Bobby Enriquez – Plays Bossa Nova

Born on the island of Negros just north of Mindanao, Bobby’s first love was the piano but his mother wanted him to concentrate on schoolwork. This did not deter him and he started his professional career as a musician at the age of 14, sneaking out of his second floor bedroom window at night to play gigs, and when his mother found out what he was doing at night she shut down the piano and told him to concentrate on homework. So he ran away from home and went to Manila. Once in Manila, he joined various jazz groups and from there he played in Taipei and Hong Kong where he met such jazz luminaries as Mel TormĂ©, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente, and Chico Hamilton.

In 1967, he arrived in Los Angeles and played briefly for The Sunspots, before moving to Hawaii where he landed a major gig at the famed Golden Dragon Lounge and became Don Ho’s orchestra leader and musical director.

He also performed with Amapola Cabase from 1976 to 1977 in Japantown, San Francisco, California, followed by appearances at the Wagon Wheel, and eventually Harrah’s Hotel In Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Alto saxophonist Richie Cole discovered him there and asked him to join his band. Enriquez participated in several Richie Cole albums in the 1980s, most notably “Alive! at the Village Vanguard” and “The Madman Meets the Wild Man”.

He performed solo at premier jazz festivals and clubs throughout the world and recorded more than 10 albums on the CBS and Crescendo labels. He also performed with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and George Benson. In the Philippines he was hailed as “Ambassador of Jazz,” and in the United States he performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.

Here we have Bobby playing Jobim Bossa standards as well as Luiz Bonfa’s “Manha De Carnaval”.

 

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