Caribbean musical currents have played an essential role in the creation of jazz, and  today again Latin American artists are transforming the US scene like never before with an infusion of enticing new sounds. We are proud to represent some of the best and are  featuring them in this November Newsletter:

Cuban drummer and 2011 MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto, Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon, a Guggenheim Fellow and long-time member of the SFJAZZ Collective, and Cuban saxophonist and 2015 Doris Duke Artist Yosvany Terry, are three of the most celebrated composers and bandleaders on the American jazz scene today. They have each forged strikingly original and creative group concepts by combining a deep knowledge of modern jazz with their Afro-Caribbean folkloric roots.

The Yosvany Terry Quintet draws on ancient Afro-Cuban traditions and surging post-bop forms. The Dafnis Prieto Sextet, featured on 2015’s celebrated CD Triangles and Circles explores a panoply of rhythmic traditions with a conversational style “built of questions and answers,” writes the New York Times. And Edward Simon’s House of Numbers – commissioned via a New Works Grant from Chamber Music America and bringing together his all-star quartet Afinidad and the chamber ensemble Imani Winds – explores extended compositional forms, lush melodies, and a multitude of rhythms from all of the Americas.

All three lead multiple bands: The Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet is the core of his sextet, while his Proverb Trio’s music is totally improvised. The new Edward Simon Trio with bassist Joe Martin and drummer Adam Cruz plays classics from the Latin and South American songbook, by composers such as Tom Jobim, Astor Piazzolla, and Simon Diaz. His Ensemble Venezuela, a marriage of jazz and Venezuelan folk, uses traditional instruments such as cuatro, harp, flute, and maracas. Yosvany Terry’s most recent release, New Throned King, features music based on the cantos and rhythms of the Arará people of the Cuban province of Matanzas.  Terry also co-leads, with pianist Baptiste Trotignon, the Ancestral Memories Quartet, playing music inspired by the cultures of former French Colonies

Please note also these artists, to be featured in next month’s Newsletter:


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