A Latin Jazz Legacy



A definitive documentary about the influential Afro-Cuban bandleader

Machito (Frank Grillo) was the leader of the Afro-Cubans, the first major group to blend together Cuban rhythms and music with jazz, starting in the 1940s with the rise of bebop.

Machito’s music helped launch the mambo craze and became a force in Afro-Cuban jazz that is still influential today.

This 1986 film by Carlos Ortiz has Machito (who passed away in 1984) often telling his own story in interviews, speaking in Spanish with English subtitles.

There is a lot of historic footage, many excerpts of Machito’s orchestra performing at various time periods, and an appearance by Dizzy Gillespie.

It all works quite well in telling the story of Machito and his music.

-Scott Yanow

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