Paquito D’Rivera Talking Jazz
Saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera first emerged on the international jazz scene while still a resident of Cuba. As a member of that country’s premier jazz group, Irakere, he traveled throughout Eastern Europe in the late ‘70’s. When the U.S. government allowed a “jazz cruise” to dock in Cuba in 1977, he was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie, who met him soon after the gangplank was lowered and helped spread the word about this high-energy alto player. Paquito’s playing captures the sounds of bebop and the spirit of salsa, and by the time he managed to make his way to New York City, there was already an audience of players and fans waiting to greet him. Paquito is a member of the latest wave of fine Cuban jazz players to reach the U.S. shores. It’s a tide that has been rising for decades.