Jack Costanzo – the original 'Mr Bongo' – passed away on Saturday after a wonderful life in music.
I woke up this morning to find that my friend and inspiration, Jack Costanzo, had passed away in his sleep at the ripe old age of 98.
When Jack found out that a small record shop and label in the UK were using the 'Mr Bongo' name he called me... I thought; he’s not going to be happy… but it turned out that he loved the idea and was so happy that he sent me a whole Mr Bongo starter pack including photos of him playing with Elvis, Nat King Cole and Marlon Brando!
What a true legend. He continued playing until the very end. Here is a wonderful clip of him teaching Marlon Brando how its done:
David Buttle, founder of Mr Bongo