Larry Harlow Day

March 20, 1939 – August 20, 2021

A tribute to the influential salsa performer

Larry Harlow passed away on Aug. 20, 2021, at the age of 82.

He was born as Larry Harlow Kahn on Mar. 20, 1939, in Brooklyn.

Harlow grew up in a very musical family with his mother being an opera singer and his father the bandleader at the Latin Quarter in New York.

He graduated from the NY High School of Music and Art, studied Afro-Cuban music extensively including in Cuba, and played several instruments (including oboe, flute, and bass) although his chief instrument was the piano.

Harlow, who led Orquesta Harlow, recorded over 50 albums of his own in his career (starting in 1965) and produced over 250 for other artists (including his brother Andy Harlow), mostly for the Fania label; among his most popular albums were Abran Paso and Tributo an Arsenio Rodriguez while his Laz Raza Latina, a Salsa Suite was an important work.

Harlow who made a countless number of contributions to salsa (including developing the trumpet/trombone sound of contemporary salsa bands) was a major force in creating the Latin Grammy award; in his later years he performed with the Fania Latin Legends,

Here is Larry Harlow and his group performing spirited versions of “El Judio Maravilloso” and “La Cartera.”

-Scott Yanow


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