Widely acknowledged among the greatest congueros of his generation, Giovanni Hidalgo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1963, first taking up the drums five years later; the son of the noted percussionist Jose "Manengue" Hidalgo, he was educated in Latin rhythms from childhood onward, and as a teen regularly walked to local gigs with his congas strapped to his back.
He soon caught the attention of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, touring in his United Nations All-Star Orchestra for four years; Hidalgo also became a noted session player, recording with Freddie Hubbard, Paul Simon, and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum project. In 1992, he recorded his debut solo LP, Villa Hidalgo; Worldwide followed a year later, and for 1997's Hands of Rhythm, a collaboration with pianist Michel Camilo, Hidalgo earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Latin Jazz Album category. His Greatest Hits collection followed the next year. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi