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“Boricua Jazz: La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño · Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón”


In November 2020, author, journalist, and educator Wilbert (Wil) Sostre Maldonado released the second Spanish edition of “Boricua Jazz: La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño · Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón.”

Maldonado was introduced to jazz among other genres when he studied music and guitar in high school. The seed for “Boricua Jazz” was planted in 2005, when Maldonado wrote reviews for physical and web-based publications such as Jazz Times, Jazz Inside Magazine, and Latin Jazz Network, and realized there were few publications that contained credible information about Puerto Rican artists. Using existing biographical data, interviews, requests for information, books, magazines, articles, and websites, and drawing on his participation in the island’s music scene, Maldonado created “Boricua Jazz” (2019).

The Second Edition (2020) includes updated biographies, discographies, new photos, and a comprehensive index, which the first edition lacked. Also, it contains new biographical data, discographies, artists, and information about the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, which put Puerto Rico on the map as a jazz destination internationally from 1991 to 2017.


Chapter 1: Shines a light on jazz in New Orleans (the cradle of jazz), blues, ragtime, black military bands, Billie Holliday, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet, among others. The chapter also includes an excellent selection of early jazz recordings (1940-1960).

Chapter 2:  Focuses on Puerto Rican jazz and draws from Basilio Serrano’s groundbreaking book, “Puerto Rican Pioneers in Jazz – 1900 -1939 – Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz” (iUniverse, 2015), and other publications.

Chapters 3 & 4: Focuses on Puerto Rican jazz and draw from Basilio Serrano’s groundbreaking book, Puerto Rican Pioneers in Jazz – 1900 -1939 – Bomba Beats to Latin Jazz (iUniverse, 2015), and other publications.

Chapter 5: Is dedicated to the valve trombonist, composer, arranger, expert sight-reader, transcriber, and progenitor of Latin jazz, Juan Tizol.

Chapter 6: – Documents the interactions between jazz and salsa. Also, it highlights the trajectories of Puerto Rican musicians who made significant contributions to jazz on the island and in the States.

Chapter 7: Pays tribute to the independent organizations (1960-1970) that exposed the island to jazz, such as the San Juan Jazz Workshop, the Don Pedro Jazz Workshop, and the Caribbean Workshop. Also, the more prominent international festivals, such as the “Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest,” would not be possible without these organizations.

Chapter 8: Focuses on festivals, concerts, and jazz on the island.

Chapter 9: Proposes the emergence of Bomba Jazz (Afro-Puerto Rican Jazz), which is unique to the island.

Chapter 10: Brings readers to the present day and features emerging jazz players who are giving continuity to the history of the Boricua Jazz Masters.

“Boricua Jazz” credits the musicians, composers, arrangers, bandleaders, promoters, presenters, educators, universities, websites, radio show hosts, authors, historians, and journalists whose contributions to jazz were critical to the development and popularization of the genre on the island.

Also, the publication is a primer for readers who are curious and eager to learn about the links between Puerto Rican music and North American Jazz.

Sostre recently released a 3rd, English Edition of “Boricua Jazz”, which you can purchase HERE.


Wilbert (Wil) Sostre Maldonado is a freelance contributing writer, creator of “Jazzin’” magazine, and the author of the book “Boricua Jazz: Desde Rafael Hernández a Miguel Zenón, La Historia del Jazz Puertorriqueño.” Also, he is the host and producer of Puerto Rico Jazz @ Radio Vieques, “Brave New Radio,” William Paterson University & Radio Producer, 1380am, 98.5FM Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. His writings appear on Latin Jazz Network, Vid 90 magazine, All About Jazz, Jazz Inside Magazine, Jazztimes, and other publications.





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