Dizzy Gillespie was introduced to the virtuoso Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo in 1947 by one of his mentors, the legendary Cuban musician Mario Bauza. Both became quick friends and together Dizzy and Chano developed Afro-Cuban jazz. It became extremely successful, attracting people to dance to its unique rhythms.
Among Dizzy Gillespie’s most famous contributions to Afro-Cuban music are two compositions he wrote with Chano Pozo “Manteca” and "Tin Tin Deo”.
Dizzy loved to explore the music of Latin America. Many of his compositions were influenced by the music of Argentina, Brazil,
the Caribbean, and Cuba. He would often say that he loved all music south of the border. The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience celebrates Dizzy’s love of Latin rhythms and melodies. Performing many of the Latin influenced compositions that Dizzy wrote as well as those by other composers that he recorded and loved to play.
Under the direction of John Lee, Dizzy’s long-time bassist, the band features trumpet master Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist Sharel Cassity, Brazilian pianist and vocalist Abelita Mateus, former longtime Gillespie drummer extraordinaire Tommy Campbell, and master percussionist Roger Squitero.
Freddie Hendrix - trumpet & flugelhorn
Sharel Cassity - alto saxophone & flute
Abelita Mateus - piano & vocals
John Lee - bass
Tommy Campbell - drums
Roger Squitero - percussion