Machito (1912–1984), born Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo in Havana, Cuba, was an influential Latin jazz musician. Machito played a huge role in the history of Latin jazz. His bands of the 1940s, especially the band named the Afro-Cubans, were among the first to fuse Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz improvisation. Machito was the front man, singer, conductor, and maraca player of the Afro-Cubans and its successors. Machito's brother-in-law Mario Bauza, the musical director, influenced Machito to hire jazz-oriented arrangers.
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