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Latin Jazz Now® and Then Fall 2021 Syllabus
“Latin Jazz Now® and Then” is a once a week for eight weeks introductory course that briefly explores the genre of Latin Jazz.

What is Latin Jazz?

Introduction to key concepts, vocabulary, instrument sounds,
and names of both mainstream jazz and Latin music.

WEEK II Founders—Mambo I: MACHITO and his Afro Cubans
The 1940s sound of the pioneering band of Cuban bandleader Machito.
We’ll introduce Graciela, Chico O’Farrill and Mario Bauza as pivotal figures.

WEEK III Founders—Mambo II: Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie
The 1947 meeting of Cuban percussionist and singer Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie anchored the fusion as a
new discipline with methodologies and stars all its own

WEEK IV The mainstreaming of Latin Jazz: Tito Puente, Cal Tjader and the Sixties

We’ll examine the growth of a new generation of stars,

including non‐Latino players like vibraphonist Cal Tjader and non‐jazzers like

Desi Arnaz, even Chick Corea and his early circle of associates.

WEEK V The Salsa Tsunami: Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Rubén Blades, Fania All Stars
The vocal breakthroughs of the Sixties made for a high‐intensity and today’s highly popular genre called
“Salsa”. We’ll examine what is (the different styles), and isn’t different about Salsa (i.e., what is consistent
across different styles).‐Stars

WEEK VI Irakere’s unique hard style of Latin Fusion, and the Mariel arrivals
A new wave of artists from Cuba emigrated to New York in the mid 1950s, but in 1980,

a massive boatlift out of Miami rescued thousands of people escaping the Cuban dictatorship.

Among them arrived hundreds of the most talented musicians committed to re‐energizing

the hard edge of Latin Jazz in the U.S.; this new “Salsa on Steroids” style is known today as “Timba”.

WEEK VII Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band: the birth of the modern sound

We’ll follow the trail of the Gonzalez brothers as pivotal to a Latin jazz Jam band that alloyed several of the
forces at work in the New York Latin Jazz scene since the late 1970s.
We’ll also touch on the Hilton Ruiz influence and tragedy.

Here’s Jerry on Congas and Flugelhorn in a long forgotten performance somewhere

in NYC before his tragic passing:

WEEK VIII Latin Jazz Now®: Who’s hot in 2021
Rebeca Mauleon, Jane Bunnett, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Sanabria, Conrad Herwig,

Elio Villafranca, Danilo Perez, Ray Barretto, and other modern notables

“Calle 54” an Afro‐Cuban Latin Jazz film:


The Arturo Sandoval Story: Played by Andy Garcia as Arturo Sandoval

On the web


Rebeca Mauleon:

Understanding Salsa rhythm for absolute beginners:

Pacific Mambo Orchestra on Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed”:

Lucy Grau’s Band on Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”:

Tony Succar on Herbie Hancock’s “The Eye of the Hurricane”:

Bill O’Connell on a Latin Jazz and Hard Bop fusion:‐Q

To read
Max Salazar Mambo Kingdom
Leonardo Acosta Cubano Be, Cubano Bop
Vernon W. Boggs Salsiology
John Storm Roberts The Latin Tinge
Celia Cruz Ceila: My Life

There’s a ton more information, music, and performances out on the net. Please feel free to contact:
Jim Benitez and as always, tune in on Friday nights on

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