Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Mauricio Smith emerged briefly as a solo star in the mid- to late '60s after a long association with Vincentico Valdes, the La Plata Sextet, Joe Valle, and the Joe Cuba Sextet. The son of a flautist who played with the Panama Symphony, he studied at Panama City's National Conservatory of Music, and became a fixture on television and in nightclubs in South and Central America, Puerto Rico, Miami, and New York. He also appeared with and wrote arrangements for Machito, Mongo Santa Maria, and Tito Puente.
Smith adapted easily to the rhythms of rock & roll, and made an early attempt at cross-over between Latin jazz and rock in the mid-'60s when he hooked up with producer Joe Cain, with whom Smith cut an album -- Acid Jazz -- for the Mainstream Records label. He later played and recorded with Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie, and with the Latin Jazz Orchestra.