2007, December 6 – “FUNK TANGO” NOMINATED BEST RECORDING

On this date, the recording academy announced that Paquito D’Rivera’s album “Funk Tango” had been nominated for Grammy Awards’s, “Best Latin Jazz Recording” which it later won…Funk Tango was also a Critic’s Choice pick of the New York Times; it was the 9th Grammy award for Paquito…Paquito explained that his love of tango was instilled as a child in Havana, “names such as Libertad Lamarque, Pepe Biondi and Hugo del Carrill filled TV and movie screens throughout the island, and while listening to the local radio stations, we learned to admire musicians such as Marianito Mores, Anibal “Pichuco” Troilo and the immortal Carlos Gardel,“...Jazz and tango have parallel histories; both came out of the slums and the underworld, were denounced as salacious and were then embraced as dance music, both moved from clubs to concert halls, both conjure romance, exhilaration and tension; both use improvisation…

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Born in Havana on June 4, 1948 (Gemini), Paquito D’Rivera was a child prodigy who began his musical studies at the age of five under the tutelage of his father Tito, himself a well-known classical saxophonist and conductor in Cuba…at the age of six, this “wunderkind” was already performing in public and when he was seven, became the youngest artist ever to endorse a musical instrument when he signed on with the legendary company, Selmer..In 1958, the ten-year old D’Rivera performed at the National Theatre in Havana to overwhelming acclaim by both critics and audience…by 1980, D’Rivera was dissatisfied about the constraints placed on his music in Cuba…in early 1981, while on tour in Spain, he sought asylum with the American Embassy and left his homeland, wife and child behind in search of a better life with a promise to get them out..Paquito is also a gifted composer and author; his biography “My Sax Life” and his novel “Oh La Habana” have been received well…In 2005, Paquito wrote a letter criticizing musician Carlos Santana for his decision to wear a t-shirt with the image of Che Guevara on it, at the academy awards citing Guevara’s role in the execution of counter-revolutionaries in including his own cousin.

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