KNKX: The spicy side of the violin on Jazz Caliente

Sweet, sad or sassy: There’s nothing quite like the sound of a violin. Three fine fiddlers grace the playlist this Saturday.

The violin came to Latin jazz through a style of music called “charanga,” as did the flute. And just like the flute, the violin’s history in Cuba has deep roots.

The predecessor of the violin, the Italian viol, was in use in Cuba in the 16th century. French natives and French Creoles who escaped the slave revolt in Haiti (1791-1804) settled in Cuba and brought their modern violins with them. The ever-innovative Cubans quickly adopted the sweet strings for dance orchestras.

We’ve got three violinists for you this week on Saturday’s Jazz Caliente:

German violinist Gregor Huebner has developed a signature sound inspired by traditional Latin American music.

A native of Detroit and classically trained, a multi-Grammy nominee, MacArthur Fellow and Doris Duke Award recipient, Regina Carter has recorded several CDs, ranging from classical music performed on a violin once owned by Paganini to music of the American South and Africa as she traced her own roots.

Daughter of a Chicago Symphony violinist, Susie Hansen learned and played all styles of music. When she moved to southern California over 30 years ago, her focus was on Latin dance music and Latin jazz.


Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio. More >