Jazz Caliente

Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Cuba's influence on New Orleans music

Havana Vieja at night
Gabriel Rodríguez

It's been said that Cuba and New Orleans are more than musical cousins; they are more like twins and equally responsible for much of what we call jazz.  And I've often heard New Orleans described by its multi-cultural natives as being not a Southern city, but a Caribbean city.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Latin Jazz nominees for tonight's Latin Grammy Awards

Tania Maria
Bruno Bollaert, volume12

The 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards will  air live  in the United States on the Univision Network  from 8–11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central) tonight.

Here are the nominiees for the Best Latin Jazz Album:

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

The sad and mysterious death of Hilton Ruiz

Hilton Ruiz
Washington DC Jazz Network

The talented and versatile Latin jazz and be-bop pianist Hilton Ruiz died in June of 2006 in New Orleans.  He'd gone there to make a video to accompany a CD he'd recorded, a tribute to and benefit for the recently flooded and hurricane-ravaged city. 

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Timbales provide the beat for Cuban dances

Bobby Sanabria on timbales
TOM EHRLICH © 2008

The drums known as timbales are yet another example of the uniquely Cuban inclination to mix European instrumentation with African rhythms.  Timbales fuel Cuban dances like the Danzón and the Mambo, and are widely used in Salsa music, Latin jazz and rock.

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Two prominent women in Latin Jazz

Jane Bunnett
taringa.net

Recognition for female instrumentalists in Jazz is rare enough, and it's even tougher for women in Latin Jazz. Most Latin cultures are still, shall we say, a bit chauvinistic.

Here are two women who have overcome cultural and other barriers to follow their dreams of creating music:

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Three noteworthy Latin music documentaries

Musician Francisco Aguabella in 2011.
Lori Shepler Los Angeles Times

In my never-ending quest to learn as much as possible about the music I love, I often run across interesting books and movies that I'll occasionally share with you on Jazz Caliente.

While not specifically Latin jazz, these movies caught my eye recently, and each provides some insight into various Afro-Cuban music styles:

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Jazz Caliente
12:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Legends of Latin Jazz come to Seattle and Tacoma

Candido Camero in concert 2008
Wikipedia

Mark your calendar for some great live Latin Jazz in October and November!

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Here's a rundown of the Latin Grammy Awards

Poncho Sanchez
Jeff Croft

Conguero and bandleader Poncho Sanchez will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy (Latin Grammys) in November.  Poncho's collaboration with trumpeter Terence Blanchard Chano y Dizzy is also nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Clave is key in Latin jazz

Clave (klah-vay) is the basic defining rhythm of Latin Jazz and other types of African, Cuban,  South American and even Australian Aboriginal music.  The claves are wooden sticks used to produce the rhythm.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Chico and Rita – A Cuban jazz love story

The animated film Chico y Rita was released to DVD this week.  It's been playing in the UK and in film festivals world-wide for two years, to glowing reviews. It was nominated Best Animated Feature Film for the 2012 Oscars.

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

D’Rivera, Sandoval's music banned at 'home,' famous in exile

Arturo Sandoval

The music of saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter/ pianist Arturo Sandoval has been censored from Cuban airwaves for decades now,  since they both defected to the U.S.  

Bandmates and founding members of the legendary Cuban group Irakere, both took advantage of musical world tours to make their escape.  Both have also gone on to make incredibly successful international careers, but still, it has to hurt to know that your name has been erased from your native country's cultural history.

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Jazz Caliente
11:30 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Resources for learning about Latin music

Trombonist and educator Steve Turre plays sanctified shells at Smoke in NYC
Alan Nahigian

Two informative, fun and  in-depth resources for learning about Latin music debuted  in 2009:  the interactive exhibit American Sabor  and the PBS series  Latin Music USA.

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Jazz Caliente
1:09 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Time for a little respect for the teachers, champions of Latin Jazz

fundrum.blogspot.com

Every art form needs its champions, its teachers, those who believe deeply and share their passion.

I have tremendous respect for two such champions of Latin Jazz (one based in San Francisco, the other in the Bronx): John Santos and Bobby Sanabria.

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Jazz Caliente
11:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

What's that sound? Beaded gourds and laughing drums

chekere
Andrea Corniel Photography

Latin Jazz is rich with percussion and compelling sounds.  Most of the percussion instruments originate from Africa, and are tied to spiritual and religious ceremonies.  Here are a couple of favorites:

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Mambo is – improvisational near-riots and 'forbidden fruit'

Mambo Madness movie poster, 1955
Sonny Watson's Streetswing.com

According to Rebeca Mauleon's indispensable "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble,"  the Mambo is:

An up-tempo dance style, developed through the 1940s and 1950s, which blended several elements of North American instrumentation and harmony with the Cuban son (a style of popular dance music that combined Spanish and African elements).

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