Osain del Monte by Abbilona

A stage performance by the group Abbilona of a piece called “Osain del Monte.”

The drums they are playing are called Batá.

There are four major African cultural and spiritual influences alive and thriving in Cuba today: Palo (Congo), Abakuá (from the Carabalí), Arará (from Dahomey, now Benin), and Regla de Ocaha, also called La Regla de Ifá or Lucumi, … Read more

Camilo Moreira from Cuba in the Bronx with Bobby Sanabria
(Camilo Moreira de Cuba en el Bronx con Bobby Sanabria)


Download the mp3 here

Restoring the Bronx-Cuba Music Connection

August 2017, Jazz on the Tube brought Havana jazz educator Camilo Moreira to New York City and the Bronx to experience US jazz and meet his Latin jazz “uncles” and “cousins” in the U.S. first hand for the first time. (Camilo has been up before but always with … Read more

Ray Santos – Big Band Master

A Bronx Tale…

A Nuyorican, Ray Santos grew up next to a synagogue where he marveled at the sounds of the cantor, listened to Machito on the kitchen radio, and was bowled over the first time he heard Coleman Hawkins’ “Body and Soul” on a friend’s record player.

Meet the man who put the big band sound in Afro-Cuban music.… Read more

The Peanut Vendor

The influence of Cuba on American music has been pretty steady ever since there was an America to influence (Cuba is a longer European settled place than anywhere in North America.)

That said, 1930 was an especially important year. That was when “The Peanut Vendor” became a super hit in the US.

The original title of the song is “El … Read more


Palo is one of the spiritual 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, meaning it blends two or more elements together. You can see … Read more