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Mansfarroll and Campana Project pay tribute to jazz great Dizzy Gillespie

By Alison Hird

Dizzy Gillespie, the great trumpet player and pioneer of a style of modern jazz known as be-bop, was also very influenced by Afro-Cuban music. To mark the centenary of his birth, the Mansfarroll and Campana Project, a band of mainly Cuban musicians, gave the Dizzie El Afrocubana concert at Paris's Studio de l'Ermitage, performing some of the jazzman's best loved tunes. 

Dizzy Gillespie met Chano Pozo, Cuba's greatest percussionist, in Harlem in 1947. The two men struck a chord and Pozo played his conga drum with Gillespie's big band at a concert in Carnegie Hall. Cubop, a new form of Afro-Cuban jazz, was born.

Gillespie and Pozo co-wrote Latin jazz classics like “Manteca,” “A Night in Tunisia,” "Tin Tin Deo", "Cubana Be".

So what better way to mark the jazzman's centenary than a tribute to that Cuban influence. Cuban percussionist and musical director Abraham Mansfarroll Rodriguez gathered together a top class band: Mario Felix el Indio (trumpet), Irving Acao (tenor sax), Martin Berluge (trombone), Dimitrios Sevdalis (piano), Rafael Paseiro (bass), Carlos Miguel (vocals), Sebastian Quezada (percussions), Joel Hierrezuelo (percussions).

Mansfarroll and el Indio talk to RFI about why they feel musically and spiritually connected to Gillespie.

Abraham Mansfarroll

Abraham Mansfarroll is releasing his first solo album Utop!a Guantanamera. Listen here.

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