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Cubop Lives!

by TRRcollective

  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Cubop Lives!. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases May 10, 2024

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Physical CD with a 4 panel eco-wallet

    Includes digital pre-order of Cubop Lives!. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around May 10, 2024
    Purchasable with gift card

      $15 USD or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 74 TRRcollective releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Cubop Lives!, On Different Paths, Jazzin, Inner Light, Music for the River Jazz Suite: The Spirit of Love River & Mississippi River, Another Level, The Way I Feel Inside: Inspired by the films of Wes Anderson, Feathers of Ma'at, and 66 more. , and , .

    Excludes supporter-only releases.

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      $408.85 USD (35% OFF)


Black Rice 05:01
52nd Street Theme
When I Fall in Love
Cuban Fantasy
Woody'n You
Someday My Prince Will Come
Let's Do It Again
Jazzin' 03:58
Maria Cervantes
Oye Men
Maple Leaf Rag
Minor's Holiday
Moose the Mooche


Afro-Cuban jazz, fathered by Mario Bauzá, can be divided into two schools. Imagine it to be more like two sides of a coin. Instrumental Mambo jazz and Cubop. In the early 40s, Mario Bauzá, the musical director for Machito and his Afro Cubans, became the first composer to compose a piece that fused jazz melodies and improvisation with Mambo. This piece was called “Tanga.” The term Instrumental Mambo jazz, a term coined by Eddie Palmieri, titles this new style now being developed by both Mario Bauzá and Machito. Great examples of this style could be heard by musicians such as Bebo Valdés, Tito Puente, Peruchin, Eddie Palmieri and many more.

I'd like to describe Cubop as primarily a bebop composition with Afro-Cuban elements in the rhythm section. In the least, the composition might have to "lean" more towards the bebop side of this musical fusion. Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo with George Russell's "Cubana-Be Cubana-Bop" (1946), along with “Manteca”, “Tin Tin Deo” (1947) became the first examples of this and inspired artists like Stan Kenton, Art Blakey, Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, Cándido, Billy Taylor, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and more to create new paths that changed the world of music forever. In this recording I explore both styles of Afro-cuban Jazz (a term that I use to acknowledge Machito's contribution) and try to pay homage to one of my favorite pianists, Noro Morales. The Noro Morales suite, starting with “Maria Cervantes” then “Oye Men”, following up with “Stromboli” and finishing with “Rumbambola” is an important inclusion to this body of work. “Minor's Holiday” & “Cuban Fantasy” are small group adaptations of "big band" arrangements and are contrasted by my original compositions written for a small group (”Earl”, “Black Rice” and “Let's Do It Again”). Some of these American songbook arrangements like “When I Fall in Love” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” are inspired by bands like Manny Oquendo y Libre and Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band. “Contour” is close to my heart because it reminds me of Jackie McLean while my love for bebop brought in Hitlon Ruiz' “Jazzin'”, “Woody'n You”, “Moose the Mooche” as a Cha cha cha and “52nd Street Theme” like you've never heard it before. Lastly I'd like to note that the addition of “Maple Leaf Rag” was due to the discovery of it's natural compatibility with the clave. During the melody, only the left hand was altered in this arrangement as I tried to stay true to the written right hand part. Thanks to Donald Harrison for helping me shape this arrangement while performing it in his band for many years.

For more information, download my books 'Art of the Guajeo' Vol 1&2, available on my website.

I’d like to dedicate this album to maestros Eddie Palmieri and Donald Harrison. Two musicians that have inspired me daily to be the best I can be.

Thanks to God, Mom and Dad, my family
(the whole Curtis/Rodriguez fam) Damian, Luques Curtis,
Darryl Yokley, and the whole TRR collective.

Thanks to Willie, Camilo, Luques and Rey who killed it on this recording,
as well as Chris and Kevin for their incredible insight.

Thanks to my musical family that has supported my journey throughout
these years.

Lastly, thanks to Julie and Adagio as we move through life together.


releases May 10, 2024

Zaccai Curtis - Piano
Luques Curtis - Bass
Willie Martinez - Timbales
Camilo Molina - Congas, Pandera
Reinaldo De Jesus - Bongos, Percussion

Engineered/mixed by Chris Sulit Recorded at Trading 8s Studio in Paramus
Mastered by Kevin Blackler Cover art and design by Willie Bruno
Executive Producer Ted Curtis
Zaccaicurtis.com / TRRcollective.com

© Zaccai Curtis 2024
All rights of the producer and of the owner
of the work reproduced reserved.
Unauthorized copying. hiring, lending, public performance
and broadcasting of this recording is prohibited


all rights reserved



TRRcollective New York, New York

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