Latin Jazz and Jazz are Caribbean hero twins separated at birth in New Orleans when they took away the drum. New York City took the title of Jazz City from Chicago in the 1920s. The Caribbean hero twins were reunited through the drum in 1940s NYC by Dizzy Gillespie and Mario Bauzá of Machito and his Afro-Cubans as Bebop Modern Jazz and Cubop Latin Jazz.
WBGO 88.3 is NYC’s Jazz radio station. Columbia University’s WKCR 89.9 is non-commercial radio with some great Jazz programs.
Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble play Latin Jazz at Birdland in Hell’s Kitchen, Sundays at 8:30pm & 10:30pm. From $30+. 🇨🇺
Fleur Seule plays 1940s Jazz at Tavern on the Green in Central Park most Fridays at 7pm. 🇵🇷
Josean Jacobo Shows Our Jazz
“Herencia Criolla” at Hostos Center
Josean Jacobo, “the Ambassador of Afro-Dominican Jazz,” is a Berklee-trained pianist who is one of the hot young Jazz cats to come out of the Dominican Republic.
He’s inspired by the rhythms of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola where Jazz is from, before it took root in New Orleans.
Jacobo is playing his 2022 album “Herencia Criolla” (Creole Heritage) which speaks to the Latin mix of Indigenous, African and European peoples and cultures. He’s also giving a Master Class on how he brings Dominican folk traditions into his straight-ahead Jazz.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Mott Haven, The Bronx
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022
Mott Haven, The Bronx
Saturday, May 6, 2022
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Friday, April 1, 2022
TAVERN ON THE GREEN
Central Park, Manhattan
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Mott Haven, The Bronx
🇧🇷 🇮🇹 🇳🇮
Monday, March 28, 2022
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Morningside Heights, Manhattan
MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
“El Barrio” East Harlem
NYC Jazz Clubs
The Jazz clubs on 52nd St are long gone and Birdland has hopped around. But the Village Vanguard, Minton’s Playhouse and the Blue Note are still the original rooms. Le Poisson Rouge is in the old Village Gate, and Zinc Bar is in the old Cinderella Club.
Upper Manhattan Jazz Clubs
110th St | Central Park | 96th St
Ginny’s is the Jazz Club in the basement of the Red Rooster. Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Ethiopian cuisine is masterful.
Minton’s Playhouse is where Bebop was born. Really. Many Jazz clubs have moved, but this is the original room.
Paris Blues is a funky after-hours juke joint that hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1969. We lost owner Samuel Hargress Jr to COVID, but his classic club lives on. parisbluesharlem.webs.com
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem hosts Jazz exhibitions and performances. jmih.org
Uptown Jazz Clubs
110th St | Central Park | 96th St
Midtown Jazz Clubs
Birdland is the latest edition of “The Jazz Corner of the World”
The Flatiron Room is a “2021 Best Whisky Bar in America” with live Jazz. theflatironroom.com
The Iridium is a Rock, Jazz and Blues guitar club in the Times Square Theater District.
The Jazz Gallery is a simple room known for experimentation. jazzgallery.org
Swing 46 is a Swing dance club with live music nightly on Restaurant Row. swing46.nyc
Downtown Jazz Clubs
Below 14th St
The Blue Note and Village Vanguard are legendary. There’s also Nublu, Smalls and more. Le Poisson Rouge was once The Village Gate where Jazz and Latin came together. The old sign is still above the corner.
The Django is a retro French cellar bar in the Roxy Hotel.
The Year in NYC Jazz
January Jazz NYC
January brings the APAP performing arts booking convention showcases. The APAP booking agent convention was virtual Fri-Mon, Jan 14-17, 2022. apap365.org
18th Winter Jazzfest, an APAP showcase at multiple Greenwich Village Jazz Clubs with a Jazz Marathon Weekend, was Jan 13-22, 2022.
