U.S. Postal Service unveils Latin Jazz stamp for Hispanic Heritage Month

LatinaLista — Yesterday, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008, the United States Postal Service unveiled a new stamp they hope especially appeal to Latinos and lovers of Latin jazz everywhere.
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The Latin Jazz commemorative stamp was dedicated at the National Postal Museum in a special ceremony featuring a guest performance by the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Candido Camero. Camero, since the 1950s, is credited with the evolution and rising popularity of Latin jazz in the United States.

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. Like jazz, it relies on instruments such as the piano, saxophone and bass to play and improvise harmonies and melodies. MostLatin jazz 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. Since then, new instruments like the flute and trumpet have been added to the Latin jazz sound.

The stamp was created by San Francisco-based artist Michael Bartalos who wanted “to capture the upbeat, energetic and romantic spirit that characterizes” the genre.
So, what’s more natural than a tropical evening with three musicians playing bass, piano and conga drums. The bright colors and bold graphics add to the ensemble of elements that create a lasting tribute to a well-deserved contribution to the national culture.
The 42¢ stamp is now available for purchase.

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