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A composer, conductor and drummer, Costanzo is best known as a bongo player, and is nicknamed "Mr. Bongo". He visited Havana three times in the 1940s and learned to play Afro-Cuban rhythms on the bongos and congas.Costanzo started as a dancer, touring as a team with his wife before World War II. After his discharge from the Navy, he worked as a dance instructor at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Latin band leader Bobby Ramos listened to Costanzo playing bongos in a jam session and offered him a job. Throughout the 1940s, Costanzo worked with several Latin bands, including a revived version of the Lecuona Cuban Boys, Desi Arnaz, and Rene Touzet.Costanzo toured with Stan Kenton from 1947–48 and occasionally in the 1950s, and played with Nat King Cole from 1949 to 1953. He also played with the Billy May Orchestra, Peggy Lee, Danny Kaye, Perez Prado, Charlie Barnet, Pete Rugolo, Betty Grable, Harry James, Judy Garland, Jane Powell, Ray Anthony, Martin & Lewis, Frances Faye, Dinah Shore, Xavier Cugat, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Eddie Fisher.Costanzo formed his own band in the 1950s which recorded and toured internationally. Many Hollywood stars studied bongos with him, including: Marlon Brando, Rita Moreno, Carolyn Jones, Hugh O'Brien, Keenan Wynn, Van Johnson, Tony Curtis, Betty Grable, Vic Damone, and Gary Cooper.Costanzo was in retirement until 1998 when he decided to make a comeback and in 2001 recorded Back From Havana under the Ubiquity Records umbrella. This album featured the likes of Blue Note's Guilbert Castellanos, Steve Firerobing and the Panamanian singer Marilu. In 2002 he released another album with the same cast called Scorching the skins this time he also added Quino from Big Mountain. Costanzo has continued to tour and perform in California and abroad.

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