Remembering Arsenio Rodríguez – Maestro de maestros

Rene Lopez pays tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez (Ignacio de Loyola Rodríguez Scull) born Güira de Macurijes, Matanzas, Cuba, August 30, 1911.

The Arsenio piece that Lopez refers to in his talk: “Yo Nací en África” (“I Was Born in Africa”)

A tasty instrumental version of “Bruca Manigua” recorded in 1963. Ffrom the album “La Magia de Rodríguez”

And while we’re at it, why not the original 1937 recording with Miguelito Valdés and Casino de la Playa?

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Thanks.

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

 

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 town of Chicago.

Costanzo probably did more to introduce the bongos to North American music than any other single artist.

Here’s a short list of some of the artists he collaborated with over the years:

Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Navarro, Frank Sinatra, Desi Arnaz, Rene Touzet, Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Danny Kaye, Perez Prado, Charlie Barnet, Pete Rugolo, Betty Grable, Harry James, Judy Garland, Patti Page, Jane Powell, Ray Anthony, Martin & Lewis, Frances Faye, Dinah Shore, Xavier Cugat, Tony Curtis and Eddie Fisher.

Some excerpts from an excellent article on Costanzo by George Varga that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“I had to learn on my own, which is good, because I developed my own style. It seemed like it came natural. I listened to a lot of music. (Noted Spanish bandleader) Xavier Cugat was big. And, many years later, he hired me.”

“(An) aneurysm did not keep the tireless “Mr. Bongo” from headlining concerts periodically until as recently as late 2015. Nor did it deter him from practicing his drumming at home, nearly every day, until just a few weeks ago.

– 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

Harvard in Cuba

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 he is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer on Music.

He arranged to bring the school’s jazz band and other students to Cuba for a nine day tour.

They hit all the hot spots: Güines, the home of the birthplace of percussion genius Tata Güines; Mantanzas, where they heard the danzon group Orquesta Típica Miguel Failde and the rumba super group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas; and Havana where they met and played with Cuba jazz patriarch Bobby Carcassés, chekeré master Don Pancho Terry, trumpeter Julito Padrón, and bass player Gastón Joya.

They also visited three conservatories in Havana, Guillermo Tomás, Amadeo Roldán, and the National Schools for the Arts (La Ena), something casual tourists can’t do.


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

 

A Night in Havana Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba

A Night in Havana Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba

In 1985, on his second trip to Havana, Dizzy Gillespie was accompanied by a documentary film crew.

The resulting film “A Night in Havana: Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba” captures Dizzy’s spirit like few other films.

The film includes beautifully shot concert footage of his performance at Havana’s Fifth International Jazz Festival, his adventures touring Havana and his reflections on Afro-Cuban and Afro-American culture.

As everyone knows, Dizzy liked to kid around.

He was also deep and not afraid to speak his mind as the film shows.

Featured musicians include: Nasyry Abdul Al-Khabyyr, drums; Sayyid Abdul Al-Kabir, reeds; Walter Davis, Jr., piano; John G. Lee, bass; Danny ‘Big Black’ Rey, congas; Gonzalo Rubalcaba; piano, and Arturo Sandoval, trumpet.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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

 

David and Gilberto in Havana

David and Gilberto in Havana

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” – Chinese proverb

Reunited in Havana with the help of Jazz on the Tube,
Cuban drummer and singer Gilberto Valdés (89) and
US composer and instrumentalist David Amram (87)
work through the rhythms of a score together over lunch.

Jazz is an art of innovation, but it’s equally an art of memory, history, and tradition.  

Gilberto and David know what it was like when there was a free flow of music and musicians between Cuba and the United States and what a positive impact that had on the people and music of both countries.

They also know the jarring effect of having that free flow cut off. (This was David’s first trip back to Cuba in forty one years.) 

At Gilberto’s home, David and Gilberto talk
about the fine points of Cuban percussion.

Gilberto’s son is in Sao Paulo working as a filmmaker and when he visits he brings his Dad Brazilian instruments like this flute and pandeiro (tamborine.) Gilberto and David took them down off the wall where they were hanging and gave them a try.

At La Zorra and El Cuervo – the club in Havana where you can consistently hear great jazz seven nights a week – David and Orlando “Maraca” Valle on flute jam.

That’s New York’s Robby Ameen sitting in on drums. (If anyone recognizes the other players, please let me know.)

After we’ve paid the light bill and sent out the daily videos, this is an example of some of the the “behind the scenes” work Jazz on the Tube does to help make unique musical things happen in Cuba and elsewhere.

If you’re inclined to pay a voluntary user fee for your daily subscription and access to over 2,500+ classic jazz videos, we can always use the help and guarantee the money will be well used. Support Jazz on the Tube here.


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

 

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