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  BeginningsAmericaRevolucionMamboToday

    The Roaring Twenties:
After the Spanish American war ended in 1878, American presence became increasingly apparent in Cuba. In the mid-twenties, as the forces of morality came down in the United States in the form of prohibition, Cuba, and especially Havana, became a playground for American tourists. The sounds that enticed them soon made their way back to the States.

In 1927 La Sonora Matanzera debuted in New York and other Cuban artists were making their way to many parts of the world. In Mexico, Perez Prado, was a well recognized band leader of "Latin" rhythms, primarily Mambo, but New York was definitely a "hub" for many Cuban musicians at that time. There, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Afro-American cultures began to fuse and jazz began to play an important part as a creative contributor to the sounds that followed. The influence of jazz added a sophisticated quality to the sweetness of this Cuban music.

Continuing Jazz Fusion:
In 1940 Machito, who had emigrated from Cuba in the 30's, and another Cuban named Mario Bauza, formed a group called the Afro-Cubans. While others including Arsenio Rodriguez were playing in Brooklyn, it was Xavier Cugat, a Brooklyn born Spaniard, who was the driving force behind the Rumba craze that took hold in the 30s' and 40s', playing for whites in places like the Waldorf Astoria.

In 1947 Dizzy Gillespie composed Cubana Be, Cubana Bop. That same year Tito Puente formed his 9-piece group as he saw a renewed emergence of Latin rhythms in American mainstream music. In 1954 Dizzy Gillespie traveled to Cuba and worked with various musicians there. The 50's marked one of the most creative periods for Jazz and Latin music and the flow of musical ideas between jazz artists and Cuban musicians carried through to the 60's.

   Post Cuban Revolution >>

 
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