GRAMMY nominee Sheila E. hosts Great Performances: Roots of Latin Jazz, a vibrant new program that takes viewers on a musical journey from Cuba to Miami and Africa to Brazil exploring the roots of Latin jazz. The film features Raíces Jazz Orchestra, led by two-time Latin GRAMMY-winning producer and musician Tony Succar and producer and educator Dr. Pablo Gil and is inspired by their love of big band jazz and their passion to celebrate its Latin roots. The documentary is a special co-presentation of Great Performances and Latino Public Broadcasting’s VOCES and premieres Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app.
Filmed in over five countries with musicians from all over the world, Great Performances: Roots of Latin Jazz tells the complex story of Latinx history and culture through the exuberant rhythms and infectious beats of the diverse musical genre known as Latin jazz. Showcasing original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards, such as “Eye of the Hurricane” by Herbie Hancock and “Mas que Nada” by Jorge Ben, the film features GRAMMY-winning artists Richard Bona (Cameroon) and Anaadi (Brazil), among others.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Great Performances and Raices Jazz Orchestra on this terrific special,” says Sandie Viquez Pedlow, Executive Producer of VOCES. “It’s a fascinating look at the diverse roots of Latin jazz as well as a great celebration of this wonderful music.”
Great Performances: Roots of Latin Jazz is co-directed by Tony Succar and David Rousseau, produced by Tony Succar with Donald H. Thoms as Executive Producer. For VOCES, Luis Ortiz is Series Producer and Sandie Viquez Pedlow is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.
Tony Succar is a two-time Latin GRAMMY award-winning artist, producer and composer/arranger. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Miami, Florida, Succar earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance from Florida International University in 2008 and his master’s degree in 2010. In 2018, Tony was nominated for the Latin GRAMMY for Best Tropical Song, “Me Enamoro Más de Ti.” He received four nominations in 2019 for his album, Más de Mi, winning Producer of the Year and Best Salsa Album and making history as the youngest winner to ever win both categories. Tony went on to direct and produce his documentary “Más de Mi” chronicling his journey from unknown indie artist to Latin Grammy winner, which he released in May 2021, in tandem with his new album Live in Peru. His musical diversity is well-known in the industry, having worked with an impressive array of talented artists, including Tito Nieves, India, Jon Secada, Marc Anthony, Sheila E., Arturo Sandoval, Judith Hill, and Obie Bermudez, among others. Tony’s debut album, UNITY: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, had tremendous success, reaching Billboard’s #1 Tropical Album Music Chart, iTunes’ #1 World Latin Chart, and also became a primetime PBS special.
Dr. Pablo Gil Rodulfo is an artist with an original style and a compelling body of work. His creative and professional activities include jazz performance (saxophones, woodwinds, and keyboards), composition, arrangement, production, music for movies and documentaries, and conducting large jazz ensembles. He has performed or recorded with many jazz greats, such as Mike Stern, Edward Simon, Dave Samuels and the Caribbean jazz Project, The Ellington Big Band, Adam Rogers, Dave Kikoski, Mike Holober, Steve Turre, Ron Carter, Patato Valdez, Juan Pablo Torres, among others. He holds a Doctoral degree in music from the University of Miami and is currently the musical director and saxophonist at Unimas’ national TV show “Enamorandonos.”
About GREAT PERFORMANCES
Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Great Performances is produced by The WNET Group.
Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus, public television viewers and PBS.
Produced by Latino Public Broadcasting, the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES features the best of Latino arts, culture and history and shines a light on current issues that impact Latino Americans. Devoted to exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience, VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS app. VOCES is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Luis Ortiz is series producer; Sandie Viquez Pedlow is executive producer. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About The WNET Group
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the nonprofit parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; and ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider. The WNET Group also operates NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network, and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. Community-supported, The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us.