No matter the label (Latin Jazz, Afro-Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz etc.) Jazz simply isn’t Jazz without the scope of Latin influence that helped shaped it.
As the Smithsonian National American Latino Museum takes root, advocates are quick to mention the
immense scope of history this new institution must undertake. Spanning more than 500 years and 24
countries, the museum will attempt to cover the vast history shaping the current identity of Latinos and their remarkably rich and diverse contributions to American history. In the context of the Pan-Latin influence on Jazz, the contributions are no less rich, diverse, fundamental or innovative.
Los Olvidados / The Forgotten Ones is a one hour audio documentary exploring some of the unique historical, cultural, and artistic contributions that encompass the Latin experience in Jazz. We broadcast this program in our platform with permission from his creator, writer, producer and host, Michael Ambrosino. The program explores the viewpoints and music of a special group of award winning artists, scholars and activists. Jane Bunnett, Dr. Martha Gonzalez, Dr. Benjamin Lapidus, Yilian Cañizares, Arturo O’Farrill, Michele Rosewoman, Bobby Sanabria, John Santos, Dr. Chris Washburne and Miguel Zenón will speak to the inspiration they maintain as contributors, educators, and creative thinkers within Pan-Latin Jazz.
As part of the African diasporic tradition, Latin musicians have engineered their innovation by hybridizing culture in order to survive in new lands where colonization, slavery and system oppression shaped their existence. Embedded into these traditions are the spiritual rituals, folkloric pathways, resplendent narratives, and the enduring elasticity of rhythm that carried African music to the Americas.
Whether originating from Panama, Mexican, Argentina, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Trinidad or storied urban centers in the United States, this magnificent groove, and the rhythmic tension it’s built on, embody the quintessential nature of Jazz. Featuring influential contemporary musicians, critics and curators of Pan-Latin music, Los Olvidados explores how this storied musical tradition continues to combat a legacy of indifference, while remaining at the forefront of musicality transforming the quintessential nature of Jazz.
Made possible by a grant from the Mass Cultural Council.