Havana: March 2017 – Cuban women in jazz

By marvelous coincidence, Fiesta del Tambor coincided with Cuban Women in Jazz Week.

El Zorra y La Cuarva, Havana’s pre-eminent jazz club, featured a different woman-led band every night during the week of March 6.

The truth is this scheduling only required a little rearranging of Zorra’s schedule since all of these bands already play there regularly when they’re in the country.

On Wednesday, March 8, International Woman’s Day (a holiday which began in NYC in 1909), the club hosted an all day conference on women in jazz in Cuba.

After a day of fruitful and enlightening discussion, the featured bandleaders got on stage with no rehearsal of any kind, someone called the tune “Besame Mucho” and this resulted.

Apologies to the bass player whose solo got cut off midstream. I ran out of memory and had to jettison files before I could start filming again.

The whole gang.
Click on the photo to enlarge it

Bellita (Lilia Esther Exposito Pino), bandleader, composer, educator, pianist extraordinaire and organizer of
women’s week in jazz

Singer, composer and bandleader Daimé Arocena

Drummer and bandleader Yissy Garcia. Her band is BandAncha

A musicologist discusses the rich history of all-woman singing groups in Cuba

Singer and band leader Zule Guerra talks with Cuban jazz veteran saxophonist and bandleader Rafael Quiñones

Legendary jazz singer Bobby Carcassés talks about scat singing with three of Cuba’s top practitioners Bellita, Daimé Arocena, and Zule Guerra

Now let’s go to the event that brought us to Havana in the first place: Fiesta del Tambor, Festival of the Drum.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Havana: March 2017 – Fiesta del Tambor
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