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- Posted on Feb 10th 2009 10:45AM by Dan Reilly
Lopez grew up in Havana among a family 30 bass players. His father, Orestes, played piano, cello and bass, and often brought Orlando to sessions. Lopez originally wanted to play the violin but his grandfather made sure he switched to bass as part of the family tradition, which included his uncle, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, a Grammy-winning bassist considered to be the pioneer of mambo.
Over the years, Lopez played in mambo groups, the Cuban national Symphony and jazz bands, but he's most well known for his work with the Social Club, an ensemble of elderly Cuban musicians brought together by Ry Cooder, and the documentary that followed them. His steady, powerful bass lines led him to be called the "heartbeat" of the group, and he achieved critical success with his only solo album, 2001's 'Cachaito.' He is the seventh group member to pass away in this decade.
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