Personalities | Machito | Forties | Jazz & Blues
(Vocals, maracas, c. 1912–84)
Frank Raul Grillo was born in Florida of Cuban extraction and took the name Machito in 1940 when his brother-in-law, trumpet player Mario Bauzá, reorganized his year-old band the Afro-Cubans. Their arrangements clothed Cuban melodies and rhythms in jazz harmonies and instrumental voicings. They were highly influential in the emergence of Afro-Cuban jazz (sometimes known as ‘Cubop’) in the late 1940s, in the mambo craze of the 1950s and the development of modern salsa and Latin jazz.
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