The Washington Post

No Mere Mambo King. Mario Bauzá Changed American Music

When back in the 1940s, trumpeter, saxophonist, and bandleader Mario Bauzá began to experiment with jazz melodies over Cuban rhythms he wasn’t out to invent anything. He was playing his life. He was also giving a sound to a profoundly American experience: the immigrant’s embrace of life in the new country while holding on to …

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Remembering Chico O’Farrill, The Man Who Put Latin Jazz in Black Tie (The Washington Post)

It was a brutally cold windy night last February in Manhattan, and as he bundled up to go out and conduct his big band at a local club, the great Cuban arranger, composer, and bandleader Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill looked alarmingly frail. A titan of Latin music for over five decades, he had been ill for …

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The Smithsonian Explores Latin Jazz: The Perfect Combination

There is a 1910 poster for a masquerade ball given by The Orleans Athletic Club at the Economy Hall in New Orleans, admission 25 cents, featuring the “popular favorite” Imperial Band, led by Manuel Perez. A few steps away hangs a dignified photo of Pedro Stacholy’s Cuban Jazzband, taken in Havana, circa 1920. There’s the …

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Ken Burns’ One-Note ‘Jazz’ Goes Flat Without A Latin Beat (The Washington Post)

The great Machito (center) and his Afro-Cubans featuring Graciela (left) Popular music offers a window into the society that creates it. But in “Jazz,” the 10-part, 19-hour documentary that winds up its PBS run next week, filmmaker Ken Burns peered at life in the United States through a narrow window. He has construed jazz — …

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What Globalization? All Music is Local (The Washington Post)

Omar Sosa. Photo by Andrea Rotili William Cepeda. Photo by Tomas Peña    Globalization has long subverted notions of what is local in popular culture. More to the point, communications and the increasing reach of the entertainment industry have challenged the idea of roots music while shining a light on intriguing connections. What once was …

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The Smithsonian Explores Latin Jazz: The Perfect Combination (The Washington Post)

Cover of Raul Fernandez’s Latin Jazz The Perfect Combination. There is a 1910 poster for a masquerade ball given by The Orleans Athletic Club at the Economy Hall in New Orleans, admission 25 cents, featuring the “popular favorite” Imperial Band, led by Manuel Perez. A few steps away hangs a dignified photo of Pedro Stacholy’s …

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