| THE INFLUENCE OF PUERTO RICAN MUSIC
IN THE UNITED STATES
Guest Speaker: Dr. Raymond Torres-Santos
|SOME IMPORTANT AMERICAN JAZZ STANDARDS WERE COMPOSED BY PUERTO RICANS|
| In 1920 the
Howard Theater Orchestra in Washington D.C. was formed mostly of Puerto Rican
musicians. One of them was trombonist Juan Tizol who in 1929 went on to
play with the renowned orchestra of Duke Ellington, not only becoming the
trombonist and music copyist but also his assistant. I am going to play
for you two of the most memorable songs known by this remarkable American
orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
And those two pieces which have become standard repertoire of American music belong to this gentleman Juan Tizol who just died in 1980. I had the privilege of knowing him in Beverly Hills in the eighties. But he was responsible for many of the hits. Some are Moon Over Cuba, Bakiff, and the two I am going to play for you, Caravan and Perdido. And I know that as soon as you listen to these two compositions, you will react because you have known them, you have heard them as part of the [Puerto Rican] experience in the United States.