Musical Diplomacy: Cuban-American Jazz

With diplomatic relationships with Cuba thawing, there’s been renewed interest in the music of the Caribbean Island. For this playlist Judy focuses her attention on the direct collaborations between Cuban and American musicians, with the subtext being that though formal diplomatic or financial ties may have been severed during the Castro years, but the cultural exchange between that two nations has continued. Books have been written on the influence of Cuban on American music, particularly on jazz and the music of New Orleans, and this can’t be understated. Through much of the antebellum period, New Orleans served as the port of call for slaves ships coming from the Caribbean, and much of what we think of as foundational American music found it antecedent in places like Cuba. This playlist doesn’t go back that far, of course, but there’s some great stuff on here, from the pre-Castro days of Chico O’Farrill and Nat King Cole, to the modern music of Wynton Marsalis and Arturo O’Farrill.