February Jazz NYC
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Nella Rojas, the Venezuelan Flamenco Jazz singer and 2019 Latin Grammy Best New Artist, at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village on Mon, Feb 14, 2022 at 8pm & 10:30pm (6pm & 10pm doors). From $25. 🇻🇪
Magos Herrera: Remanso sings Latin Jazz at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Thu, Feb 17, 2022 at 7:30pm. $42. 🇲🇽
March Jazz NYC
March brings the Women’s Jazz Festival to the Schomburg Center in Harlem.
Women’s Jazz Festival
The 30th Women’s Jazz Festival is at the Schomburg Center in Harlem March 7, 8, 14 & 21, 2022. 🇵🇷🇺🇸
Renée Neufvill and Laurin Talese play the 30th Women’s Jazz Festival at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, on Mon, Mar 14, 2022 at 7pm. $35. 🇺🇸
Endea Owens celebrates women Jazz composers at the 30th Women’s Jazz Festival at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, on Mon, Mar 21, 2022 at 7pm. $35. 🇺🇸
June Jazz NYC
June brings the Blue Note Jazz Festival to Greenwich Village.
Blue Note Jazz Festival
The Blue Note Jazz Festival is at the Blue Note, SummerStage and other venues, Jun 1-30.
Italian American guitarist Al Di Meola (Return to Forever) plays Jazz at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village on Tue-Sun, Jun 7 -12, 2022 at 8pm & 10:30pm (6 & 10pm doors). From $40. 🇮🇹
July Jazz NYC
July brings Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y to the Upper East Side.
Jazz in July
Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y is a showcase for hot Jewish Jazz with a groovy European vibe. It’s currently curated by Jazz piano legend Bill Charlap.
In Rhode Island, the Newport Jazz Festival is Jul 29-31, 2022. newportjazz.org
August Jazz NYC
August brings the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival and Harlem Week to Harlem.
December Jazz NYC
December brings Holiday Jazz programs.
Chris Botti Holiday Residency
Chris Botti’s 17th Holiday Residency was at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village nightly (including Christmas and New Year’s Eve) Mon, Dec 6, 2021 through Jan 2, 2022 at 8 & 10:30pm (6 & 10pm doors). From $55. 🇮🇹
Big Band Holidays
Celebrate the holidays with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wed-Sun, Dec 15-19, 2021. jazz.org
Previous Latin Jazz in NYC
New York is a Jazz city.
Pedrito Martinez Brings Cuban Rumba & Timba to Brooklyn
“Rumba” means party, but is just 0ne step removed from the religious traditions where most music, dance and theatre begin. Even though it’s just a party, if you spend any time in the Rumba, you can’t help but feel its spiritual roots. It feels good, real good. It’s healing.
In Havana, Cuba, Rumba from Matanzas mixed with Changüi from Santiago and Jazz horns into Son Cubano. In New York City, Son evolved into Salsa. At the same time in Cuba, Son evolved into Timba by absorbing the bass drum and other elements from R&B and Rock. But Timba still keeps a strong Clave rhythm. It’s Latin dance music.
Pedrito isn’t a Salsero, but can take you through all the rest. The purpose of African Diaspora traditions (Latin music and dance) is to bring communities together. So when Pedrito gives the call, the community responds. He really is the world’s first-call Rumbero. This is more than a show. It’s the Pedrito Martinez Experience ~ in Brooklyn.
Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans
with Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti
rock Hostos with Women’s Jazz
Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans, with guests Randy Brecker and Ada Rovatti, play Brazilian and Latin Jazz and Salsa at Hostos Center in Mott Haven, The Bronx on Sat, Apr 2 at 8pm. Live $20 ($5 students). Streaming $10. cuny.edu 🇧🇷🇮🇹🇳🇮
This concert has some serious heavy hitters. It is Latin music (Jazz, Salsa, Samba), but the artists have storied backgrounds in American Rock.
Annette A. Aguilar is an exceptional Jazz percussionist, bandleader, producer and educator in New York City. She is a little bit of everything. Classically trained, of Nicaraguan descent, Aguilar came up in San Francisco’s 1960s Rock scene. She played with people like the Grateful Dead, and members of Santana.
Brazilian Jazz is another part of her sound. In New York, Aguilar founded the Women in Latin Jazz Festival and is a U.S. State Department Latin Jazz Ambassador. She teaches in the East Village and Our Beautiful Bronx where she is much loved and respected. Women are the guardians of culture, and Annette A. Aguilar is a serious drummer. It is still unusual, but in the 1960s, a woman drummer was exceptional.
Randy Brecker is a seven-Grammy winning Jazz and Rock trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears; Jazz Messengers; Eliane Elias). Ada Rovatti is an Italian Jazz saxophonist and regular Brecker collaborator. cuny.edu
Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita Celebrate their “Suba” Album Release
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita “Suba” with Gustavo Ovalles is Global Music of the human spirit that reunites the Caribbean and Mother Africa at Roulette Intermedium in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn on Thu, Mar 31 at 8pm. $25. robertbrowningassociates.com 🇨🇺🇸🇳🇻🇪
Omar Sosa is a Cuban Jazz pianist with multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations. Seckou Keita is a Senegalese Kora master in the Malian Griot tradition of African court musicians. He is a Keita, a descendant of Sundiata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire which was the richest the world has ever known. Gustavo Ovalles is a Venezuelan Jazz percussionist based in Austria.
This is truly Global Music, but more than anything else, it is the sound of the human spirit. When “Suba” finishes, you want to play it again.
Puerto Rican bassist Ricky Rodriguez & The Fusion Quartet play Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Sat, Mar 26 at 8pm. $15. 🇵🇷
Colombian singer Maria Raquel plays Jazz at The Django in Tribeca on Tue, Mar 15 from 10pm – 12:30am. 🇨🇴
Cuban trumpeter Kalí Rodriguez-Peña celebrates his “Melange” album release at The Django in Tribeca on Tue, Mar 15 from 7-9:30pm. 🇨🇺
The Peter Brainin Special Quintet featuring the Brasilian Jazz Workshop with Helio Alves, play originals and Brazilian classics at Chelsea Table and Stage on Sat, Mar 12 at 9:30pm. From $22. 🇧🇷
The Eric Kurimski Trio plays Afro-Peruvian Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Sat, Mar 12 at 8pm. $15. 🇵🇪
Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre play Mexican Jazz at Nublu in the East Village on Thu, Mar 10 at 8pm & 11pm. $20. 🇲🇽
Alicia Waller & The Excursion play the 30th Women’s Jazz Festival at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, on Mon, Mar 7 at 7pm. $35. 🇺🇸
Dayramir Gonzalez plays Belgian singer Mar Bel’s “Encuentro” album release party at Ideal Glass Studios in the West Village on Sun, Mar 6 at 7pm. 🇨🇺
In Django A Go Go, French guitarist Stephane Wrembel plays Jazz Manouche at The Town Hall in Midtown, Sat, Mar 5 at 8pm. From $47. 🇫🇷
The Big Three Palladium Orchestra is the sons of the Big Three: Tito Rodríguez Jr, Mario “Machito” Grillo and Tito Puente Jr, hosted by Joe Conzo Sr and featuring Fania All-Star and Puente’s bongo player John “Dandy” Rodríguez, at Lehman Center in Jerome Park, The Bronx on Sat, Mar 5 at 8pm. From $45. 🇨🇺🇵🇷
Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries joins Pregones Music Director Desmar Guevara in a Latin Jazz jam at Pregones PRTT in Concourse, The Bronx on Fri, Mar 4 at 8pm. $15. 🇵🇷
The Django All-Stars play French Jazz Manouche at The Django in Tribeca on Thu, Mar 3 at 10pm. 🇫🇷
Fleur Seule’s Allyson Briggs makes her Carnegie Hall debut celebrating Peggy Lee and the American Songbook with Michael Feinstein and Ciara Renée in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Wed, Feb 16 at 7:30pm. From $83. 🇵🇷
Celebrate Valentines Day with Nella singing Jazz at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, Mon, Feb 14 at 8pm & 10:30pm (6 & 10pm doors). From $25. 🇻🇪
Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal play Brazilian Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Fri, Feb 4 at 8pm. $15. 🇧🇷
Stephane Wrembel plays Django Reinhardt style French Jazz Manouche at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Sat, Jan 29 at 7:30pm. $36. 🇫🇷
Benito Gonzalez Trio plays Venezuelan Jazz at The Django in Tribeca on Tue, Jan 18 from 7-9:30pm. $25+ 🇻🇪
Winter JazzFest is virtual Jan 14-22.
