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Jerry Gonzalez

Latin jazz percussionist and trumpeter from New York City

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Jerry Gonzalez

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to the great Latin jazz trumpeter and percussionist Jerry Gonzalez. Gonzalez was born in the Bronx and raised on music and Puerto Rican culture. "His own output as a bandleader, starting in 1980 with Ya Yo Me Curé, could be framed as persuasive testimony for a form of Latin jazz that honors both [traditional jazz and Latin music]," wrote Nate Chinen in 2018.

You'll go deeper with an excerpt from and a link to an article by Peter Watrous in The New York Times.


"Ya Yo Me Curé" by Jerry Gonzalez
1980 | Latin jazz percussionist and trumpeter from New York City


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If brilliance and esthetics were simply the product of a place, then plenty of New York bands would sound like Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band. And they'd be good, too. When the group takes the stage tonight at the Iridium, where it will be through Sunday, it will bring together jazz and Afro-Cuban music with an understanding rarely equaled in either world. While New York provides the atmosphere to make this possible, the music is the product of a disciplined bilingual inquisitiveness -- and plenty of hard work.

"What we do wouldn't exist outside of the city," Mr. Gonzalez, who plays congas and the trumpet, said in a recent telephone interview. "This is New York music. We play music influenced by everything we've experienced here. We play Mongo Santamaria, John Coltrane and James Brown all at the same time. That's what New York facilitated for us. We had a chance to see Trane and Machito."

The band's sort of formal, rhythmic improvisation is virtually unequaled in either Latin music or jazz.

United StatesPuerto Rico

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