Re: [JPL] About Mario Bauzá learning the trumpet

Fredejazz at Fredejazz at
Mon Sep 22 13:01:44 EDT 2008

hey Arturo,  I had the distinct privilege to work briefly in Machito's  orch 
under Mario's direction
... what a consummate master !  Also in the band at that time were  
Chocoloate, Roy Roman, 
& Charlie Camilleri.  regards, FJ
In a message dated 9/22/2008 12:53:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
arturo at writes:

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Bobby  Jax <<< Speaking of totally different embouchures...
I spoke with  the maestro Mario Bauza many years ago and he told me a
story where he  learned to play trumpet in two weeks for a show that
Chick Webb was putting  on.  One of Webb's trumpet players was not
going to make the date for  some reason and Bauza offered to take his
place.  Webb asked Bauza how  was he going to do that knowing that
Bauza was a clarinetist by  trade.  Bauza answered, "You buy me the
trumpet and I will learn the  part."  Bauza told me he spent two weeks
in his apartment with that  trumpet,  learned and played the part
perfectly.  >>>>>

Mario who became Chick Webb's music director and  arranger began as a
trumpeter with the Webb band after brief stints with  Jimmy Lunceford and Don
Redman. What Chick did for mario was to teach him  to play the trumpet
without a "Cuban accent", the quote by Chick was,  "Mario, you are a fabulous
musician but you play the trumpet just like you  talk, with a Cuban accent"

Here's how the classically trained  clarinetist and saxist-who along with
Cachao were the first 2 Afro-Cubans  to play in the Havana Symphonic-breaking
the color line, became a  trumpeter. Shortly after Mario moved to NYC in
1929, the "rumba craze" was  in full swing because of the Broadway debut of
El Manisero-The Peanut  Vendor by singer Antonio Machín with the Don Azpiazu
Orchestra. Victor  Records wanting to record a copy of El Manisero but most
the band had gone  back to Cuba so Antonio-Mario's friend lamented the fact
to Bauzá that  there wasn't a trumpet player in NYC that could play the lead
correctly,  Mario told Machín, buy me a trumpet and I'll play it, Antonio
told him they  only had 2 weeks before recording and mario told hiom that
would be enough  time, sure enough it was and for the 1930 recording of El
Manisero for  Victor by Don Azpiazu with Antonio Machín, it's Mario Bauzá on
trumpet 2  weeks after playing it for the very first time. From that point on
Mario  played both trumpet and reeds like his former band mate in the Webb
band,  Benny Carter



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