"The Big Three"





Left to right: Tito Rodirguez, Machito, and Tito Puente, Courtesy of Raices Latin Music Musuem

:: General Information


  The Big Three” –

Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez (1923-1973)


By 1952, New York’s Palladium Ballroom at Broadway and 53rd Street had become the American center for the mambo dance craze, followed in 1954 by the cha-cha-cha. Created as an instrumental form in Cuba by Orestes and Israel (“Cachao”) López and Arsenio Rodríguez, mambo was popularized in the United States by Pérez Prado. Cha-cha-cha was the invention of Enrique Jorrin as a form of both dance and music. These dance forms brought “The Big Three”—Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodríguez (1923-1973)—international renown.

As El Rey Tito Puente (1923-2000) said, Latin jazz is a marriage between Latin rhythms and jazz harmonies. The connection that began with African-American and Puerto Rican members of James Reese Europe’s military band went on to forge a true New York sound. Seminal figures included Afro-Cubans Alberto Socarrás, one of the first Cubans to play in a jazz band, and Mario Bauzá, who played with both Latin and jazz groups. Bauzá’s friendship with jazz great Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), which began when both played trumpet in Cab Calloway’s band, profoundly influenced both jazz and Latin music. In 1940, Bauzá and his brother-in-law Frank “MachitoGrillo (ca. 1909-1984) formed Machito and His Afro-Cubans, the first group to incorporate African-American jazz musicians, harmonies, and concepts into Latin music. In 1947-1948, Gillespie collaborated with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo (1915-1948), marking the first genuine synthesis of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz.         read more

                                                       (Courtesy of Raices Latin Music Museum))



:: Music







:: Related Links


·          Raices: The Roots of Latin Music

·          Latin Big Bands of the 1940s-50s- Database






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