Cuban Jazz Music You Need to Hear on YouTube

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Discover Cuban Jazz music videos on YouTube, featuring some of the best Cuban Jazz musicians.

Cuban Jazz Music

Cuban jazz music is some of the most vibrant and unique sounding music in the world. It is a blend of traditional Cuban music with American jazz influences. Cuban jazz musicians have been influenced by a wide range of musical styles, from Afro-Cuban to bebop. Cuban jazz music is often characterized by complex rhythms, and a wide variety of musical influences.

Cuban Jazz Bands

Cuban jazz is a musical genre that blends traditional Cuban music with elements of jazz. While the two genres have a long history of interchange, it was not until the early 20th century that Cuban musicians began to develop a distinctive style of jazz.

Since then, Cuban jazz has been shaped by a number of factors, including the ongoing Afro-Cuban jazz movement in the United States, the rise of Fidel Castro’s communist regime in Cuba, and the country’s subsequent isolation from the rest of the world. As a result, Cuban jazz has remained largely unknown outside of Cuba itself.

Nevertheless, there are a number of Cuban jazz bands that have made a name for themselves both inside and outside of their home country. Here are just a few of the most popular Cuban jazz bands you need to check out:

Irakere: One of the most influential Cuban jazz bands of all time, Irakere was founded in 1973 by pianist Chucho Valdés. Over the course of its 40-year career, the band blended Afro-Cuban rhythms with elements of classical music, rock, and even electronic dance music. Irakere’s music has been featured in a number of films, including Jack Nicholson’s The Shining (1980) and Spielberg’s E.T. (1982).

Los Van Van: Formed in 1969 by bassist Juan Formell, Los Van Van is one of Cuba’s most popular dance bands. The band’s name literally means “The Go-Go’s,” and their music is characterized by its catchy melodies and infectious rhythms. Los Van Van has won multiple Grammy Awards and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America.

Buena Vista Social Club: One of the most famous Cuban jazz bands in the world, Buena Vista Social Club was formed in 1996 by American guitarist Ry Cooder. The band brought together some of Cuba’s most talented musicians, many of whom were retired or semi-retired at the time. Buena Vista Social Club’s self-titled debut album became a worldwide hit, helping to reintroduce Cuban music to new audiences around the globe.

Cuban Jazz Musicians

Cuban jazz is a blend of Afro-Cuban and Latin American styles with traditional jazz. Cuban jazz first gained international attention in the 1930s, when Cuban musicians such as Arsenio Rodríguez and Miguel Matamoros began to experiment with adding Latin rhythms to their music. In the 1940s and 1950s, Cuban bandleader and composer Chico O’Farrill helped to popularize Cuban jazz by writing arrangements for American bands such as Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra.

Over the years, many Cuban Jazz musicians have gained international fame, including trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, and drummer Chano Pozo.

Cuban Jazz Music on YouTube

Cuban Jazz music is a must-listen! The beats are catchy, and the melodies will stay with you long after the song is over. You can find a wide variety of Cuban Jazz songs on YouTube, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorites for you to check out.

Cuban Jazz Bands on YouTube

The Cuban jazz scene is exploding on YouTube, with new bands and musicians putting out great content all the time. If you’re looking for some Cuban jazz to check out, here are some of the best channels and videos to get you started.

Cuban Jazz Bands on YouTube

1. Havana D’Primera – This band is one of the hottest Cuban jazz groups around, and their YouTube channel features a variety of live performances and music videos.

2. Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra – The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra is led by Arturo O’Farrill, one of the legends of Cuban jazz. Their YouTube channel features live performances, interviews, and more.

3. Chucho Valdés & The Afro-Cuban Messengers – Chucho Valdés is another legend of Cuban jazz, and his band The Afro-Cuban Messengers are one of the most popular groups in the genre. Their YouTube channel features a mix of live performances, music videos, and behind-the-scenes footage.

4. Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Gonzalo Rubalcaba is a world-renowned pianist who has been at the forefront of the Cuban jazz scene for decades. His YouTube channel features live performances, music videos, and interviews.

5. Célia Cruz – Célia Cruz was one of the most popular salsa singers of all time, and her legacy continues to influence Cuban musicians today. Her YouTube channel features a mix of live performances, music videos, and interviews

Cuban Jazz Musicians on YouTube

Looking for some great Cuban jazz music to listen to on YouTube? Check out these five fantastic musicians!

1. Arturo O’Farrill – A great pianist and bandleader, O’Farrill is one of the driving forces behind Afro-Cuban jazz today. Check out his YouTube channel for live performances, interviews, and more.

2. Dafnis Prieto – A phenomenal drummer, Prieto is also a gifted composer and bandleader. His YouTube channel features live performances, music videos, and more.

3. Yosvany Terry – A saxophonist, flutist, and percussionist, Terry brings a fresh sound to Afro-Cuban jazz. His YouTube channel features live performances, interviews, and more.

4. Havana D’Primera – One of the hottest Cuban bands around today, Havana D’Primera is led by trumpeter Maykel Rivera. Their YouTube channel features live performances, music videos, and more.

5. Omar Sosa – A world-renowned pianist and composer, Sosa’s unique style blends Afro-Cuban rhythms with elements of jazz, classical music, and more. His YouTube channel features live performances, interviews, documentaries, and more.

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