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Gary Golio: Carlos Santana

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Carlos Santana - Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio

That this book Carlos Santana – Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio is a children’s book should come as no surprise; after all the brevity of its text and the exquisitely-styled illustrations by Rudy Gutiérrez are both a dead giveaway. What is a happy coincidence, and infinitely more important, is the fact that such a book has not only been written, but that its author Mr Golio has written a whole series of books about important contemporary musicians – and they are all meant for younger readers.

The books include ones about Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan (and Woody Guthrie), Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and – perhaps most significantly – one about Billie Holiday entitled Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song, a book about the treatment of African-Americans by Americans that takes its inspiration from the iconic song that Miss Holiday sang, called “Strange Fruit”, which was a metaphor for the bodies of lynched Blacks in the South of the US that hung from trees. All these books are about important personalities and events in US history, that are almost certainly not part of a regular history curriculum in primary and secondary school systems.

Books that teach children are not unusual, but books about musicians that could be used to teach young readers about altruism and other good human traits – as well as about the evils of the past – are as rare (and rarely read) as the fables of Aesop. And they are badly needed today, as we human beings seem to be in danger of being consumed by hatred instead of love. Mr Golio’s books are therefore quite timely and ought to be more widely read. So if one has not had a chance to read one by Mr Golio, this book on Carlos Santana is a good place to start.

Carlos Santana – Sound of the Heart, Song of the World

Carlos Santana, seen here in South Africa, has created the Milagro Foundation to provide resources and opportunities for children in need.

Carlos Santana – Sound of the Heart, Song of the World is coffee-table size, but slim, with the story served up in small bite-sized bits, as a good children’s book should be, in order to engage the young reader and keep his or her attention and interest peeked – in this instance on the subject of “growing up Carlos Santana”. The story describes the hardship which the young Carlos experienced. It also tells us of a boy who was unafraid to dream big, and who focused on his dream against great odds, including absences from his father, his hero, for long periods of time, until he was able not only to be reunited with his family, but live his dream and then some. It also tells the story of the boy’s love for his parents despite not always understanding why he had to do certain things to please his parents, something children sometimes tend to forget.

The story ends with the young Carlos still in Mexico caressing exultantly his first guitar, one he received from his father who was, by then, in the USA. Mr Golio wraps things up with young Carlos who is about to make good on the early promise he showed, as he grows up to be the pride and joy of his parents. A short biography of Mr Santana as we know him today follows and this also makes mention of an important aspect of his life, which is the Milagro Foundation, through which the celebrated Carlos Santana we now know today gives back to the world he once inhabited through the many children’s projects his foundation funds not only in the Mexico of his birth, but all over the world.

Mr Golio’s prose is simple, yet stylish and his ability to “speak” to child and “the child” in all of us has enabled him to write a book that has appeal for adults as well – appeal, that is, which ought to make the adult want to pick up his book and gift it to a child. It is an extremely attractive book and the story also has many teaching moments, which is no doubt what Mr Golio intends his books to be. The illustrations by Mr Gutiérrez are also superb and the quality of the printing does both justice. One only wishes for a more reasonable price to foster more widespread reading. But then, this could also become a reality if public municipalities buy and put the book on public library bookshelves. Moreover, considering the fact that much money will almost always be spent on toys that go out of fashion in a relatively short span of time, this book already recommends itself more readily as a gift that will endure.

Carlos Santana - Sound of the Heart, Song of the World

Published by: Christy Ottaviano Books (An imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
ISBN: 978-1-62779-512-8
No. of pages: Not listed
Price: US $18:99 / Can $24:99

Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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Book Reviews

Boricua Jazz: La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño

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Boricua Jazz - La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño - Wilbert Sostre

Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón (Second Edition)

In November 2020, author, journalist, educator Wilbert Sostre Maldonado released the second (Spanish) edition of Boricua Jazz: La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño · Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón (Boricua Jazz: The Story of Puerto Rican Jazz from Rafael Hernández to Miguel Zenón).

