May 28, 2009 One of my favorite sources for information about Latin Jazz is the Yahoo! Latin Jazz listserv.
Tito Puente, above playing in London, was one of the best percussionists of any era.
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May 26, 2009 Want a great conversation-starter with a fan of Latin jazz? Ask, "What's your favorite pairing of conga and timbales?" Many long-standing percussion duos display seemingly telepathic interplay — the intensity of a runaway train mixed with the kind of swing that makes hips move by themselves. Picking five was a chore, but here they are.
May 21, 2009 Cuba lost a great rumbero this week in the passing of Ricardo "Papin" Abreu.
May 21, 2009 Esperanza Spalding played the White House on May 12, 2009 for the second time this year. Photo Credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
May 21, 2009 Bebo Valdes at his 90th birthday concert in Oct. 2008. Photo Credit: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images
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February 25, 2009 Afro-Latino culture was in the news this past week with the death of Gilberto Miguel Calderon, who was known by his showbiz name: Joe Cuba. Cuba's music was an organic, cross-cultural reflection of how Afro-Latinos in this country have one foot in both cultures. Felix Contreras explains how Joe Cuba and others did it.
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February 17, 2009 A widely admired virtuoso on the drum kit, Bellson was best known for his work leading and playing in big bands of the '40s and '50s. But over a career spanning seven decades, he also wrote more than 1,000 compositions. Bellson was 84.
February 2, 2009 Fans and detractors of jazz fusion cite Miles Davis as the one who led the way to a new direction in jazz in the late 1960s and early '70s. The sessions for In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew not only bred a new style, but also helped identify the pioneers who would help define rock-influenced jazz. Hear five classic examples.
January 27, 2009 The Grammy Awards are just weeks away, with broad of artists up for nomination. NPR Arts Producer Felix Contreras gives a sneak peek into what viewers can expect at this year's star-studded ceremony.
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January 20, 2009 The story of Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner" is the stuff of grade-school history books. But the song has inspired some memorable interpretations in the recent past, as each performer imbues it with a personal take on patriotism.
January 1, 2009 Bolstered by gatherings such as the Smithsonian Institution's "Classical Native" series, American Indian composers are searching for a sound. The result is music in the spirit of their ancestors mixed with techniques from Western classical music.
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November 14, 2008 There were great rock drummers before Mitch Mitchell, and there were even better drummers after him. But Mitchell's jazz-influenced drumming was just as indispensable as Hendrix's guitar in The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitchell was found dead in his hotel room early Wednesday. He was 61.
October 29, 2008 The Nielsen ratings company no longer measures Spanish language audiences separately from the general market. Univision has been regularly beating the four major networks in some prime-time slots and during newscasts. Has Univision has been able to convert its comparatively high ratings into ad dollars?
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October 15, 2008 Neal Hefti reached a wide audience through the theme songs he composed for TV's Batman and The Odd Couple. But he was also a talented jazz arranger who got his start with the Charlie Barnett and Woody Herman big bands.
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September 17, 2008 Like many other parts of the country, North Carolina has seen an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants. The transition hasn't always been smooth. But now, Charlotte's rock en Español musicians and fans are counting on rock's tried-and-true secret weapon — three chords and a great melody — to inspire a change.
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