Macho: An Afro latin jazz suite
The following piece is an excerpt from a work in progress entitled "Macho: An Afro Latin Jazz Suite" by Sekou McMiller. Based on the musical journey of the late great famed musician "Machito" Machito (born Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo in Havana, Cuba) was one of the most influential Latin jazz musicians who helped refine Afro-Cuban jazz and create both Cubop and Salsa music. In the 1940s, Machito and his band named the Afro-Cubans, were among the first to fuse Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz improvisation and big band arrangements. Paving a way for many latin artist like Tito Puente, Willie Bobo and Tito Rodriguez. Their music greatly inspired such North American jazz giants as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton This would become evident in collaborative works they would create together from the 40's through the 80's. Becoming the heartbeat of the nightclubs and forever changing the landscape of American music and dance. However a less none fact about Machito's career was his opening tradition of blessings and rhythms of the Yorubas, brought to the Caribbean by Africans, which are at the core of Afro-Cuban music. Machito's concert with Mr. Gillespie includes a Yoruba-style trio of bata drummers, while Machito would sing a Yoruba chant when he introduces the band and wishing all ''ashe'' - translated as ''health''!