in musical currency, with a program celebrating the 86-year-old Cuban artist's musical achievements.

Known as the creator of Mambo music and the "godfather of Cuban bass," Cachao has influenced a wide range of Cuban genres and styles, from subtle charangas to the fiery sound of the conjuntos. Born in Havana in 1918, Cachao was a child prodigy in a family passionate about music, with the extended Lopez family boasting a phenomenal 40 bassists.

Cachao will make a special appearance to receive the first George and Judy Marcus Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Special guest Andy Garcia, a long-time Cachao fan who made his directorial debut with a 1993 documentary on him and who produced Cachao's 2005 Grammy-winning album, ¡Ahora Si!, will pay tribute.

"From the creation of the Mambo with his brother Orestes in 1938 to his revolutionary Descargas and his innovations on his beloved bass, Cachao has changed the course of Cuban music and gone on to influence music and musicians all over the world for almost an entire century," Garcia said. "His genius is unparalleled."

This event is sold out.


  • Israel "Cachao" Lopez, recipient of the first George and Judy Marcus Prize for Lifetime Achievement;
  • West Coast AfroCuban All-Stars: John Santos, Mark Levine, Wayne Wallace, Fito Reynoso, John Calloway, Jesus Diaz, Orestes Vilato, Mike Spiro, Greg Landau, Karl Perazzo, Orlando Torriente and others;
  • Special guest Andy Garcia, actor/director, will sit in on bongos; and
  • George and Judy Marcus, SFSU alumni who created the International Center for the Arts with a $3 million gift, and their daughter Alexandria Marcus.

Concert begins at 8 p.m., Friday, March 4. Camera crews may film the award presentation, Garcia's tribute to Cachao, and Cachao performing with the West Coast AfroCuban All-Stars. Award presentation begins at about 9:15 p.m.; Cachao performs immediately following.

The Forum at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. (at Third Street), San Francisco.


NOTE: Reporters interested in covering this event are asked to contact SFSU at (415) 338-1743 or (415) 338-1442 for media credentials before the event. Camera crews at the event should call Ariane Bicho at (415) 948-1090 or ask for her at the forum entrance.

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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications