14 August 2009

Today's article in The Vacaville Reporter:
on Festival de la Isla, and CLAVE

Oooh... Check THIS out!:

Today in a Solano County publication of record in the article about tomorrow's 20th Annual Festival de la Isla there is actually a mention of CLAVE!!! Already on the front page this week, was 111th Chief Justice Sonya Sotomayor, describing the American journey of '..a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx (ohoh: another one of those words!) to the Supreme Court'l and now: CLAVE; And with Fernando, Cafe and Jose of Orquesta BaKan with guiro y conga, complete with la bonita bandera!

Aydiosmio: What's next for America: Cafe con Leche y Pan y Mantequilla at Starbucks? "Lamento Borinqueno" at the baseball games? Mofongo y Pastelles at the drive thru-? (btw, did you see the clip of Sonya talking about making 'Sofrito'-?)

Well actually I don't know about the rest of America, but although Puerto Ricans ARE American also, it is refreshing to see these mentions in the 707, where despite the nice recent press coverage, clave y la cultura are alive and well!

ANYWAY: as final preparations are being made, enjoy the nice article in today's Vacaville Reporter newspaper: On island time, Puerto Rican-style. Those of us from the heritage of las islas de los alas can laugh about the inside joke of 'island-time', but rest assured: the trains DO run on time in Vacaville!

Actually, the mention in the article of clave rhythm is another good way of conceptualizing "island time": whereas by contrast most of 20th-century music has lifestyle has been grounded largely in the same ol' march-step 4/4 musical meter. The West African concepts of musical time that has become a large part of the musical expression in the Caribbean and in Brazil, offers more polyrhythmic possibilities that can work well within 4/4 meter, but yet does add a little accent and spice; and adds musical tension and release.

As musical educators of latin jazz, afro-caribbean and salsa music also point out, I've discussed and played examples on the Latin/Jazz Mecca radio program demonstrating how a lot of Soul, R&B and Rock music borrows from Afro-Caribbean musics: Fats Domino's rendition of Mardi Gras to the Bo Diddley Beat to James Brown's I Got The Feeling and Led Zeppelin's Custard Pie, all have strong or explicit Clave feel to their rhythms. If you can feel these, then you can very likely feel at least bit of what's going on in 'Salsa'. It is, after all, 'American' music, too.
BTW as for dancing?: there is also an old African proverb: "If you can walk, you can dance." So come out and 'walk' a little bit!

Of course, when we start getting into advanced clave, there is among even the most well-schooled and seasoned street rumberos and maestros, an ongoing debate of 3:2 vs. 2:3 Clave, I'm not going to try to get into THAT controversy now ;-) except to warn others: the Mastery of Clave is NOT for the faint of heart....

Be sure to check out our article on Ray Sepulveda, who is headlining tomorrow at Festival de la Isla. Hope to see you there!

More about the
20th Annual Fiesta de la Isla
Vacaville, CA - Saturday August 15 - 10am - 7pm

The Latin/Jazz Mecca - www.OzcatRadio.com
Vallejo/SF Bay/California - Wednesday 6pm PST
New York/Miami/San Juan/Havana! 9 pm EST

31 July 2009

(re) Introducing: Latin/Jazz Mecca

Welcome / Bienvenido! You may be here from our link at Twitter

Currently transferring website; more info/links coming soon:

Check out the article about Latin/Jazz Mecca written by Orlando Sentinel journalist and El Sentinel founding editor, Maria Padilla: "Music to Your Ears: http://bit.ly/35BUdY

More about CTon' and the Latin Jazz Mecca: (link TBA)

Send us your music! (link TBA)
Ozcat Radio is committed to featuring independent and local music

Past featured programs: (link TBA)

Stay in touch:

Join the Latin/Jazz Mecca on Facebook

The Latin/Jazz Mecca on Twitter

Samples of some music we play on The Latin/Jazz Mecca radio program at Ozcat Radio

...and at our old page on Myspace

Latin Jazz Mecca weblog

15 July 2009

DIRECT from New York: Ray Sepulveda headlines the 20th Annual Festival de la Isla - Vacaville, CA - Saturday Aug 15, 2009

Just in from James Barreras: it's official!

Direct from New York: RAY SEPULVEDA headlines this year's 20th Annual Fiesta de la Isla in Vacaville here in Solano County, California!

Carrying on the musical legacy of his father Ray Sepulveda Sr. of Trío Los Románticos, Brooklyn-born Ray Sepúlveda(Jr.)began his own singing career in Mayaqüéz, Puerto Rico with the group La Solución, and with La Dictadora alongside Frankie Ruíz. On his return to New York he joined with the Sociedad 76 Orchestra in 1977, contributing to their album, “The Big Apple.”

After a hiatus from the salsa music scene, he returned to the stage in 1988 with Johnny and Ray Orchestra for the album, Salsa con Clase, working with up-and-coming production wiz, Sergio George, developing an association for two more releases, Un Poquito Más and Con Sabor. At that point Ray returned to Puerto Rico to record the widely acclaimed Llegaste Tú.

In 1997 he released De Todo Un Poco with his musical director, producer Ricky González. Ray Sepulveda continued working with other artists as well in latin and jazz, including Tito Puente and Grover Washington Jr.. Check out his most recent release, Salsabor.

Here is a video clip of Ray Sepulveda performing live:

Ray Sepulveda official website:

More about the
20th Annual Fiesta de la Isla
Vacaville, CA - Saturday August 15 - 10am - 7pm

The Latin/Jazz Mecca - www.OzcatRadio.com
Vallejo/SF Bay/California - Wednesday 6pm PST
New York/Miami/San Juan/Havana! 9 pm EST

01 July 2009

TONITE: a Latin/ Jazz Tribute to Michael Jackson - 9pm Eastern/6pm Vallejo, CA/SF Bay - OzcatRadio.com

This week's special edition of the Latin Jazz Mecca contributes to Ozcat Radio's ongoing retrospective with a Jazz and Latin Tribute to the musical memory of Michael Jackson.
Latin Jazz Mecca on Ozcat Radio
Live stream: ♫ http://tiny.cc/LatinJazzMecca
9 pm Eastern (NY MIA PR HAV);
6 pm Pacific   Vallejo, CA/San Francisco Bay

Although we will hear several cuts featuring Michael himself, this program will be a different kind of musical exploration, including a few of his many collaborators and influences, such as singer Jackie Wilson, Manu Dibango, Diana Ross, Motown's house band The Funk Brothers, rock guitarists Eddie Van Halen and Carlos Santana, producers and songwriter Rod Temperton of the group Heatwave; and MJ's greatest collaborator and mentor, Mr. Quincy Jones.

We also sample some Latin and Jazz reconstructions and renditions of some of his classic tunes, including from Miles Davis, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, guitarist Tuck Andress, and Chaka Khan. We will also listen to rare studio demos of his works in progress, that exemplify his rhythmic and musical instincts to effectively blend togher Funk, Latin and Jazz with R&B, Pop, Rock, Gospel and other expressions of musical humanity.

Some listeners and readers may be wondering, "What does Michael Jackson have to do with jazz or latin music?" Per a quote from the great Herbie Hancock "Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music, and has also has lent itself to other genres of music."

For starters, the young Michael Jackson actually handled percussion duties on stage with his brothers' group, The Jackson Five. Although the percussion work for the early recordings of the J5 were likely handled by members of the Motown Funk Brothers studio collective, Michael's command of percussion and ability to blend with funk is evident in the demos for his later solo recordings, as was in his dancing, which as one of the video clips below is not far removed from the Afro-Cuban Columbia and guaguanco dancers.

We can also consider, that besides late 20th century vocal and pop music itself having been heavily influenced by early jazz and jazz Big Bands, that Michael's greatest contributing collaborator, Quincy Jones, has a deep and critically respected background as a Jazz performer, composer and arranger going back to the late 1950s. As food for thought, Quincy's craftwork will be heavily featured during tonight's broadcast.

And of course, we will feature jazz and latin renditions of Michael's tunes, to hear some of the other possible expressions and interpretations that his music inspired.

Below are some links to video clips and further reading:

Essay by Jazz Bassist Christian McBride
MICHAEL JACKSON 1958-2009 : Gone at 50? My heart is in pain.

Ted Gioia from The Jazz.com Blog
Michael Jackson: A View from the Jazz Camp

[LA Times] Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson: 'We made history together'

Producer and Bassist Marcus Miller:
Rest in peace, Michael Jackson...Marcus' reflections on MJ [Jun 27, 2009]

Video clips:

Dancing Machine - w/brother Randy on Congas
(Carol Burnette Show)

Billie Jean - Music Video

Afro Cuban dancers - Guaguanco

Miles Davis "Human Nature" - 1991
(Looks like Steve Thornton on percussion-?)

Mashup: Rumbero Miguelito Does El Conga:

The Latin/Jazz Mecca radio program "...Explores the Roots and Branches of the Afro-Latin Musical Diaspora". Broadcasts on Ozcat Radio are programmed within the nonprofit educational scope of the Ozcat Edutainment Foundation.

26 June 2009

Statement from Mandrill re: Michael Jackson

"We are still reeling from the shock of Michael Jackson’s abrupt transition. He was truly unparalleled as an entertainer and international goodwill ambassador. We can only reflect on a moment when MANDRILL and the Wilson Brothers shared the stage with The Jackson Five. An amazing event at Pittsburgh Arena in the early 70’s - truly a family affair. We were special guest stars playing to a wildly enthusiastic sold out crowd that spanned the age spectrum, with young people accompanied by their adult parents, grandparents and or guardians.

"It was truly a refreshing experience to play to such an audience but, more importantly, the transformation when the Brothers Jackson hit the stage was of tsunami-like proportion and you couldn’t help but ride the wave - exhilarating to say the least. Our paths never crossed on stage again, however, what we shared that evening will remain with us always.

"The Wilson Brothers of MANDRILL truly give our condolences to the Jackson Family and we feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform with the number one entertainer of all time and his family. His music and the music of The Jacksons will endure forever. May he rest in peace.

Lou, Ric, Carlos and Wilfredo
The Wilson Brothers of MANDRILL

03 June 2009

Falleció Jesús Alfonso Miró
de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Falleció Jesús Alfonso Miró de Los Munequitos de Mantanzas

* * * * *
June 03, 2009

(de Jorge González) :

Hermanos todos, lamento informarles de esta sensible pérdida de la cultura cubana.


. . .


A las 6 y 45 minutos del día de hoy, 3 de junio de 2009, a los 60 años de edad, falleció en su ciudad natal, Jesús Alfonso Miró, director musical de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, compositor y percusionista excepcional. Hijo de padres matanceros, único varón de la familia Alfonso Miró y padre de 8 hijos, todos dedicados a la rumba como músicos o bailarines. Dos de ellos han sido parte de esta agrupación y en la actualidad Freddy Jesús Alfonso Borges, dotado también de la destreza de su padre, es el quinto del grupo y ya comienza a seguir también su camino como autor de sentidas rumbas.

Como músico de Los Muñequitos Jesús conoció casi todos los continentes; donde quiera que estuvo sembró amigos, discípulos, brilló en cada escenario, pero nunca olvidó su raíz y vivió toda una vida orgulloso de su estirpe rumbera, saboreando cada esquina de su barrio: la Marina. Desde los siete años hasta la fecha, participó como músico y bailarín en la Comparsa La Imaliana, fundada por su padre y por Félix Vinagera. Por un tiempo fue integrante de la Orquesta de Música Moderna de su ciudad y el grupo de Papa Goza. Desde 1967 es Director Musical y quinto del grupo Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, agrupación a la que amó profundamente y dedicó la mayor parte de su vida.

Como compositor fue imprescindible en el repertorio de esa agrupación, siendo conocidas sus obras en el mundo entero, como autor de Congo Yambumba, la Llave, Chino Guaguao, Lengua de Obbara, Saludo a Nueva York, y muchas otras que ya son clásicos de la rumba cubana. Muchos intérpretes prestigiosos como Eddy Palmieri dan cuenta de la sabrosura y popularidad de sus obras, incluyéndolas en sus discos y mencionándolo como un imprescindible en la música de nuestro continente.

Siendo aún muy pequeño de edad, junto a otro de los grandes de Los Muñequitos: Ricardo Cané, Jesús Alfonso partió a las montañas de Cuba para alfabetizar a los campesinos, graduándose más tarde como joven maestro revolucionario. Por sus grandes aportes a la música y a su pueblo, le fue conferida la condición de Hijo Ilustre de la Ciudad de Matanzas.

Jesús Alfonso, perteneciente a la sociedad matancera Efí Irondó Itá Ibekó, respetuoso portador de la regla de Osha, será recordado por todo su pueblo y muy especialmente por los rumberos de todo el mundo. Su nombre nunca será olvidado, su recia voz indicando cómo tenía que vibrar la música y el sonido de sus manos en el cuero, perdurarán en la memoria de todos los que le conocimos y le reconocemos como uno de los más insignes músicos de todos los tiempos, porque Jesús fue a la rumba como Cuní o Chapottín al son. Jesús le dio a la rumba su vida toda. Su nombre está sin lugar a dudas, junto a Chano, Tata, Papín y todos los grandes de la música cubana.   "

* * * * *

Foto: Los Muñequitos de Matanzas - 1955

Videos de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Cántalo pero bailalo
"El marino": Yambú

De Cuba a Puerto Rico (De Parte De Jesus y "El Niño"

Issac Delgado con Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Los Munequitos in 1988 Cajon


01 June 2009

Tonite: 30 May 2009 - Cuba Canta con
Emiliano Echeverria - KPFA FM

Cuba Canta - Broadcasting tonight on KPFA-FM: Tribute to Ricardo Abreu y Los Papines, los maestros de Guaguanco!

Tonight, Cuba Canta presents 2 hours of Guaguanco with Los Papines in a special dedicated to the late Ricardo Abreu, founder and leader of Los Papines.

Rarezas con Celeste Mendoza, Merceditas Valdes, Orquesta Aragon y otros.

If you're not in Bay area, we're streaming at KPFA.org or archived at RadioCubaCanta.blogspot.com. We'll feature early and rare recordings along with some live surprises & some of their "big hits"....

Produced by Emiliano Echeverria
Community Calendar produced by Ron Flores
Engineer C'Tone at the controls.

Broadcast: May 30, 2009 - 9 pm PST / 12 midnight EST
KPFA 94.1 FM - in SF Bay Area & Northern California -
KPFB 89.3 FM - Berkeley
KFCF 88.1 FM - Fresno

Live on the web at: http://www.kpfa.org/

(available immediately after broadcast):

Mp3 Podcast:
Cuba Canta - May 30, 2009

Audio stream -KPFA:
Cuba Canta - May 30, 2009
(streams in WinAmp, Windows Media Player, iTunes):

more program info:

Videos de Los Papines:

LOS PAPINES 1978 (gracias a plslcore)

LOS PAPINES - EN UN AVION (gracias a Shaktor)

Los Papines con Pupy y Que Son Son (gracias a igemellidicuba)

Brazilian Music: Discreet Music 1 June 2009 - Pt02

Discreet  Music continues with Adalia. Including: Jorge Aragao, Maria Bethania, Caetano Veloso, Bandala Fumenga, Ana Costa, Simonal, Mariene de Castro and others.

