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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined

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William Shakespeare's epic tragedy Romeo and Juliet made a huge splash when it reached Broadway in 1957 in the guise of West Side Story, in which the warring Montagues and Capulets were replaced by New York City street gangs, the Italian-American Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks. The newer version, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, ran for 732 performances before going on tour and has been performed in theatres across the country ...

Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined

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West Side Story holds a special place in my heart. I first saw the movie as a young boy when my parents José and Juanita took me and my sister Joanne to the luxurious Loews Paradise on the Grand Concourse in my hometown Da' Bronx in celebration of the film's 10th anniversary. At that time there wasn't anything that acknowledged the contributions we had made, let alone the existence of NYC's Puerto Rican community, other than articles about gangs and crime ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's

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A scintillating evening of Latin jazz with a novel twist was the order of business Monday, March 26, 2018 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Bobby Sanabria, the director of The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Band, has conducted superlative shows at Dizzy's in the past, but this one had a packed audience chatting up laudable encomiums long after the opening set had concluded. The program “Cartoon and TV Music Goes Latin Jazz!!!" featured the theme music from ...

INTERVIEWS

Bobby Sanabria Spreads The Latin Jazz Gospel

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Drummer, percussionist, composer, educator, Bobby Sanabria has gained renown and respect from fans and musicians alike as one of the foremost proponents of what is labeled Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Sanabria performed with a veritable Who's Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauzá, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera,, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria Big Band: Multiverse

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Drummer/historian/educator/percussionist Bobby Sanabria is more than the sum of his parts; he's actually the sum of all parts, collected, absorbed and observed over the course of his musical life. The Nuyorican jazz giant is a stylistic sponge, historical repository and bringer of the boom, but he's a true artist above all else. He understands that music is about self expression, tradition, innovation, and the place where all three meet. The pieces that Sanabria presents on Multiverse are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!

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The spirit of Tito Puente comes alive with a riveting live concert, wonderfully recorded, on Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!. Percussionist Bobby Sanabria fires up the exceptionally talented Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra in an energetic performance, just as he did on Kenya Revisited Live!!! (Jazzheads, 2009), this time showing maestro Puente's depth, majesty, complexity and artistry. Two distinguishing features of this concert are its stylistic variety, and the new arrangements or reconstructions--still recognizable and true to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!

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If the Latin Jazz community had its own Mount Rushmore, then Tito Puente's face would be there, right beside the images of Machito and Mario Bauzá. All three men are viewed as patriarchs and/or key figures in the evolution of the Afro-Cuban musical movement and, despite Puente being the only non-Cuban on that list, Bauzá himself paid him the ultimate compliment when he said that “no one in the world has done more for Afro-Cuban music than Tito Puente." While ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria: Kenya Revisited LIVE!!! (feat. Candido)

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Led by percussionist Bobby Sanabria, the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra delivers a worthy tribute to one of the greatest AfroCuban jazz recordings ever made: Machito's Kenya. Recorded in 1957, Kenya exists for many as one of the essential albums of its kind. It's absolutely appropriate that, more than half a century later, someone should honor its legacy with a live performance. The Afro-Cuban Orchestra proves to be worthy of tackling such a massive endeavor. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Kenya Revisited Live!!!

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2009 is a key year in Latin music education and rediscovery. Kenya Revisited Live!!! is the culmination of Bobby Sanabria's effort to recreate Machito & The Afro-Cubans' defining 1957 masterpiece, Kenya: Afro-Cuban Jazz (Roulette), under the direction of Mario Bauzá. It's a real bridge between Afro-Cuban music and jazz, featuring the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra with special guest/NEA jazz master Cándido Camero on congas for three tunes. The show starts off with “Frenzy," a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Kenya Revisited Live!!!

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In 1957, Cuban band leader, singer and composer Francisco Raul Gutierrez Grillo de Ayala, AKA “Machito," his Afro-Cuban big band, along with co-founder Mario Bauza, Cannonball Adderley and Basie trumpeter Joe Newman, released an album titled Kenya (Roulette), which, at the time, became instrumental in launching the Afro-Cuban or Latin jazz genre. Multiple Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria pays homage to Machito, Bauza and their ground-breaking album directing the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra in a live concert recording ...