PBS Great Performances Roots of Latin Jazz premieres on PBS Thirteen on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 10pm ET. FREE. It will be available for streaming for a few weeks after the premiere. pbs.org
Jazz and Latin Jazz Were Separated at Birth
To build a better future together, it’s important to know our past. Jazz and Latin jazz were separated at birth in the Caribbean and Latin America. New Orleans is a city of Caribbean culture, but colonizers took away the drum and we got the blues, jazz, rock, salsa, hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin trap. It all has African and Indigenous roots that reach all the way to the Orient.
After lots of mixing, bebop modern jazz and cubop Latin jazz (Cuban bebop) were born together in New York City jazz clubs and ballrooms in the 1940s.
The Roots of Latin Jazz
The “Roots of Latin Jazz” explores the rhythmic and cultural influences that came together from Brazil, Cuba, Peru and Spain.
Tony Succar, the Salsa Renaissance Man (Latin Grammy Producer of the Year & Best Salsa Album), produced the show. Sheila E hosts. Dr. Pablo Gil leads the Raices Jazz Orchestra (Raices means “roots” in Spanish). The film features Grammy-winning artists Richard Bona, Anaadi and others.
Once you understand how mixed together we are, it becomes difficult to see anyone as “others.” There are no others, there is only us. Latin music brings people together. From one, we became many, and from many we are one.
An All-Star Production Team
PBS Great Performances makes some legendary television. This show is co-directed by Tony Succar and David Rousseau. It is produced by Tony Succar with Executive Producer Donald H. Thoms. For Latino Public Broadcasting VOCES, Luis Ortiz is Managing Director and Sandie Viquez Pedlow is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.
Before we began writing about Great Performances, we didn’t know who these creatives were, but they are responsible for a lot of great television.