In Memoriam: Andy González
Sad news to report: Latin bass icon Andy González has passed away. The news was announced by his sister, Eileen González-Altomari, on Facebook.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our brother Andy González who passed away last night, Thursday, April 9th. He was 69 years old,” she wrote. “It is difficult to put into words the pain we are all feeling right now but we take comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and is now in the heavens with Jerry and our parents. We will miss him terribly. We thank you for your prayers and when the time is right, we will all join together to celebrate his life.”
González was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City. His father was the MC and lead singer for bands during the Palladium era, which led Andy and his brother Jerry into the music scene. They created a group called the Latin Jazz Quintet when Andy was just 13 years old. After two years of that group, the bassist went on to work with Monguito Santamaria. Santamaria was signed to Fania Records, who would go on to utilize González for two more iconic musicians: Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri.
After working with Palmieri, Andy and Jerry founded some of the most influential Latin bands including Conjunto Libre and Grupo Folklórico Y Experímental Nuevayorquíno. He also worked with The Fort Apache Group, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Astor Piazzola, and more. He also released solo albums, the latest of which was 2016’s Entre Colegas.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Andy González.