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    An afternoon with percussion legend, Tom

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    Martin

    by Martin

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    One of the most significant congueros of the 50s, 60s and 70s was Tommy Lopez. A native of Puerto Rico he traveled the Caribbean and lived a year in Brazil. He worked with Cuban singer, Vicentico Valdes and recorded with Eddie Palmieri's La Perfecta. Tommy was my friend but he seemed to drop of the face of the earth. Chembo Corniel called me one day and said he located Tommmy in Florida and we arranged to travel to catch up with Tommy. He talked of his studio work playing Brazilian rhythms in the 1960s and how in 1981 he saw the decline of Latin music and decided to become a tractor trailer driver for 23 years.