Photo: Bobby Sanabria | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight! We’ll be pre-empted on May 21 and 28 for WBAI’s Spring Fund Drive. After this show, we’ll be back in June.
The next show will air on Tuesday May 14, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature “The Journey: From Africa to the New World Through Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Beyond” presented by drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, multicultural warrior educator Bobby Sanabria. Join us as we help continue the important work of WBAI during this Spring Membership Drive.
Bobby Sanabria, the son of Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in the “Fort Apache” section of New York City’s South Bronx. Inspired and encouraged by maestro Tito Puente, another fellow New York-born Puerto Rican, Sanabria “got serious” and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 1975 to 1979, obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree and receiving their prestigious Faculty Association Award for his work as an instrumentalist. Since his graduation, Sanabria has become a leader in the Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and jazz fields as both a drummer and percussionist, and is recognized as one of the most articulate musician-scholars of la tradición living today, and was a Professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
He has been featured on numerous Grammy-nominated albums, including The Mambo Kings and other movie soundtracks, as well as numerous television and radio work. Sanabria was the drummer with the legendary “Father of the Afro-Cuban Jazz movement,” Mario Bauzá’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. With them he recorded three CD’s (two of which were Grammy-nominated) which are considered to be definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big-band jazz tradition.
Sanabria is also an award-winning documentary producer whose films include The Palladium—Where Mambo Was King, shown on BRAVO, and From Mambo to Hip Hop—A South Bronx Tale, shown on PBS; he was a featured interviewee in both films.
The Journey is a sweeping history of African rhythms and music, traced through the Caribbean by Sanabria’s thorough scholarship with a vast array of musical examples pulled from his incredible collection. Sanabria narrates the history in a way that makes it come alive and roots the sonic production within the historical and cultural context of the various time periods. It’s been one one of WBAI’s most popular specials for a good reason.
(Bio excerpted and adapted from his website.)
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Bobby Sanabria is at 55 Bar on May 17 with Gabriela Anders.
Pledge to help keep WBAI on the air and receive your very own copy of “The Journey” as a thank you gift for your donation!
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.