Friday, September 28, 2012

Re-Discovering Cuban Jazz

Machito & his Afro-Cubans
We are absolutely thrilled to present our fall Discover Jazz series on the extraordinary marriage of jazz and Cuban music. Of all the Antilles, no island has done more to influence the outcome of American jazz than Cuba…from the infectious mambo to modern-day timba and beyond. Jazz, too, made its indelible mark on the island’s music, exploring the perfect marriage of luscious harmony and dance-churning rhythms, and finding a host of innovators along the way who would share the wealth of this “new” music, much of which would evolve far to the north in New York City. From the classic sounds of Machito and Mario Bauzá, Dizzy Gillespie and Tito Puente to the explosive modernists such as Chucho Valdés, Irakere and Emiliano Salvador, Jazz and Cuban music continue to walk – and dance – hand in hand.

Every Wednesday evening in October (10/3 through 10/31) from 7-9pm at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, I will be honored to host some of the most talented, informed and influential Cuban artists as part of our "Música Cubana" series. Combining live performance, lecture, multimedia and audience Q&A, each Discover Jazz class will highlight some of the most important artists and works to link the worlds of Cuban music and jazz - from the early 20th century through the post-modern era after the Revolution. Guest artists include flautist and musicologist Danilo Lozano, legendary timbalero Orestes Vilató, drum phenom Horacio "El Negro" Hernández, bass virtuoso Carlitos Del Puerto and drum sensation Jimmy Branly. For a complete schedule and line-up please visit the Discover Jazz web page on

In class #1 this coming Wednesday October 3rd we will explore the roots of Cuban popular music - from the danzón to the mambo and the cha-cha-chá and beyond. To get you in the mood, please enjoy this rare footage of Cuban vocalist and bandleader Roberto Faz with his classic, "Píntate Los Labios."
-- Rebeca


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