The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective
The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective started during their graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective’s upbeat music emulates the
Cuban Son ensemble by using the electric guitar instead of the piano. Led by guitarist Jose Guzman, the band embraces traditional repertoire from Puerto Rican and Cuban songbooks, and expands their sonic palette by incorporating modern jazz harmony and melodic angularity. The band released a self-titled EP in 2019 on several streaming platforms and has received airplay on radio stations around the country as well as in South America. “Maria Cervantes” has been included in playlists such as the Solar Latin Club and was a semi-finalist on the Unsigned Only Music Competition 2020. That same year, they were awarded the Urbana Arts Grant to compose and arrange new music for the ensemble, where they explored several Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms.
“With a sonorous cocktail where changüi mingles with modern harmonies and Latin jazz plays a major role, The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective is a sober and serious album that fulfills the role
of entertaining without being frivolous. On the contrary, each musician’s virtuosity splashes through their repertoire.”
~Solar Latin Club review