Maldonado was introduced to jazz and other genres when he studied music and guitar in high school. The seed for Boricua Jazz was planted in 2005, when he wrote reviews for a variety of publications, including Jazz Times, Jazz Inside Magazine, and Latin Jazz Network, and realized, apart from random biographies there were no publications that contained accurate, credible information about Puerto Rican artists.

Through the use of existing biographical data, interviews, requests for information, books, magazines, articles, websites, and active participation in Puerto Rico’s music scene Maldonado created the First Edition of Boricua Jazz in 2019.

The Second Edition contains updated biographies, discographies, and new photos. Also, it contains a comprehensive index (which the First Edition lacked) and information about artists and groups that participated in the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival (1991-2017), biographical data, and in most cases, a discography.

Chapter Breakdown

• CHAPTER 1 – Shines a light on jazz in New Orleans (the cradle of jazz), blues, ragtime, black military bands, and Billie Holliday, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet, among others. The chapter also includes an excellent selection of early jazz recordings (1940-1960).
• CHAPTER 2 – Summarizes the musical forms developing in Puerto Rico during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Also, it documents the first encounters between American and Puerto Rican music.
• CHAPTERS 3 & 4 – They focus on Puerto Rican jazz and draws from Basilio Serrano’s groundbreaking book, Puerto Rican Pioneers in Jazz – 1900 -1939 – Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz (iUniverse, 2015), and other publications.
• CHAPTER 5 – Dedicated to the valve trombonist, composer, arranger, crack shot sight-reader, transcriber, and progenitor of Latin jazz, Juan Tizol.
• Chapter 6 – Documents the interactions between jazz and salsa. Also, it highlights the trajectories of Puerto Rican musicians who made significant contributions to jazz on the island and in the States.
• CHAPTER 7 – Pays tribute to the independent organizations (1960-1970) that exposed the island to jazz, such as the San Juan Jazz Workshop, the Don Pedro Jazz Workshop, and the Caribbean Workshop. The more prominent, international festivals such as the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest would not be possible without these organizations.
• CHAPTER 8 – Focuses on festivals, concerts, and jazz on the island.
• CHAPTER 9 – Proposes the emergence of Bomba Jazz (Afro-Puerto Rican Jazz), which is unique to the island.
• CHAPTER 10 – Brings readers to the present-day and features emerging jazz players who are giving continuity to the history of the Boricua Jazz Masters.

Throughout the book, Maldonado rightly credits the musicians, composers, arrangers, bandleaders, promoters, presenters, educators, universities, websites, radio show hosts, authors, historians, and journalists whose contributions to jazz were critical to its development and popularization on the island.

Boricua Jazz is a primer for readers who are curious about American jazz, Puerto Rican music and culture, and the relationship between the two. On a personal note, it’s an invaluable reference tool. According to Maldonado, an English Edition is in the works.

En Español

En Noviembre 2020, el autor, periodista y educador Wilbert Sostre Maldonado lanzó la segunda edición (en español) de Boricua Jazz: La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño · Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón (Boricua Jazz: The Story of Puerto Rican Jazz from Rafael Hernández to Miguel Zenón).

Maldonado conoció el jazz y otros géneros cuando estudió música y guitarra en la escuela secundaria. La semilla de Boricua Jazz se plantó en 2005, cuando escribió críticas para una variedad de publicaciones, incluyendo Jazz Times, Jazz Inside Magazine y Latin Jazz Network. Para su sorpresa, se dió cuenta de que, aparte de biografías al azar, no había publicaciones que contuvieran información precisa y creíble sobre artistas puertorriqueños. Esto, a pesar de que los artistas puertorriqueños, hombres y mujeres, se “escondían” a plena vista.

Mediante el uso de datos biográficos existentes, entrevistas, solicitudes de información, libros, revistas, artículos, sitios web y participación activa en la escena musical de Puerto Rico, Maldonado creó la Primera Edición de Boricua Jazz en 2019, una nutrida base de datos de 500 páginas y una valiosa herramienta de referencia.

