Archive for January, 2016

Mario Bauzá at Clark Park, Detroit 1990

January 9, 2016
Mario Bauza, dancing. The singer and the reed section are in the background.

The dancers are up front. The singer and the reed section are in the background.

 

Mario Bauza, dancing in Detroit, 1990.

Dancers in Detroit, Clark Park in Detroit,  1990.

I think that it was in September or October of 1990 that I got to see Mario Bauzá’s Afro-Cuban Orchestra.  They played a free concert at Detroit’s Clark Park.

It’s possible that they played Detroit’s large jazz festival downtown and then added this as a second concert.  If so, this would be September 1990.

From my photos, I can see a pianist, a singer, a bassist and a five- to six-piece horn and reed section.  I’m sure that there were also a few drummers and percussionists.  This would make it (at least) a ten- to twelve-member band.  Is that his sister-in-law Graciela singing?  I think that she was still with him in 1990.

From Ozzie Rivera: “Graciela did not perform at Clark Park though she did at the following year’s jazz festival.”  See more important information in his comment, below.

I believe that Mr. Bauzá was no longer playing in instrument.  He wrote the arrangements and conducted the band.

Does anyone else have any memories of this show??

Dancers and some of the band.

Dancers and some of the band.

Mario Bauzá  is a legendary figure in the history of jazz.  In the 1930’s he performed with Chick Webb, Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway.  Bauzá helped get Dizzy Gillespie into the Cab Calloway orchestra and educated him about the Cuban side of jazz.  He got Gillespie together with Chano Pozo.  From there, Bauzá went on to work with the Machito Orchestra.

Bauzá at the mike, with the singer, bassist and rhythm section.

Bauzá is to the right, with his back turned.  The emcee is at the mike, with the singer, bassist and rhythm section.

Bauzá isn’t as well known as he should be.  I was excited to see this show.  I remember that it was wonderful and truly memorable.  These photos are a bit grainy.  Yet I think that they successfully convey some of spirit of the day, silent as they are.

Bauza and the band.

Bauza and the band.

In the image below, Mario Bauzá is at the right, in the middle of a group of three men. He’s wearing a light gray jacket.

The horn section and some of the audience.

The horn section and some of the audience.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Bauz%C3%A1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciela

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machito

An out-take, a bit blurry.

An out-take, a bit blurry.

 

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