[Afro-Cuban Jazz]

Original Photograph

Evocative original doubleweight sepia photograph of an unidentified Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble ca. 1950, acquired in Havana, Cuba and evidently taken there.  Creasing throughout, edge wear, pin hole to upper margin, the patina of age on this particular piece oddly enhancing its particular vibe.  7.25 x 5 inches (18.4 x 12.7 cm.).

"By the 1940s, the stage was set for the birth of a new kind of jazz.  In the United States, big band orchestras had been including Latin rhythms in their jazz tunes, as well as rumbas and congas in their repertoires, and many Cuban musicians were traveling regularly to play in cities like New York and New Orleans.  Others immigrated, especially to New York...Mario Bauzá, who emigrated from Cuba to the US in 1930, is usually held up as the pioneer of Afro-Cuban jazz.  In 1943, as director of the New York big band Machito and the Afro-Cubans, he composed “Tanga,” considered by many musical historians to be the genre’s first single.  This new style consisted of jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms including the clave, which is the basis for almost all Cuban music.  Latin elements and African percussion instruments such as timbales, bongos, and congas were part of the mix...The mambo craze of the 1950s heightened interest in rhythms from Latin America, and the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz continued, mostly in the United States. For example, in New York, Havana-born Chico O’Farrill, an important arranger, composer, and bandleader, worked with many artists, including Benny Goodman." ("Chucho Valdés, Jazz Batá, and the Evolution of Afro-Cuban Jazz," Stanford Live, October 11, 2019)


Unsigned Photograph