People, Places and Events on Stamps

Latin Jazz

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The Latin Jazz stamp was issued on September 8, 2008.

The Latin Jazz stamp celebrates the rich musical heritage of Latin jazz. Latin jazz is an improvisational and rhythmic style of music that combines elements of jazz with musical traditions rooted in Africa, Europe and the Americas. It relies on instruments such as the piano, saxophone and bass for harmonies and melodies and often adds a complex rhythm section, which can include conga drums, the bongo, maracas, the cowbell or other percussion instruments.

Building on the marriage of Caribbean and North American music styles that had begun in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Latin jazz spread throughout the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, along with the growing popularity of Latin rhythms and dance styles. Enthusiasm for Latin jazz reached new heights during the 1940s and 1950s, and since then, new instruments like the flute and trumpet have been added to the Latin jazz sound.