All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Alberto Socarras

Alberto Socarras Alberto Socarras

Alberto Socarras - clarinet, flute, alto and soprano sax, bandleader,(1908 - 1987)

Alberto Socarras is credited with recording the first real jazz flute piece in 1927. Socarras was a highly proficient Cuban clarinetist, and bandleader, who after his arrival in New York, performed with Lew Leslie's Blackbirds, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong.

Socarras playing a flute recorded “Shootin' The Pistol” in 1927 with the Clarence Williams Band. His other recordings include “You're Such a Cruel Papa To Me,” with vocalist Lizzie Miles in 1928, and “You Can't Be Mine,”in 1930, with Bennett's Swamplanders. He would also join up with the Blackbirds Revue, and Rhapsody in Black, musical troupes for tours of Europe.

In the thirties Alberto Socarras went on to lead his own bands both in the U.S. and abroad, as the one in ‘34 that was billed as “Alberto Socarrás and his Magic Flute Orchestra.” Other configurations featured first rate sidemen such as Cab Calloway and Mongo Santamaria, both later to achieve international fame as band leaders in their own right. In his heyday he was broadcasting live on WMCA from the Latin Campomar Club in NYC, where he brought in a young Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, who later would say of Socarras, “the Cuban maestro with the magic flute.”

Socarras went on to achieve quite a reputation as an enduring bandleader, and also did scores of studio and sideman stints especially for the Columbia label, who was marketing music specifically for the Latin American audience.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Album Antabal's Cubans 1930 - 1937 by Alberto Socarras

Antabal's Cubans 1930...

Harlequin Records (UK)
1998

buy
 

Latin Impressions By...

Nuscope Recordings
1956

buy

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.