Inspired by the pre-World War II swing jazz and jump blues of North America, Cascarita (born Orlando Guerra) used his powerful vocals to rise to the upper echelon of Cuban music. Although he performed with such stellar Cuban artists as Julio Cueva and Orquesta Hermanos Palau, Cascarita is best-remembered for his work with Orquesta Casino de la Playa, which he joined as a replacement for Miguelito Valdés in 1940. Cascarita made his greatest contribution to Cuban music when he recommended Pérez Prado as the group's arranger. Prado, who went on to become one of the originators of the mambo, later helped Cascarita to find a job as a singer.
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