Tres, Cuatro y Seis: The Role of the Electric Guitar in Afro Cuban Latin Jazz
The electric guitar in Afro Cuban Latin Jazz is to some perceived as a specialist domain where few guitarists dare to go. However, the often dense landscape of melody and harmony over intricate rhythmic patterns still allows a place for the electric guitar to thrive and dwell as the principal accompanist and soloist without the use of traditional instruments such as the tres, cuatro, requinto, and piano. This investigation proposes and defines the role of the electric guitar in Afro Cuban Latin Jazz based upon an examination of historical precedent, with interviews, highlight of key guitarists within the genre, and the author’s own performative experience, while exploring learning strategies that promote comprehension and execution in that role. Through musicological, performative, and educational methodologies, a deeper analysis brings forth compelling circumstances such as electrification, imitation, re-adaptation of traditional stylistic devices to the guitar, the creative nature of artists, arrangers, composers, and mainstream culture that are all contributing factors to the development of the role of the electric guitar in Latin Jazz. On this basis, the electric guitar can regain the role of principal accompanist and soloist that it lost within Afro Cuban Latin Jazz while deriving new learning strategies in this field from its unique voice and the vast possibilities of the instrument.
Valencia (Spain) Campus
electric guitar; latin jazz; tres; cuatro; requinto; guajeos; montunos
Irizarry, Neff. “Tres, Cuatro y Seis: The Role of the Electric Guitar in Afro Cuban Latin Jazz.” Master's thesis, Berklee College of Music, 2020. https://remix.berklee.edu/graduate-studies-contemporary-performance/185.