Boricua Jazz Pioneer, Rafael Escudero

Repeating Islands

jazz.21b5.pngHere is an interesting piece by Tomás Peña. The article is part of the PR Project; it was first published in Now, it is also available through Centro Voices magazine. Here are a few excerpts with links to the sources below:

Among the first Boricuas to receive recognition in early jazz was Rafael Escudero. He was born in 1891 and well known in American jazz circles. Today Escudero is mostly forgotten. But this native of Manatí, Puerto Rico was an outstanding tubist and bassist and a link between the growing number of jazz bands and other orchestras in Washington, DC, New York and Puerto Rico.

Escudero was unique in that his departure for the United States predates World War I and the Jones Act (1917). At 21, he boarded the steamer Caracas in the port of San Juan and arrived in New York on June 13, 1912. An accomplished tuba…

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