Miguel Zenón & Obed Calvaire play a Martin Luther King Jazz tribute at Teatro LATEA at The Clemente in the Lower East Side on Wed, Jan 12 at 8pm. 🇵🇷
Celebrate New Years Eve with the Carlos Henriquez Nonet at Dizzy’s Club in Jazz at Lincoln Center on Fri, Dec 31 at 7:30 & 11pm. From $285. 🇵🇷
The Carlos Henriquez Nonet plays Latin Jazz at Dizzy’s Club in Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mon-Thu, Dec 27-30 at 7:30 & 9:30pm. From $40. 🇵🇷
Yacouba Sissoko & Siya play Malian Folk Jazz at LunÀtico in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn on Sun, Dec 26 from 9-11:30pm. $10. 🇲🇱
Chris Botti’s 17th Holiday Residency is at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, Dec 6, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022 (including Christmas and New Year’s Eve) at 8 & 10:30pm (6 & 10pm doors). From $55. 🇮🇹
Mademoiselle Malvina sings French Cabaret at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem on Wed, Dec 22 at 7 & 9pm (6pm doors). $20. 🇫🇷
Stephane Wrembel plays Django Reinhardt French Jazz Manouche at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Sundays from 10pm – 1am. $20. 🇫🇷
Duduka da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal play Brazilian Jazz at LunÀtico in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn on Sun, Dec 19 at 9pm. $10. 🇧🇷
Super Yamba Band plays Benin Afrobeat Jazz at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Sat, Dec 18 from 10pm – midnight. $15. 🇧🇯
The Anamaria Oramas Quartet plays Colombian Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Fri, Dec 17 at 10:30pm. $10. 🇨🇴
The Gustavo Casenave Trio featuring Eddie Gomez plays Uruguayan Jazz at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens on Fri, Dec 17 at 8pm. $15. 🇺🇾
Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal play Brazilian Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Fri, Dec 17 at 7pm. $10. 🇧🇷
The Marta Sanchez Trio plays Spanish Jazz at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Fri, Dec 17 from 5-7pm. $20. 🇪🇸
Pedro Giraudo Big Band plays Jazz outdoors at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Mon, Dec 13 at 7:30pm. $10. 🇦🇷
Violette performs her new French Jazz record “Only Love” at Chelsea Table and Stage in Chelsea, Manhattan on Sat, Dec 11 at 7pm. $32. 🇫🇷
Jorge Glem and Sam Reider play Venezuelan Folk Jazz at Chelsea Table and Stage in Chelsea, Manhattan on Fri, Dec 10 at 7pm. $32. 🇻🇪
Quinteto Astor Piazzolla celebrates “100 Years of Astor Piazzolla,” for the World Music Institute at Peter Norton Symphony Space on Sun, Nov 14 at 7:30pm. (6:30pm doors). From $35. worldmusicinstitute.org 🇦🇷
Daymé Arocena sings Cuban Jazz for the World Music Institute Women’s Voices Series at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village on Thu, Nov 11, 2021 at 8pm (7pm doors). From $25. worldmusicinstitute.org 🇨🇺
NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri plays Kupferberg Center at Queens College in Flushing, Queens on Sat, Nov 20 at 7pm & 9pm. From $35. 🇵🇷
Harold López-Nussa, Grégoire Maret, Luques Curtis & Ruy López-Nussa play Cuban Timba at The Blue Note in Greenwich Village, Mon-Wed, Nov 8-10 at 8 & 10:30pm (6 & 10pm doors). From $25. 🇨🇺🇵🇷🇨🇭
