Navi-Jazz is an initiative of the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC), which seeks to promote one of the most important elements of Puerto Rican cultural life – particularly of Puerto Ricans in the Diaspora: the syncretism of the Puerto Rican and African American musical expressions.
This celebration should be seen against the backdrop of the fusion of Puerto Rican and African American musical elements which has as its historical foundation the intersection, at the beginning of the 20th century, of Puerto Ricans and African Americans in New York City, as well as in New Orleans.
The above episode is highlighted in a recent book, Puerto Rico In The American Century: A History since 1898 by César I. Ayala & Rafael Bernabe, which states: “Puerto Rican musicians such as Juan Tizol, Fernando Arbello, Ramón Usera, and Ralph Escúdero explored the expanding universe of jazz first hand while playing or arranging for Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and other ensembles. Tizol composed “Caravan” (Duke Ellington, “Caravan”, Juan Tizol 1952) and “Perdido” (Duke Ellington, “Perdido”, Juan Tizol 1964) , pieces that became Ellington and jazz standards”.
Thus, Navi-Jazz will help to promote a more meaningful dialogue between the African American and Puerto Rican communities of Chicago. It will serve a two fold purpose for IPRAC: one as a fundraising event for the Institue’s programing; and as a forum that will link the most demographic populations in the immediate Humboldt Park community.
4th Annual Navi-Jazz presents:
THE JOHN BENITEZ GROUP