Original Broadcast: 1 June 2009 1:00am - KPFA FM 94.1

PLAY NOW! Mp3/Podcast
Discreet Music - 01 June 2009
KPFA FM - Part 2

Part 1 - Mp3/Podcast
Discreet Music - 31 May 2009

more info:

Brazilian Music: Discreet Music 1 June 2009 - Pt01

Discreet  Music with Adalia. Featuring the music of Vakti, Milton Nascimento, Edu da Gaita, Hermeto Pascoal, Edberto Gismonti, and more.

Original Broadcast: 31 May 2009 10pm-1:00am Pacific Time- KPFA FM 94.1

PLAY NOW! Mp3/Podcast
Discreet Music - 31 May 2009
- Part 1

Part 2 - Mp3/Podcast
Discreet Music - June 1 2009

more info:

30 May 2009

¡Feliz Cumpleaños a

Today, Maestro Armando Peraza celebrates his 85th Birthday!

Armando, born in Havana, Cuba has been on the cutting edge of music spanning Afro-Cuban to Jazz to Rock with groups performers such as Conjunto Kubavana (with Potato Valdez), Slim Galliard, Machito, Perez Prado and Tito Puente.

While most of his Cuban compatriots settled in proximity of the 'Jazz Capital' - New York City - Armando has made the San Francisco Bay Area his home since the 1940s, becoming an imporant collaborator in the jazz scenes of the Fillmore District and the North Beach/Broadway area clubs of the late 50s/early 60s; and providing that Afro-Cuban rhythmic foundation for bandleaders such as George Shearing, Carlos Federico, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, Carlos Santana, The Machete Ensemble, and many more.

Two evenings of tributes to Armando are being held this weekend at Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland

Check out this week's article in the San Francisco Chronicle

...and enjoy a few of the many highlights from his illustrious career:

Armando Peraza with José Areas - Percussion solos
  (Live in Montreux Jazz Festival, 1988)

Armando se junta con Tata Güines despues 30 años para un Changüi con Cubanismo en San Francisco, 1998:

Armando with George Shearing and Peggy Lee
 (Armando's composition, "Mambo in Miami" starts at 2:45:)

Armando Peraza at the annual NAMM music convention, Los Angeles, January 2009:
  (with Giovanni Hidalgo and Jesus Diaz)

With Santana and Herbie Hancock in 1981: Percussion Jam
  (also featuring percussionists Raul Rekow and Orestes Vilato)

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Maestro!

Jazz: Forms & Feelings 30 May 2009

Extended version of Forms  Feelings with Horace Mansfield. Featured artists include Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Max Roach, Les McCann with Eddie Harris, Oscar Brown, Art Taylor. Also the music of Dwight Trible, Art Taylor, Abraham Burton, and others.

Original Broadcast: 30 May 2009 - KPFA FM 94.1

PLAY NOW! Mp3/Podcast
Musical Colors - 30 May 2009

more info:

26 May 2009

Latin Jazz: Musical Colors - 26 May 2009

This evening's program begins with a poem read by the late Mario Benedetti, followed by the music of Anat Cohen, Omara Portuondo, Eva Ayllon, Cliff Korman & The Brazilian Tinge, and more. Features an interview with Jean-Pierre Simons discussing his career and upcoming live performances.

Produced and hosted by Raquel Aguirre

Original Broadcast: 26 May 2009 - KPFA FM 94.1

PLAY NOW! Mp3/Podcast
Musical Colors - 26 May 2009

more info:

28 April 2009

Latin Jazz: Musical Colors - 28 April 2009

Raquel Aguirre presents a two hour mix of tasty Latin Jazz, including Poncho Torres, Lila Downs with Brian Lynch, Lorie Carsillo, Elaine Elias, Chucho Valdez, and more

Original Broadcast: 28 April 2009 - KPFA FM 94.1

PLAY NOW! Mp3/Podcast
Musical Colors - 28 April 2009

more info: