This is a big topic, but three things to note:

First, Palo is one of the religious streams, along with Santeria (“The Way of the Saints”), that developed in Cuba and the Western Hemisphere. It’s also known as Las Reglas de Congo. Palo was developed by enslaved people taken from the Congo basin.

Palo is known as a syncretic religion, … Read more

Carnival ’62

Like New Orleans and Brazil and other places with Catholic cultural roots, Cuba has a vibrant Carnival culture.

This black and white film shows what Carnival looked like in February of 1962. The director: Alberto Roldán.

This was shot in is in Havana, but Carnival is celebrated all over Cuba and is especially dynamic in Santiago de Cuba.

Important: Don’t … Read more

Tumba Francesa

La Tumba Francesca is an art form unique to eastern Cuba.

Tumba is “drum” and “Francesa” is French, so it means literally “French drums.”

Why “French?”

Because the art was created by the French-speaking Haitians who came to eastern Cuba during and after the Haitian Revolution

This documentary by Jimenez Leal y Nestor Almedros is from 1961. The visual quality … Read more

Charlie Palmieri teaches the kids

We discovered this gem in the middle of a documentary about Puerto Rican culture in New York.

The late great Charlie Palmieri (1927 – 1988) does what so many great musicians have done – and continue to do – over the years: teaching the next generation.

That’s why we have the great music we do.

Interviews about Latin music education … Read more

2017 Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Camp

A mambo version of from the Gym Scene of West Side Story performed by the students of the 2017 Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Camp directed by Bobby Sanabria.

Composed by Leonard Bernstein, arranged by Danny Rivera with additional arranging by Bobby.

The dancers are from the Cleveland Ballet.

Thanks to all the sponsors who made the camp and this performance … Read more