The latest album from Bobby Carcassés: “Blues con Montuno”

The last time I was in Cuba, I had the great good fortune to spend time with Bobby Carcassés.

A man of vast skills and accomplishments, he is, in many ways, the lynch pin of the Cuban jazz scene and has been for many years.

Born on August 29, 1938, he is an incredibly youthful soon-to-be-80-year-old. (We should all have as much energy!)

Here are three full tracks (with Bobby’s permission) along with a short bio.

You can get Blues con Montuno here


Bobby started his music career as an opera singer, but switched to popular music working as a vocalist at the legendary Tropicana nightclub and dancing professionally as well.

As a sideline, in 1960, he was Cuba’s champion long distance jumper.

Along the way Bobby also picked up the trumpet, the bass, the congas and the drums.

In 1980, he organized the first “Jazz Plaza Festival”, better known now as the Havana Jazz Festival, which I can tell you without hesitation is today one of the great music festivals on earth.


Over the years, Bobby’s been a mentor to countless young Cuban  jazz musicians – multiple generations worth – and remains a tireless promoter of the music.

He continues to perform, record, create events to help showcase other musicians – and paint. (He just had a gallery show in Havana.)

Son de la Loma


You can get Blues con Montuno here


– Ken McCarthy Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Fans: Please write to Downbeat and Jazz Times and ask them to review this and other major albums from Cuba.

Cuba has a globally important jazz scene.

It would be good as a matter of policy for US jazz publications to recognize that due to the vagaries of history, Cuba lacks a well funded jazz music promotion machine and is unlikely to have one anytime soon.

In the meantime, American fans and readers of these magazines worldwide are being deprived of a wealth of great and important music. 


West Side Story Reimagined
Benefit for Puerto Rico

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