During a visit made on Wednesday
to the Guillermo Tomas Bouffartigue Music Conservatory, the
renowned US musicians surprised students and professors when
they saw they were in step to the rhythms of the group Los
“It’s an honor and a privilege and really quite an incredible
event to be in this school; I appreciate this visit, by way of
which I can see what’s being done here,” declared the US trumpet
player, composer and arranger.
The meeting went beyond the expectations of the acclaimed
jazzmen, due to the high academic rigor of the institution and
the quality of its students -some 400 of elementary and medium
levels-, specified Maria Cristina Arce, director of the center.
The visitors could enjoy works by Joseito Fernández, Jerry
Herman, Chucho Valdes, Ernesto Lecuona, Silvio Rodriguez,
Gonzalo Roig and Juan Formell, all of them interpreted by the
students, and with arrangements for different formats.
Calling the attention of visitors in a special way was the work
of Alex Miguel Suarez, in charge of the drums with Los
Vanvancitos, who, is spite of being very young, astonished those
who listened to him for his interpretative quality and his way
of projecting himself to the audience.
Carlos Henriquez, bassist and musical co-director of the JLCO,
said he was extremely moved: “I’m from Bronx, the son of Puerto
Ricans, and this visit reminds me of my studies, my
parents, my family and my culture,” he explained.
At the end of the meeting, between signs of admiration,
acknowledgement and joy that went beyond the barriers of
language, Marsalis pointed out that meetings like these lift
people’s spirits and that they will speak about this visit for
“We’ll continue offering our music to the world, but there will
always be a special place for Cuba, and we hope that during our
next stay we can dance better to its rhythms,” concluded the
exceptional 49-year old musician.