Current track



Latin Jazz Now

Event info
Date: September 28, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm

Latin Jazz Now & Then

Latin Jazz Now and Then is an eight-week virtual course that introduces you to the rich musical genre of Latin Jazz. This course will develop your listening skills regarding how the music is crafted, how it has evolved, and the artists that have shaped this art form. Above all, the course will mean listening to a wealth of hot music—from new friends and old favorites alike.

Course Schedule Tuesdays Sept. 28 – Nov. 16, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

WEEK I: Introduction / Overview What is Latin Jazz? Introduction to key concepts, vocabulary, instrument sounds, and names of both mainstream jazz and Latin music.

WEEK II: Mambo, especially MACHITO and his Afro Cubans The 1940s sound of the pioneering band of Cuban bandleader Machito. We’ll introduce Graciela, Chico O’Farrill, and Mario Bauza as pivotal figures.

WEEK III: Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie The 1947 meeting of Cuban percussionist and singer Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie anchored the fusion as a new discipline with methodologies and stars all its own.

WEEK IV: The mainstreaming of Latin Jazz: Tito Puente Puente, Cal Tjader and the Sixties We’ll examine the growth of a new generation of stars—including non Latino players like vibist Cal Tjader and non-jazzers like Desi Arnaz (!), even Chick Corea and his early circle of associates.

WEEK V: What makes Salsa different? Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Reuben Blades The vocal breakthroughs of the Sixties made for a high-intensity disco counterpart in the still-thriving Latin sub-genre called Salsa. We’ll examine what is and isn’t different about Salsa.

WEEK VI: Irakere, the hard sound of Latin Fusion, and the Marielitos A New wave of artists born in Cuba in the 1950s emigrated to New York in the late 1970s, re-energizing the hard edge of Latin jazz.

WEEK VII: Fort Apache and the birth of the modern sound We’ll follow the trail of the Gonzalez brothers as pivotal to a Latin jazz Jam band that alloyed several of the forces at work in the New York of the 1970s.

WEEK VIII: Latin Jazz Now: Who’s hot in 2021 Bobby Sanabria, Conrad Herwig, Elio Villafranca, Danilo Perez, and other modern notables

As with all courses at WICN, there will be no tests, no homework, no papers or presentations.  Your questions are always welcome, and the course is designed to start from scratch.  No musical skill requiredjust an open mind and ears.  The course is suitable for people of all ages.

** If you know of a College or High School student who would like to attend this class please let us know.  


Ben Young and Jim Benitez have been in radio for 30 years, all over the east coast, including WICN in Worcester, and Miami, and New York City.

Ben Young has taught Jazz history courses for a decade at Jazz at Lincoln Center, WICN, and several Hot Clubs in the northeast. He’s heard every Thursday night on Artistry of Jazz.

Jim Benitez is a Latin percussionist that has played in a number of bands in his native Puerto Rico and some local R&B groups… He’s heard Friday nights on WICN as host of the syndicated show Latin Jazz Now®

WICN Member Price: $40  Click Here to Register

WICN Public Radio Membership is $7 a month/$84 a year. WICN is a nonprofit organization.

Non-Member Price: $50   Click Here to Register

If you have any questions about your Member status please give us a call at (508) 752-0700

This class is funded in partnership with: