Past Event

Afro-Cuban Beat with Emilio Morales and Nelson Gonzales

Our annual series celebrating Afro-Cuban contributions to jazz continues with an evening of live music and talk. Cuban pianist Emilio Morales and master of the Cuban tres Nelson Gonzales will perform, joining the eminent historians Rene Lopez and Joe Conzo.

This is in conjunction with our exhibit JAZZ LATIN, that opens on 9/9 at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.


EMILIO MORALES is a master pianist who graduated in 1977 from The School of Music at the National Schools of the Arts in Havana, Cuba where he is currently a professor. He has performed world-wide, has worked with the Buena Vista Social Club Project and Café Vista Alegre Cuban Project (directed by the famous Tres Guitar player Pancho Amat) and frequently accompanies Grammy Award-winner Omara Portuondo, one of Cuba’s leading female vocalists. An accomplished Latin jazz composer and arranger, he is considered one of the most innovative and exciting pianists in Cuba. His latest CD is Con Cierto Tumbao, recorded with his band Los Nuevos Amigos.

NELSON GONZÁLEZ was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico in 1947. He developed a love for Afro-Caribbean music at an early age, which continued when his family moved to NYC at age 12, where Nelson began hanging out with Andy and Jerry Gónzalez, participating in their weekly jam sessions. It was Andy that lent Nelson his first Tres Guitar with its unique set of three pairs of double strings. Rising to the formidable challenge of playing this remarkable, most distinctly Cuban instrument, the Puerto Rican Nelson is widely regarded as the foremost master of the Tres Guitar, leading Cachao to dub him the “Ambassador of the Tres”. With a versatility that can range from Afro-Cuban to Salsa to Bolero, he became a member of the seminal bands Orquestra Harlow, Orquestra Revelación (and subsequently developing a close friendship with singer Ismael Miranda) and the groundbreaking Típica ’73 for four years. In a stunning musical career of more than 40 years, Nelson has been featured on seven Grammy-award winning albums, has backed stars such as Paul Simon, Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia, toured with Cachao, La India, Marc Anthony, the Conga Kings, Rubén Blades, Eddie Palmieri and Danny Rivera.