Latin Jazz FAQs

Your questions about the hire of Latin Jazz bands answered!

Latin Jazz drummer1) What music will I hear when I hire Latin Jazz?

ANSWER: Latin Jazz is a genre of jazz music you can hire that includes Latin American rhythms. The two main branches of it are Afro-Cuban jazz, which is rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music, and Afro-Brazilian jazz, which includes bossa nova and samba.

2) What instruments are associated with Latin Jazz?

ANSWER: In Latin Jazz instruments commonly used include the bass guitar or double bass, saxophone and/or trumpet, vocals, and at least one piano and/or guitar player. Most times there is a drum kit player, but the inclusion of hand percussion is more typical with conga and bongo drums, claves, cowbells and shakers amongst those instruments helping to create a rhythm section that’s quite different from mainstream jazz.

3) Who invented Latin Jazz?

Latin Jazz was the result of a long process of interaction between African American and Afro-Cuban music styles that we can trace back as early as the 19th century.

4) Who are the most famous figures in Latin Jazz?

ANSWER: Mario Bauza was a Cuban bandleader famous for his work in the early 1940s and Dizzy Gillespie also played a big part in popularising the genre. However on the Brazilian side the emergence of Bossa Nova in the sixties was also very influential- and there are many names here that can be credited- not least of all Antonio Carlos Jobim.

5) Is Bossa Nova Latin Jazz?

ANSWER: Yes, because Afro-Brazilian jazz includes Bossa Nova, which is a fusion of samba and jazz.

6) Is Salsa the same as Latin Jazz?

ANSWER: Our salsa bands always include some element of jazz improvisation in their music. However, some of our salsa bands have far more jazz credentials than others who define themselves more as dance bands.

7) Is Latin Jazz good to dance to?

ANSWER: Like any of our World and Global Jazz artists, a Latin Jazz band can be great to dance to but won’t invest the same focus on getting an audience to dance as a Latin dance band will. That is unless you instruct them to!

8) Do Latin Jazz bands wear costumes?

ANSWER: Yes, our Latin Jazz bands always wear colourful or tropical-themed costumes.

9) Are Latin Jazz bands self-contained- or should I provide a PA?

ANSWER: Our Latin Jazz bands will attend any event with 150 guests or less with its own PA system. For larger parties we would always recommend you ask us to book a separate PA company for you.

10) Are Latin Jazz bands popular?

ANSWER: They are more ‘niche’ than popular in the UK. This is because they have less recognition in the UK where there isn't a large Latin American community. But for most jazz lovers and for most Latin music lovers they play a heavenly fusion of music.