Artist Profiles: Larry Harlow

Larry Harlow

Larry Harlow is a legend in salsa music. As a classically trained musician he began to study music at the age of 5 following in his father’s footsteps. He has a multi-faceted musical education having studied at the most prestigious music schools including; The High School of Music and Art in N.Y. City; Brooklyn College B.A. in Music; The Institute of Audio Research; The New School For Social Research Philosophy. His specialties include Jazz and Classical piano conducting composition orchestration and audio engineering. Besides the keyboards he also plays oboe English horn flute bass vibraphone and assorted percussion instruments.

During the late 1950s he was so fascinated by the Latin rhythms that he traveled to Cuba to live and study the real Afro-Cuban sounds that became known as Salsa. As an expert Salsa artist he returned to New York to develop his own style and orchestra and later to help create the internationally famous Fania All-Stars group. While a member and producer of the Fania All-Stars for fifteen years Larry Harlow was not only a recording star with various solo albums and 15 with the All-Stars but also produced over 16 recordings for other artists. Harlow became a Santeria Priest (Ochun-Oni) and speaks English Spanish German and Lucumi.

He has received six gold records and has been recipient of Record World and Billboards’ Awards in the following categories: Latin Producer of the Year; Pianist of the Year; Arranger of the Year; Concert of the Year; and Salsa Orchestra of the Year. Harlow is a former Governor of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was the primary force in attaining recognition for Latin Artists thoughout the world by instituting the first Grammy for Latin music. He himself has been nominated for a Grammy for his album “La Raza Latina” a Salsa Suite. He created and composed the first Salsa opera “Hommy” which he orchestrated and conducted at Carnegie Hall and repeated in San Juan Puerto Rico to rave reviews. Harlow produced and recorded the first Latin Quadraphonic album and the first Latin Digital album.

He was the associate producer and co-starred in two feature films “Our Latin Thing” and “Salsa”.

Larry Harlow tours internationally with his unique Latin sounds taking it to Europe Central and South America Finland Africa and Japan as well as all the major markets in the U.S. Harlow is a former owner of two state-of-the-art recording studios in New York. He is currently playing producing recordings and directing videos for major artists in the U.S. and Europe. This past year Harlow formed the Latin Legends Band who are recording and touring the globe. Harlow is listed in the first edition of “Who’s Who in Entertainment”.


Heavy Smokin’ (Fania, 1965)
Bajándote: Gettin’ Off (Fania, 1966)
El Exigente (Fania, 1967)
Me and My Monkey (Fania, 1969)
Ambergris! (Gatefold, 1970)
Electric Harlow (Fania, 1970)
Abran Paso! (Fania, 1971)
Orchestra Harlow Presenta an Ismael Miranda (Fania, 1971)
Tribute To Arsenio Rodríguez (Fania, 1971)
Opportunidad (Fania, 1972)
Harlow’s Harem (Fania, 1972)
Hommy: A Latin Opera (Fania, 1973)
Salsa (Fania, 1974)
Live in Quad (Fania, 1974)
El Judío Maravilloso (Fania, 1975)
Con Mi Viejo Amigo (Fania, 1976)
El Jardinero del Amor (Fania, 1976)
La Raza Latina: A Salsa Suite (Fania, 1977)
El Albino Divino (Fania, 1978)
Latin Fever (Fania, 1978)
Rumbambola (Fania, 1978)
La Responsabilidad (Fania, 1979)
El Dulce Aroma del Éxito (Fania, 1980)
Our Latin Feeling – Nuestro Sentimiento (Fania, 1980)
Así Soy Yo (Coco, 1981)
Yo Soy Latino (Fania, 1983)
Señor Salsa (Tropical Budda, 1984)
The Latin Legends Band (Sony, 1998)
Romance En Salsa (Caimán, 1999)
¡Sofrito! (Rainart, 2000)
Live at Birdland (Latin Cool, 2003)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.


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