La segunda edición contiene biografías y discografías actualizadas y fotos nuevas. Además, información detallada sobre artistas fallecidos. También contiene un índice completo (del que carecía la Primera Edición) e información sobre artistas y grupos que participaron en el Festival de Jazz de Puerto Rico Heineken (1991-2017). Boricua Jazz también contiene datos biográficos y, en la mayoría de los casos, una discografía.

Desglose por Capítulo

• CAPÍTULO 1 – arroja luz sobre el jazz en Nueva Orleans (la cuna del jazz), el blues, el ragtime, las bandas militares negras y Billie Holliday, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong y Sidney Bechet, entre otros. El capítulo también incluye una excelente selección de primeras grabaciones de jazz (1940-1960).
• CAPÍTULO 2 – Resume las formas musicales que se desarrollaron en Puerto Rico durante el siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX. Además, documenta los primeros encuentros entre la música estadounidense y puertorriqueña.
• CAPÍTULOS 3 y 4 – Se centran en el jazz puertorriqueño y se basan en el innovador libro de Basilio Serrano, Pioneros puertorriqueños en el jazz – 1900-1939 – Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz (iUniverse, 2015), y otras publicaciones.
• CAPÍTULO 5 – Dedicado al trombonista de válvulas, compositor, arreglista, visionario, transcriptor y progenitor del jazz latino, Juan Tizol.
• Capítulo 6 – Documenta las interacciones entre el jazz y la salsa. Asimismo, destaca las trayectorias de músicos puertorriqueños que hicieron importantes aportes al jazz en la isla y en Estados Unidos.
• CAPÍTULO 7 – Rinde homenaje a las organizaciones independientes (1960-1970) que expusieron a la isla al jazz, como el San Juan Jazz Workshop, el Don Pedro Jazz Workshop y el Caribbean Workshop. Los festivales internacionales más destacados como el Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest no serían posibles sin estas organizaciones.
• CAPÍTULO 8 – Se centra en festivales, conciertos y jazz en la isla.
• CAPÍTULO 9 – Propone el surgimiento del Bomba Jazz (Jazz Afropuertorriqueño), único en la isla.
• CAPÍTULO 10 – Lleva a los lectores a la actualidad y presenta a jazzistas emergentes que están dando continuidad a la historia de los Boricua Jazz Masters.

A lo largo del libro, Maldonado acredita con razón a los músicos, compositores, arreglistas, directores de orquesta, promotores, presentadores, educadores, universidades, sitios web, presentadores de programas de radio, autores, historiadores y periodistas cuyas contribuciones al jazz fueron fundamentales para su desarrollo y popularización en la isla. Additionally, Maldonado deserves credit for being up to the task in this dedicated investigative endeavor.

Boricua Jazz es un manual para lectores curiosos por el jazz, la música y la cultura puertorriqueña. En una nota personal, es una herramienta de referencia invaluable a la que me refiero a menudo. Según el autor, se está preparando una edición en inglés.

About the Author

Wilbert Sostre Maldonado is a freelance contributing writer, creator of Jazzin’ magazine and the author of the book Boricua Jazz: Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón, La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño. Also, he is the host and producer of Puerto Rico Jazz @ Radio Vieques, Brave New Radio, William Paterson University & Radio Procer, 1380am, 98.5FM Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. His writings appear on Latin Jazz Network, Vid 90 magazine, All About Jazz, Jazz Inside Magazine, Jazztimes, and other publications.

Author, journalist, educator Wilbert Sostre Maldonado

Reference

• Lapidus, Ben – New York and the International Sound of Latin Music – 1940-1990 (University Press of Mississippi-Jackson, 2021)
• Maldonado, William Sostre – Boricua Jazz, La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño (First Edition)
• Serrano, Basilio – Juan Tizol, His Caravan Through Life and American Culture (Xlibris)
• Serrano, Basilio – Puerto Rican Pioneers in Jazz, 1900-1939 – Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz (iUniverse)
• Sublette, Ned – Cuba and its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo (Chicago Review Press)

© 2021 Tomas Peña – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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