Cuba on the keyboard


Roberto Carlos Valdes

Cuban piano is combination of the precision of the classical keyboard with the precision of the tumbadora.

Eighty eight drums, ten fingers.

Roberto Carlos Valdes, grandson of Bebo Valdes.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

Daymé!

A beautiful singer, a beautiful band, and beautiful footage of the beautiful people of Cuba.

The tune is “La Rumba Me Llamo Yo”

The singer and leader is Daymé Arocena, one of the great artists of the new generation of Cuba.

A comment from a YouTube viewer:

“I’m not Cuban or have any Hispanic descendant but I watched her on tiny desk here on YouTube and ever since I’ve been listening to her music. I don’t even understand half of what she’s singing about. Her voice is just so powerful and magnetic.”

That’s the magic of the music.

A little about Daymé:

Born and raised in Havana, her conservatoire training was combined with an upbringing grounded in Cuba’s own musical foundations. Accepted age 9 into one of the country’s prestigious music schools, she studied a choir directing course rooted in Western classical tradition. Meanwhile, she grew up with the day-to-day schooling in folkloric music that’s common to most Cuban households. At regular, intimate get-togethers, celebrating the island’s Santería religion, dancing and singing are the gatherings’ mainstays – a combination that’s meant she sees its deep-rooted traditions in a wider musical context.

Winning the prestigious Marti y el Arte award in 2007, her talent was spotted at a young age. Becoming principal singer with big band Los Primos at age 14, nods of approval followed from Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Centre’s teacher and trumpet player, and much-lauded saxophonist Jane Bunnett

Click here for more about Daymé and her music.


Great news!

You can now watch this video – and all Spanish language videos – with English subtitles. It’s free!

Click here for instructions on how to turn on English subtitles.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

The kids from ENA

ENA is Cuba’s secondary school conservatory.

Thanks to the dedication of Camilo Moriera, a new generation of Cuban musicians is being introduced to jazz.

The tune arranged and conducted by Camilo is a Cuban classic “Son de la Loma.” It translates “They’re from the hills”

Makes me homesick.

We’ve featured Camilo’s work on these pages.

Camilo’s Jazz on the Tube sponsored trip to New York City
jazzonthetube.com/camilo-moreira-in-the-bronx/

Jazz on the Tube visits Camilo in Havana
jazzonthetube.com/visiting-with-camilo/

Camilo Moreira -Jazz Educator in Havana
jazzonthetube.com/camilo-moreira-jazz-educator-havana/

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

Nosotros La Musica

Made in 1964 and loosely translates to “We Are the Music”

Written and directed by Rogelio Paris (1936-2016)

This film was his first major project and he made it when only 28.

Paris worked as a documentary maker at the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and was also a permanent professor of Filmmaking at the Faculty of Cinema, Radio and Television of the Institute of Higher Art

This single film could be the basis of an entire University course in Cuban music.

A rare panorama of Cuban music and dance from the 1960s. Featuring legendary Cuban musicians as well as vibrant spontaneous performances, We Are the Music captures the mood and vitality of Havana during a golden period.

Note: If you’re a jazz hound and nothing else will do for you, fast forward to 22:00.


Great news!

You can now watch this video – and all Spanish language videos – with English subtitles. It’s free!

Click here for instructions on how to turn on English subtitles.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

 

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.

Smoking hot!

Personnel:

Dizzy Gillespie, leader and trumpet
Arturo Sandoval, trumpet
Stan Getz, saxophone
Paquito D’Rivera, saxophone
David Amram, french horn
Ronnie Jones, guitar
Ben Brown, bass
Oscar Valdes, chekeres
Los Papinesm, congas
Mickey Roker, drums

If anyone knows other musicians not listed, please let me know.

Also, if anyone knows where the rest of the tape is, I’m all ears.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

 

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 a weekly gig at the San Souci night club in Havana and he appeared on Cuba’s pioneering television channel twice a week in the 1950s.

Roy Haynes introduced him to American jazz drumming and gave him his first set of drumsticks.

He performed with his old friend Bebo Valdés when the two of them found themselves in Europe in the early 1960s.

He spent time as the #2 man at Egrem.

He was Dizzy Gillespie’s host when Dizzy visited Havana in 1977.

He introduced Irakere to Columbia Records and toured the world with them as their manager.

He helped save Cuba’s most important jazz club La Zorra y el Cuervo from being turned into a pizzeria.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Gilberto’s remarkable life.

Click here to learn more about Gilberto.

Havana’s top nightclub Sans Souci (1958)

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Go to Cuba with Jazz on the Tube as your guide:
Click here for details

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