Conguero Eladio Perez was born on May 5, 1946, in Cataño Puerto Rico
He alternated at the side of renowned orchestras and stellar figures of Salsa. He was a great percussionist with a career that includes collaborations with Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, Tommy Olivencia, Justo Betancourt, and Puerto Rico All-Star, one of the main ones is the one he did with Eddie Palmieri, with whom he recorded nine albums, four of which won Grammy awards.
Eladio gained fame as a member of the Orquesta del Maestro Eddie Palmieri, appearing in the band for the first time in the album Superimposition.
His first recording was with La Orquesta del Maestro Eddie Palmieri in 1970.
“A real scorcher from Eddie Palmieri as much a transition as Superimposition and the kind of record that would have a huge impact on Latin jazz in the 70s! Eddie’s got one foot in the small group styles of his 60s work, but he’s also reaching forward in a mode that’s rootsy and modern at the same time a back-to-basics approach that’s tremendously focused on the rhythm, and which mostly uses heavy percussion and piano to layout the grooves then tops them off with some jazzier riffing on brassy horns.”
Eddie’s piano is sublime throughout — crackling with life and energy that barely made it onto record before, and hitting notes that are modern, yet which sit comfortably next to the earthier grooves of the rest of the band. Ismael Quintana’s on lead vocals.”
He was a member of that “Ecuación Palmeriana” of the song 17.1 (download included in that LP) together with Chucky López and Nicky Marrero (it was said that 17.1 was the average age of the three young percussionists).
Eladio Pérez participated in the recordings of Vámonos Pa’l Monte, Harlem River Drive, the live LP at the University of Puerto Rico, and the two Salsa Grammy winners (Sun of Latin Music and Unfinished Masterpiece).
In the anthological song “Un Día Bonito” there are two congueros: Tommy López Sr. is the soloist in the opening rumba guaguancó and Eladio descarga in the solo accompanied by the entire band.
Around the same time he formed the Orquesta La Única with Julio Castro, Carlos Santos and Junior Córdova.
Years later, in 1976, Pérez was recruited by Frank Gregory to be part of the Puerto Rico All-Stars.
Charlie Palmieri and Roberto Roena also enlisted the services of the percussionist. When Eddie Palmieri returned to Puerto Rico and formed his new orchestra, he again called upon the conguero from Cataño, who shared credits with Giovanni Hidalgo (bongo) and Charlie Cotto (timbales).
1973, unloading of timbales in Panama with the man from Toa Baja Héctor Endel Dueño Rivera and the orchestra of maestro Tommy Olivencia in the song Cuero Na’ Ma where Eladio Pérez on congas, Papy Fuentes on bongos, with the intermission between each unloading of Reynaldo Jorge, Victor Candelario on trombones, the voice of Sammy González with the chorus of Paquito Guzmán and Papy Fuentes.
This song comes from Tommy Olivencia’s album “Cueros…Salsa y Sentimiento” from 1971 for the Inca Records label, but it was originally composed by Tito Puente in 1949 when he had Vicentico Valdés on vocals and Manny Oquendo on bongos.
In 1973 the Orquesta LA UNICA and Friends with the song PA’ LA RUMBA that comes on the album of the same name, composed and sung by Junior Córdova, with the direction and bongos of Julio Castro, the congas of Eladio Pérez, the timbales of Pedro Roque, Angel Rivera on piano, the trumpets of Joe Cepeda, Roberto Ramírez and Norberto Torres among others.
One of the last times we saw his name in recording credits was on Justo Betancourt’s Mató album.
On July 30, 2018, he dies while hospitalized at the Puerto Rico Veterans hospital.
El Conguero Eladio Perèz…Caballero
Facebook: Eladio Pérez