Born: August 29, 1938 Primary Instrument: Multi-instrumentalist
New Album De La Habana a Nueva York 9 songs...featuring Dafnis Prieto: drums, Yosvany Terry: saxophone & chekere, Osmany Paredes: piano, Yunior Terry: bass, Marvin Diz: percussion, special guest Andrea Bratchfeld: flute.
Whereas in the past he has been popularly known as the perfect “Showman” and Entertainer, Bobby is now considered the ultimate Guru of Afrocuban Jazz, offering inspiration to the up and coming generation of new Cuban Jazz musicians as many of the Best new talents have started their careers playing with Bobby’s band.
He was born on August 29th 1938 in Kingston Jamaica, where his Cuban grandfather worked as a Diplomat. Upon moving to Villa Clara in Cuba at the age of four, Bobby grew up surrounded by Cuban rhytms, listening to Benny Moré, Conjunto Casino & Roberto Faz. He also acquired a Love for an eclectic spectrum of music from the Opera Star Enrico Carusso and Mexico’s enigmatic Jorge Negrete to the Jazz Supremos Sarah Vaugahn, Buddy Rich and Stan Getz.
By the 1950’s he was envolved with some of the best vocals quartets in Cuba and whilst playing for many years at The Tropicana the very center of Cuban Jazz at the time, he began to experiment with Bebop and Scat vocals. In the 60’s he traveled to Europe, spending a year in Paris where he played with the Legendary Kenny Clarke and Bud Powell.
When he returned to Cuba he worked in the Teatro Musical where he met trhee of the Futurs founders of the Legendary “Irakere” : Chucho Valdes, Carlos Emilio Morales and Paquito D’ Rivera.
Over the next ten years He played in the best night clubs in Havana as well as acting in Cuban cinema, Tv and essentially starting to form his own Jazz group.
In 1980 he organized the first Jazz Plaza Festival in Havana, envolving the Great Stars of Jazz such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ronnie Scott, Charlie Haden, Airto Moreira, Tania Maria, Steve Coleman and many others. Year after his own group was the focal point in these Festivals. he traveled to Canada,
England, France and the USA where he performed with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Patato Valdés and many other Greats from the Latin Jazz scene.
If Jazz Timbero (1998 Tumi Music UK) was both a projection of Bobby’s musical personality and a complex historical record of the different elements of Cuban music combined along the way with Jazz, Blues and World music. The power of Bobby’s dynamic personality shows in his versatility.
Beginning as a Rumbero he had to master the three elements of Guaguancó: Song, Dance & Percussion, whilst his involvement in Jazz taught him to play countless instruments • Piano, Bass, percussion Fliscorno or Fugel horn, as well as writing his own pieces.
The result of a lifetime’s involvement in sport and Yoga are shown in the bizarre combination of raw Energy and Spiritual Equilibrium; his Greatest Sporting achievement is that of National high jump Champion in 1960. He’s also a Lover of Painting, Drawing and Literature and has exhibited his own work on many occasions around the world.
The word Timba has numerous meanings in Cuba; from a fiesta to a way of saying if something is right or not: “la timba esta Buena or esta mala”. It was originally used to refer to a meeting dedicated to al juego ilicito ( an illegal game). Cuban salsa has been christened as Timba by both the musicians themselves and the listening public. This new music renews Cuban rhythms and when mixed with Jazz produces something quite unique.
The degree of respect Bobby has attained by his contemporaries is shown by the list of Great musicians that took part in his recordings.
But without a doubt, the connecting thread is Bobby’s voice with his electrifying use of Guaguancó, Rumbero Improvisations and Scat Vocals. Bobby is part of a tradition of singers who, within a Son, Guaracha or
Bolero format integrate other influences such as Mambo or Guanguancó. The most famous example is Beny Moré, but Bobby also remembers Francisco Fellové who towards the end of the forties created a style of singing known as Scat which Bobby has developed to an outstanding degree.
Jazz Timbero is a declaration of principles: a tribute to Cuban rhythms and music and above all to the people of New York who have kept these elements alive and thriving throughout the world.
Jazz Timbero offers us music to renew our vitality, our smile and brings us a deeply emotive and sweet Caribbean flavor under the direction of the Great Bobby Carcassés, it maintains an equilibrium of diverse tensions thanks to the concentration and relaxation offered by the artist’s practice of Yoga, and exciting fusion of music through his extensive knowledge of music and a distinct sound formed by many years of performing, touring and producing live and recorded works.
Bobby is an ancestral musician whose roots could be Nigeria, Dahomey or Andalusia, but who in fact comes from a long line starting from Havana to New York, possibly passing through Tibet along the way.
Leonardo Acosta Musician & Journalist
“Many years ago, against all hope and without any official support whatsoever, Bobby Carcasses and I started the first Cuban Jazz festival at La Casa de la Cultura in (What was left of) Havana. Carcasses is the one to be credited as the man with the idea, and I just followed his contagious enthusiasm. I still remember that Leonardo Acosta presented a show entitled “Bop and Modalismo” with the great Emiliano Salvador playing the piano.
“A person I so deeply admired as an artist as much as a “Cuban Being”.
“As an entertainer, as well as a unique plastic artist, I think my old friend Bobby Carcasses deserves to receive in the USA the recognition.
Sincerely:Paquito D'Rivera New York, February 7th-2010