Grammy winner David Oquendo & Friends play Latin Jazz at the Bronx Music Heritage Center in Foxhurst, The Bronx on Sat, Oct 30 at 2pm (1:45pm doors). FREE with reservation (917) 557-2354. @bxmusic 🇨🇺
Pedrito Martinez plays Cuban Timba at Drom in the East Village on Thu, Oct 28 at 8pm (7pm doors). $30. 🇨🇺
Miguel Zenón joins Ches Smith and We All Break for their “Path of Seven Colors” record release show of Haitian Vodou music at Roulette Intermedium in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn on Tue, Oct 26 at 8pm. $20. 🇭🇹🇵🇷
Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé play Cuban Jazz at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens on Sat, Oct 23 at 7pm. $20. 🇨🇺
Issac Delgado y La Novena play Cuban Timba at Birdland in Hell’s Kitchen Tue-Sat, Oct 19-23 at 7 & 9:30pm. From $30. 🇨🇺
Oscar Hernandez and Alma Libre play Puerto Rican Jazz at Chelsea Table and Stage on Mon, Oct 18 at 7 & 9:30pm. From $35. 🇵🇷
Lara Bello and Granada Sounds sing Spanish Flamenco at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Sun, Oct 17 at 7pm. $10. 🇪🇸
The Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet plays Argentine Tango at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Fri, Oct 15 at 8pm. $20 🇦🇷
Lucia Pulido sings Colombian Boleros and Waltzes at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Fri, Oct 15 at 10:30pm. $10. 🇨🇴
Benjamín Lapidus y Sonido Isleño play Latin Jazz at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Fri, Oct 15 at 7pm. $5
Latin Grammy winner Samuel Torres plays Afro-Colombian Jazz from both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts at Chelsea Table and Stage on Fri, Oct 15 at 7pm. From $35.
Fleur Seule sings “Latin Love Songs” at Birdland in Hell’s Kitchen on Thu, Oct 14 at 8:30pm. From $20. 🇧🇷🇨🇺🇵🇷
Colombian jazz harp virtuoso Edmar Castaneda celebrates the release of his new album “Family” at Dizzy’s Club in Jazz at Lincoln Center at Columbus Circle on Thu, Oct 14 at 7:30 & 9:30pm ET. $40 🇨🇴
Albert Marques leads a Flamenco-Jazz jam at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Thu, Oct 14 at 7pm. $10. 🇪🇸
Jose “Pepito” Gomez plays Cuban Son in tribute to the Buena Vista Social Club at Drom in the East Village on Sat, Oct 2 at 5:30pm & 8pm. (5pm & 7:30pm doors). $69 🇨🇺
Oscar Noriega plays straight-ahead jazz at Barbés in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Fri, Oct 1 from 5-7pm. $20/person suggested 🇲🇽
Bárbara Martínez sings Flamenco Jazz at Drom in the East Village on Thu, Sep 30 at 7pm (6:30pm doors). $10 🇦🇷🇻🇪🇪🇸
Michael Olatuja (Lagos Pepper Soup) plays Nigerian jazz at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village on Mon, Sep 20 at 8pm & 10:30pm (6pm & 9:30pm doors). From $15 🇳🇬
Grupo Rebolú plays Colombian Caribbean jazz at Drom in the East Village on Sat, Sep 18 at 7:30pm (7pm doors). 🇨🇴
The Jazz Muse
Jazz is from the Caribbean city of New Orleans. People make their own meanings, but Creole often means Haitian Diaspora. The French sugar colony in what became Haiti is very important. The Haitian Revolution was an earthquake that shook the entire colonial world. When rich French households escaped to Eastern Cuba, African Diaspora traditions, especially syncopation, came with them. Complete households migrated all over the Caribbean including to Puerto Rico, Trinidad and New Orleans.
