Alberto Nacif & Aguankó Performing La Bicicleta

by chipboaz on December 22, 2016

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There was a time where Latin Jazz was a somewhat isolated phenomenon with a specific audience and a tight knit group of musicians. The music was heard across the United States – and around the world – but it took a while for “scenes” to evolve around the performance of the music. Once they did, these “scenes” arose in specific areas, centered around mentors who were sharing their knowledge of the style with other musicians. In other areas, musicians interested in the style had to dig deep and go to great lengths to connect with musicians from across the country. Things started to change in the late eighties, as educational material started to trickle out, helping raise awareness around Latin Jazz. Since then, a variety of resources, including books, videos, websites, and educational programs, are helping musicians around the world play this music at a very high level. You could now potentially walk into a club and hear a strong Latin Jazz group performing, regardless of your location.

Far from the New York mecca, the diverse San Francisco scene, or the island of Cuba, Aguankó has been churning out some fantastic Michigan based Latin Jazz. Fronted by conguero and composer Alberto Nacif, Aguankó has developed a strong combination of jazz finesse and solid Cuban rhythms. Growing up in Detroit, Nacif began his musical career with a number of jazz and Latin bands before pursuing further studies both in Cuba and with legendary percussionist Armando Peraza. He established the group Cubop in the early 1990s, which he followed by co-leading the group Tumbao Bravo; he recorded and performed quite extensively with the later group. Nacif later formed Aguankó, releasing the exceptional debut album Elemental in 2013. After capturing attention from across the Latin Jazz world, Nacif and Aguankó returned in 2015 with their sophomore album, Invisible. They’ve been active ever since, making the holidays a little more lively with their 2015 album, A Latin Jazz Christmas In Havana. With a continuing trend of excellence from Aguankó, it’s good to know that we can expect Latin Jazz to be alive and well in Michigan!

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Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Mitch Frohman Latin Jazz Quartet Performing Mambo Sin Fronteras
Carlos Henriquez Performing The Bronx Pyramid
Pablo Aslan Playing Tango On The Grill: El Amanecer
The Next Generation Of Latin Jazz: The Curtis Brothers
Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, & Sal Cuevas Playing Picadillo

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