musicians were performing their own traditional music from the old country as

Musicians were performing their own traditional music

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musicians were performing their own traditional music from the “old country” as well as playing other styles of music for a living, often including jazz music and absorbing all of those influences. This led to the development of American Latin Jazz, with many outstanding artists, band leaders, and composers. Early Latin Jazz pioneers included Tito Puente and Machito, whose Latin Jazz bands were popular from the 50s on. The next generation of NY based Latin Jazz artists include Eddie Palmieri, Jerry Gonzalez Ft Apache Band, Michel Camilo, Danilo Perez, Ruben Blades, Luciana Souza and others. In Cuba, musicians developed their own brand of jazz influenced music, even with limited contact with the US. Cuban musicians heard jazz on the radio and were familiar with the jazz greats. Music has always played a large role in Cuban society and to be a Cuban musician is a highly respected career, as the demands for excellence are high. During the 1950s – 80s Cuban “jazz” musicians formed groups and explored high level musical projects on par with US performances. An older generation of Cuban musicians, led by famous bassist Cachoa influenced and mentored a new generation of artists that have gone on to become some of the most important jazz artists in modern times. The group “Irakere” – A Cuban superband formed in the 80s and made important recordings and concert tours that garnered lots of attention in the jazz world. This group featured trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and clarinetist / saxophonist Paquito de Rivera. Following US concerts, some members defected to the US and have become important artists in the jazz scene with many important recordings and successful concert tours. South African Jazz Hard Bop jazz horn groups like Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, the new fusion movement and jazz improv concepts influenced South African musicians Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim. These
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artists helped establish a new global jazz sound in South Africa in the 60s which gained international acclaim and popularity from then on. Trumpeter Hugh Masekela would label this music “township jazz”, referring to the ghettos that housed millions of blacks. This music combines jazz influences with African pop music rhythms and melodies, creating a vibrant, uplifting musical sound. Hugh Masekela and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim were pioneers of this music, gaining worldwide recognition and popularity. Both Abdulah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela have been heavily involved with South African civil rights activism, raising awareness of the atrocities of the Apartheid era and bring change fo South African society. Masekela was an important part of the Paul Simon “Graceland” project, which fused African music with Simon’s songwriting. Abdullah Ibrahim, known early in his career as “Dollar Brand” has led a long and successful career as a pianist, composer, and band leader. Both artists unique South African jazz styles continue to reach a wide audience across the globe.
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  • Spring '08
  • VANVOORST
  • Jazz Messengers, Jazz today

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