b. Alejandro Blake Feuron Jnr., 21 December 1951, Panama City, Panama. Raised in the USA since 1958, Blake began playing bass at an early age, an activity in which he was encouraged by his musician father. Blake first concentrated on Latin music, playing professionally from the age of 12, and among artists in this genre with whom he worked was Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdés. His wider fame grew through associations with major jazz musicians, among whom have been Sun Ra, touring Europe with him when he was aged 15, Dizzy Gillespie, when he was a year older, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders. Despite these connections, however, Blake has declared Jimi Hendrix as a prime influence. A precociously talented player as a youth, Blake matured into a hugely gifted contemporary jazz artist. He has also displayed a high standard as a composer, drawing upon his eclectic Latin and post bop experience to create exciting and original music.
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