Documentary – “Mr. Bongo: I’m going to live until I die”

Jack Costanzo (1919-2018)

Jack Costanzo started out as a dancer but self-education which included three trips to Havana in the 1940s made him a bongero (bongo master) and he was in instant demand both with jazz and Latin orchestras.

His first exposure to the instrument came when he was 14 years old at a ballroom dance concert in his home … Read more

The funkiest beat – built off the clave

New Orleans drum master Zigaboo Modeliste explains how he built the iconic drum riff to the funk classic “Hey Pocky A-Way” from the clave.

First the tune..

Now the explanation

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Alexander Abreu and Havana D´Primera

Filmed June 1, 2013 at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco

The jam (“descarga”) is based on Cachao’s “Las Boinas.”

The Cuba-based band Havana D´Primera is led by Cienfuegos-born trumpet player Alexander Abreu.

Back home, this very popular band is known for its “Timba” music, a combination of salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music.

Sabrosa. … Read more

Manteca by Chicas de la Habana

I think Dizzy would have loved this band and this version of the classic he wrote with Chano Pozo.

Chicas de la Habana are, well, chicas de la Habana, young women from Havana.

They’re currently based in Madrid, Spain.

As is the case for so many outstanding Cuban musicians, it’s not easy finding information about them, but their music speaks … Read more

Harvard in Cuba

You’ve got to hand it to Harvard. They’ve got money and in this case they knew how to spend it.

This short video is an excellent musical and visual survey of some of the best that the western part of Cuba has to offer music lovers.

Cuban saxophonist, percussionist and composer Yosvany Terry directs the jazz bands at Harvard where … Read more

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