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

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 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

Caravana


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.

Rumbibop


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. 

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

 

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 a lesson some North American musicians could learn from their Cuban brothers and sisters.

Enough with the long faces. Music can be profound and fun at the same time.

Personnel:

Luis Guerra, piano
Yuvisney Aguilar, timbales
Reinier “El Negrón”, contrabajo
Juan Viera, congas
Michael Olivera, bongó

– 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