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Zaccai Curtis’ album ‘Cubop Lives!’ featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play June 3-7

Zaccai Curtis
Scott Kowalchyk
Zaccai Curtis

Cubop Lives! Is the latest release from pianist Zaccai Curtis, who has nurtured his creativity with a hard study of Afro-Cuban masters Mario Bauza, Machito, Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie and many others. With his latest offering, Curtis covers both instrumental Mambo jazz and Cubop, as well as a nod to one of his heroes, Puerto Rican pianist and bandleader Noro Morales. I dare you to sit still as Zaccai, brother Luques on bass, and percussionists Willie Martinez III, Reinaldo DeJesus and Camilo Molina ignite originals, Thelonious Monk, Scott Joplin, Ray Bryant, Kenny Dorham and more, along with an infectious tribute to the aforementioned Noro Morales.

From Monday, June 3 through Friday, June 7, one cut from Zaccai Curtis’ album Cubop Lives! will be featured each morning in the New Day, New Play spotlight on my Daybreak show.

Preview “Black Rice” from Zaccai Curtis’ album Cubop Lives!, above.

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosted the morning show each weekday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.