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Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined

Read "West Side Story Reimagined" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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

Read "Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined" reviewed by Bobby Sanabria

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

Read "Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's" reviewed by Nick Catalano

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

Read "Bobby  Sanabria Spreads The  Latin Jazz Gospel" reviewed by Steve Bryant

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,, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!" reviewed by Alain Londes

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Kenya Revisited LIVE!!! (feat. Candido)" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan

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. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Kenya Revisited Live!!!" reviewed by Alain Londes

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Kenya Revisited Live!!!" reviewed by Edward Blanco

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Kenya Revisited Live !!!" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

A full horn section combined with an ensemble of percussionists usually means one thing: Afro-Cuban jazz. Conductor Bobby Sanabria and the Manhattan School of Music's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra capture the essence of this style of music by paying tribute to a landmark recording.Kenya Revisited Live!!!, originally recorded in 1957 by Machito and his Afro-Cubans, featuring Cannonball Adderley, is widely hailed as a first- rate assembly of this style of music. With updated music and new arrangements the orchestra ...

INTERVIEWS

Bobby Sanabria: Afro-Cuban Storyteller

Read "Bobby Sanabria: Afro-Cuban Storyteller" reviewed by Jason Crane

Bobby Sanabria is a living museum of Afro-Cuban music. Sanabria is a percussionist, drummer and educator who is at the forefront of Afro-Cuban music--particularly the frontier where it intersects with jazz. In 2007, Sanabria released Big Band Urban Folktales (Jazzheads, 2007), an album he says takes the music “beyond the 21st century." Jason Crane, AAJ contributor and host of The Jazz Session, sat down with Sanabria in May 2007 to talk about the history of Afro-Cuban music, Sanabria's own career, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bobby Sanabria: Big Band Urban Folktales

Read "Big Band Urban Folktales" reviewed by Martin Longley

Born in the Bronx and hailing from a Puerto Rican background, percussionist Bobby Sanabria has mastered every conceivable form of AfroLatin music, from New York salsa to Cuban son and even down to Brazilian samba. This album comes across as a demonstration record for everything that he and his thrilling big band can accomplish. Illuminating though they are, it might be best to lay off reading Dr. Robert Farris Thompson's booklet notes until after a few spins ...