The Afro-Cuban Experience showcases Dizzy Gillespie’s love of world music, which he successfully fused with jazz during his entire career. His vast repertoire includes compositions that were inspired by his love of the African, Argentinian,Brazilian, Caribbean, Cuban, and Spanish music cultures. Dizzy’s fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz was ground breaking. The well-loved melodies of “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo” are an important part of the jazz vernacular. Dizzy also wrote vibraphonist Cal Tjader’s afro-cuban hit “Soul Sauce”. Dizzy was also the first American musician to recognize the great
Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim’s genius with his 1957 classic recording of Jobim’s “No More Blues” and his famous recording of “Desafinado” from Dizzy on the Rivera. His well known discovery and collaboration with the great Argentinian pianist Lalo Schifrin (who Dizzy discovered in Buenos Aries during a tour of Argentina in 1956) produced many great compositions and arrangements. The ensemble features Dizzy’s longtime bassist and musical director John Lee, Freddie Hendrix on trumpet & flugelhorn, Sharel Cassity on alto saxophone & flute, Steve Carrington on tenor saxophone, Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Tommy Campbell on drums, and Roger Squitero on congas, bongos, and percussion.