(Johnny Conga and Willie Everich in 1973 @ 149th st on the Grand Concourse, Photo Credit: Willie "El Ruso" Everich)
In 1972 I embarked upon my percussion journey. I had acquired several teachers most important of which was "Trap" or Johnny Conga as he prefers to be called these days. JC lived on Walton Ave near 166th St and Mulally Park, the rumba university, was several blocks away. His day time gig at that point was Mental Health Worker, a position with NYC's HHC. One of his colleagues was one Luciano "Chano" Rodriguez who was also an accomplished percussionist and artist and lived on Jerome and 165th St; directly across the street from the park. Phil Newsome, timbalero with Harlow at the time also lived in Chano's building as did percussionist/artist and one of the ORIGINAL founders of El Museo Del Barrio and the Taller Boricua, Adrian Garcia.
(Left to Right: Adrian Garcia, Willie "El Ruso" Everich, Amanda Everich, Johnny Conga, the late Chano, Photo Credit: Willie "El Ruso")