Syncopation is a signature of Mother Africa. Notice the similarities in the words: “synchronize” and “syncopation.” When humans synchronize, we become powerful, even magical. That is equally true in singing and dancing, working, and love.
Syncopation is the upbeat. It’s happy. It’s the Swing in Jazz. It’s the Tumbao in Latin Jazz. It’s something we do together, and it always leaves room for someone else to join in. Everyone is included.
But in what became the United States, they took away the drum and we got the Blues. Then we got Jazz. Dizzy Gillespie brought the Caribbean drum back into Jazz in 1940s New York City.
Jazz is the truest form of democracy ever invented. You don’t have to participate, but if you do, you are expected both to play along with the theme, and then to strut your stuff. If you can’t contribute in a good way, just sit and listen. Cool!
Jazz and Latin Jazz Are Twins Separated at Birth
We have listened to each other on the radio since the Roaring Twenties. The ferry used to run twice a day between New Orleans and Havana.
In New York, we mixed in the legendary 52nd Street jazz clubs, at The Palladium Ballroom, and downtown at The Village Gate (now Le Poisson Rouge).
Uptown, Latin musicians would cross Fifth Avenue to listen and sit in with the jazz bands in Harlem. Jazz musicians would cross Fifth Avenue the other way to “El Barrio” East Harlem to listen and sit in with the Latin bands.
Nowadays, nobody thinks twice about a Latin rhythm section in a jazz band. It’s almost expected. Bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie brought us back together when he asked Mario Bauza, Machito’s music director for a conga player in 1947. Dizzy’s collaboration with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo brought the Latin rhythm section into mainstream jazz and produced jazz classics like “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo.”
The Spanish Tinge
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Wynton Marsalis will tell you that jazz is from New Orleans, and it is, but jazz is Latin from its very beginnings. Jelly Roll Morton didn’t invent jazz, but he was the first to write it down.
Jelly Roll famously said, “Now in one of my earliest tunes, “New Orleans Blues,” you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can’t manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz.” In those days Cuba was still Spanish.
Now in one of my earliest tunes, “New Orleans Blues,” you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can’t manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz.” In those days Cuba was still Spanish.”Jelly Roll Morton explaining the “Spanish Tinge” on his 1938 Library of Congress recordings for renowned folk music historian Alan Lomax.
Jelly Roll’s “Spanish tinge” was the habanera or Cuban contradanza. The habanera was the way people danced the French contredanse in Havana. It’s a contraction of “Habana manera,” the Havana style. Running words together is very French and Creole. That’s the beginning of rap. There are French Creole footprints all over the Caribbean.
Contredanse is the French version of the English country dance which was the world’s first international social dance. Some of that tinge also came from the diaspora out of French Saint-Domingue which is now Haiti.
Until 1903, New Orleans was French, but it’s a Caribbean city and the ferry ran twice a day to Havana. Out of the earlier Place Congo (Congo Square) in New Orleans, jazz grew into many beautiful things, but its root is African and French through the Spanish Caribbean.
When James Reese Europe and his 15th New York National Guard Regiment marching band (better known as the Harlem Hellfighters) played “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem, across France in 1918 during World War I, the French immediately loved it. Without realizing it, they were hearing the distant echo of the French contredanse and the West Africans they brought once upon a time to the Caribbean.
Straight ahead jazz reconnected with its Latin jazz roots in 1947 when Dizzy Gillespie asked Mario Bauza, the arranger for Machito and his Afro-Cubans, for a percussionist. Bauza introduced Chano Pozo to Dizzy and we got “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo.” Now you don’t think twice about hearing Latin percussion in a jazz band, but it was Dizzy who brought it back in.
“It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing” (Duke Ellington, 1931) and the root of that swing is the “Spanish Tinge.”