Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Heavy: Chano

Today is a heavy anniversary: 60 years to the day of the murder of Chano Pozo, the Cuban conguero who molded Dizzy Gillespie's Afro-Cuban jazz style with landmark tunes like "Manteca." Chano was shot down over a drug dispute in a New York bar, El Rio, on Dec. 2, 1948. He was 33, and dancing to music on the jukebox at the time.

Local factoid: Chano's drums were once stolen on a tour stopover in Raleigh, NC! As a Cuban poet friend of mine once commented, maybe they are still echoing around here somewhere...

Above: clip from the 1991 documentary Routes of Rhythm, narrated by Harry Belafonte, that features Dizzy telling how he met up with Chano, and some background on Chano's biography.

More Backstory: Chano Pozo entry with biographical facts and discography at AllAboutJazz.com.

Thanks for the history tip to DJ Arturo "Marcané" Gomez at KUVO-Denver, where you can hear him regularly host jazz and Latin jazz programming, and yes, even dish up his favorite paella recipes.

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