Rudy Cardenas – A Living Legend

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Rudy Cardenas was one of the brightest juggling stars of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The incredible Mexican juggler was born March 19th, 1931 and started his performing career around 1934. By the age of seven he could perform 5 balls and 5 bell sticks. He was known as the Little Rastelli. At 8 years old he became the first act ever to open at the El Patio, the largest nightclub in Mexico City. At 10, he was working at Rio de Janeiro’s La Urca, the most famous casino in the world at the time. Rudy had a wonderful and long performing career all over the world. His act featured large ball juggling, ball spinning, stick juggling, three top hats, small balls and billiard pockets, and shaker cups. He is perhaps best remembered for popularizing shaker cup juggling and for inventing the back roll while spinning three balls; one on a mouth stick and one on each index finger. He was the winner of the Rastelli Prize in Bergamo, Italy in 1967 and was the recipient of the International Jugglers’ Association Historical Achievement Award in 1995.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01Instead of writing a long biography of Rudy here, I’d encourage you to read a great five page autobiographical article from the Summer 1995 Juggler’s World Magazine. Click here to read this wonderful account of Rudy’s life, told by Rudy himself.

Cardenas5 (630x1280)Below are 4 pictures and 4 wonderful videos of Rudy performing.


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Rudy Cardenas is considered one of the most energetic, skilled, and innovative jugglers of all time. He was a master of many different juggling skills. He is also a loving husband and father and a friend and mentor to many jugglers. While his current health is not great, we are glad to still have this wonderful performer with us.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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