Cuban-born drummer Armando Peraza, a self-taught musician who transformed himself from a homeless orphan in Havana to a world-recognized bongo and conga expert who performed with Carlos Santana for nearly two decades, died Monday in a South San Francisco hospital.
The cause was pneumonia, said his wife, Josephine Peraza. Peraza had also battled diabetes for many years.
Officially, Peraza was 89, but he admitted that he made up a birth date to give to authorities when he came to the United States in the late 1940s and was never sure of his exact age.
Peraza, who also played with George Shearing and other jazz...