“It don’t mean a thing”

Documentary: “En Clave”

Cuba: Music’s Atlantis

Here at Jazz on the Tube we’re hoping that this latest re-opening of Cuba is for real and not another false alarm.

Cuba is too important, culturally and spiritually, to keep it in “quarantine.”

In the US we’ve been denied Cuba for so long that we’ve developed amnesia about what an important creative engine it is for world music.

The tango?

It’s originally from Cuba.

Salsa?

Cuban.

R & B and early rock and roll?

Based on Cuban rhythms according to no less an authority than Dave Bartholomew who produced the pre-Elvis rock and roll hits of people like Fats Domino.

The distinctive drumming style that makes New Orleans so unique?

Uber-drummer New Orleans-born Earl Palmer attributed the city’s beat to regular musical communication with Cuba.

And jazz itself?

The self-described “inventor” of jazz, Jelly Roll Morton, stressed the importance of the “Spanish tinge”, the habanera, literally the rhythm “from Havana.”

Hidden in plain sight.

If you’re looking for a “master key” to the innovative music of the Western Hemisphere, you’ll find it in Cuba, an island, that like the legendary Atlantis has made a massively outsized contribution to the world’s music.

But unlike Atlantis, Cuba is a living reality.


Jazz on the Tube has an entire section devoted Cuba and its music.

Details here: Jazz on the Tube – Cuba

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