Latin Jazz percussionist Mongo Santamaria made his mark on the music scene with his composition of the jazz classic “Afro Blue” and club friendly tunes like “Cloud Nine” and “We got Latin Soul”.
He was also an inspiration for a Japanese actor and a scene in the Mel Brooks film Blazing saddles.
Japanese actor and singer Yūsuke Nakayama was such a fan of Mongos that he changed his name to Yūsuke Santamaria in tribute to his idol
Mongo is also name checked In the 1974 comedy western Blazing Saddles. In the scene where the only non flatulent cowboy rides into town, he’s welcomed with the words “Mongo! Santa Maria!”
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