Bobby Sanabria

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

Six years ago, soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett merged her devotion to Afro-Cuban music with her commitment to women’s empowerment, and created Maqueque — a hard-charging group that has since toured the world, received a Grammy nomination and been the subject of a recent episode of Jazz Night in America.

Nate Chinen / WBGO

Bobby Sanabria was a teenager, growing up in the Bronx, when he placed his first call to a radio station. The station was WRVR, a beacon of jazz in the New York area at the time, and he was calling to request a song by vibraphonist Cal Tjader.

“I asked for ‘Cuban Fantasy’ — the live version from an album called Concert on the Campus,” Sanabria recalls. “Willie Bobo takes an incredible timbale solo on that track. As a percussionist, that was something I knew I needed to study.”