Urgent, Unformulaic Latin Jazz: Ignacio Berroa

Berroa blends jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Berroa blends jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.


Ignacio Berroa

First promoted by Dizzy Gillespie, who used Berroa in his world-oriented big band during the last decade or so of his life, Berroa is one of the few Latino drummers to make a big impact with the American trap set rather than percussion. His bread-and-butter gig in recent years has been with the much-hyped pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba (a fellow Cuban, also given a boost by the Diz). The tables turned last year, though, as Rubalcaba took up the sideman position, along with John Patitucci and David Sanchez, on Berroa’s first disc as a leader, Codes (on Blue Note), a beautiful Afro-Cuban jazz amalgam that drew out some of the best ensemble work from all players. As is so often the case, the touring band is missing the recording’s stars, but even with a trio of less experienced musicians, Berroa’s dynamism should guarantee a night of urgent, unformulaic Latin jazz. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729, $21.50. 7:30 p.m. MARK D. FEFER

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing