When Afro-Cuban drummer Chano Pozo (b. 1915–1948) met jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (b. 1917–1993) in New York City, it was a meeting of two legends with musically explosive results. At the time, bebop was still new and revolutionary, but Chano’s fiery drumming served as a catalyst that furthered its dynamism. It was a short-lived partnership between the two, though, with only a few records produced before Chano Pozo died in a hailstorm of bullets—a drug deal gone bad.
The seed was sown, however, and with Cuban bands like Chico O’Farrill’s and Machito’s, Cuban music and modern jazz were here to stay.
Expert curator and popular KXLU Alma del Barrio DJ Guido Herrera-Yance is presenting the upcoming Cubana Be, Cubana Bop, The Return of Bebop: The Music of Dizzy Gillespie & Chano Pozo concert next Saturday, August 29, at Long Beach’s MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art).
With Harry Kim pulling his weight on Dizzy’s trumpet duties, and Joey De Leon, Jr. taking on Chano’s drumming, plus Cal State LA’s 21-piece Afro-Latin Ensemble conducted by Paul DeCastro, the audience will get a good snapshot of New York City’s vibrant music scene of the 1940s.
Guido remembers being completely smitten by Latin music, listening to it at the age of 14 in his bedroom in Lima, Peru. He’s never looked back since and has become a force for Latin music here in Los Angeles, giving testimony that New York isn’t the only mecca for mambo and merengue.
Cubana Be, Cubana Bop, The Return of Bebop promises to be a fantastic show. MOLAA couldn’t be a more perfect venue for this late summer concert. It’s outdoors, with a raised stage and ample dance floor and seating areas. Click here for tickets and further info. See you there!