The cats in Havana – 1977

The year: 1977.

The place: La Habana, Cuba.

President Jimmy Carter thawed the freeze between the United States and Cuba a bit by allowing a boatload of American musicians to travel to Havana to perform with Cuban musicians, the first such officially sanctioned visit since 1961.

Check out the young, very serious and (very thin) Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D’Rivera.… Read more

Interview with Gilberto Valdés Zequeira – in his 90th year


Jazz on the Tube brought Gilberto (left) and his friend
David Amram together again in Havana after a 40 year absence

Interview with Gilberto Valdés Zequeira

Download the mp3 here

Gilberto Valdés Zequeira was born in Havana on August 16, 1928.

As a kid he listened to Chano Pozo’s rehearsals in the Colon neighborhood of Havana.

His vocal group had … Read more

Bobby Carcassés y Afrojazz Blues con Montuno

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 … Read more

Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga in Madrid

Filmed at Café Central in Madrid.

I haven’t been to Madrid in Spain yet, but it looks like it’s a good place to enjoy Cuban music.

Not long ago, we featured Chicas de Habana who are based there.

Here’s another young Cuban group in Madrid having fun with Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga, the classic Frank Emilio composition.

“Having fun” is … Read more

Quinteto Instrumental de Musica Moderna
From the film “Nosotros La Musica”

Released by the Cuban National Film Institute in 1964

There’s a myth in some people’s mind that Cuban jazz began with musicians like Chucho Valdes and Arturo Sandoval.

With all due respect to those gentlemen, no.

The show starts at the 00:35 point after a brief piano prelude and then a second group comes on at 5:30. This music is … Read more