Places that Matter

Colgate Gardens (former)

Latin music venue where the Mambo was popular
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Place Matters Profile

Previously the Imperial Gardens, a wedding hall catering to the Jewish community, Colgate Gardens began attracting a Latin crowd as the surrounding neighborhood changed in the postwar years. Throughout the mid-1960s it hosted some of the biggest names in Latin music including Machito, Marcelino Guerra, La Lupe, Tito Puente, Pete Rodríguez and Cortijo y su Combo. Regular weekend dances were supplemented by dance contests (concursos de mambo) and special holiday events. The Colgate Gardens is also known as one of the venues to premier the song "Booglaoo Blues" by Johnny Colón and His Orchestra, which was a major hit of the Latin bugalú period.