1. Born into a family of musicians, Giovanni first played on a set of ...
congas handcrafted by his father, the great Jose "Maneñgue" Hidalgo.
unmatched pots and pans from his mother's kitchen.
Ludwig Vistalites, which belonged to his grandfather.
2. Giovanni first learned to play conga by ...
taking the technique of drumming with sticks and applying it to his hands. "Then I sort of went backwards and later played with sticks," he says.
practicing to his father's old swing records.
joining Puerto Rico's Conga & Bugle drum corp, Island Esperanza
3. Giovanni is particularly admired by others for ...
his perfection of double and triple stroke rolls, effortlessly implementing drumset stick rudiments with his hands.
his REALLY big, beefy hands
his ability to keep up with El Negro on a night out on the town
4. Giovanni first became popular outside his native Puerto Rico in the early '80s during his work with ...
Batacumbele. Cuban musicians incorporated it into their own, hybrid musical style called Songo.
Kumbaya. Folk musicians incorporated it into their own spiritual tune sung around many campfires.
Jose Feliciano. Spanish musicians incorporated it into their own, hybrid musical style called Bolero.
5. Giovanni met Dizzy Gillespie one evening at ...
the Village Gate where he was performing with Eddie Palmieri in the mid-'80s... In 1988, Gillespie asked Giovanni to join the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Jazz Orchestra. "Playing with Dizzy was a wonderful experience in my life," reflects Giovanni, "but I played differently when I performed with him. I controlled myself onstage. It was like I was being orchestrated by a great conductor."
the Waffle House where he was eating chicken and waffles with Eddie Palmieri in the mid-'80s... In 1988, Gillespie asked Giovanni to join Dizzy for lunch the next day. "Eating with Dizzy was a wonderful experience in my life," reflects Giovanni, "but I ate too much when I was with him..."
Central Park where he was hanging out with Eddie Palmieri in the mid-'80s... In 1988, Gillespie asked Giovanni to join Dizzy for rollerblading the next day. "Rollerblading with Dizzy was a wonderful experience in my life," reflects Giovanni, "but I could barely keep up with him. Dizzy used to skate Roller Derby..."
6. The nickname "El Negro" was given to him before he was born and was a sign of affection for his brother's best friend... What does it mean?
the loud, goofy little kid next door
world's greatest drummer
7. What school did El Negro attend?
National School of Arts in Havana
Drummer's Collective of Havana
National Institute for the Criminally Insane
8. At age 13, El Negro was detained by authorities in Cuba for what?
playing American rock & roll music / "the music of the enemy"
doing a really bad Ricky Ricardo impersonation
9. While in Cuba, El Negro recorded many albums for a major Cuban studio. Name the studio and who did he replace at the studio?
Ignacio Berroa at EGREM Studios
Nipper at RCA Studios
Ringo at Apple Studios
10. El Negro is best known for doing what with his left foot?
corner kicks for the Cuban National Football Team
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