Toward the end of the 20th century, Latin jazz instrumental soloists claimed the limelight, and a number of outstanding performers emerged, including pianists Michel Camilo and Gonzalo Rubalcaba; saxophonists Justo Almario and Javier Zalba; and percussionists such as Giovanni Hidalgo and Horacio (“El Negro”) Hernández.Meanwhile, Chucho Valdés became a prominent leader of small ensembles.More recent luminaries include pianists Danilo Pérez and Roberto Fonseca, saxophonist David Sánchez, and drummer Dafnis Prieto.Latin jazz continued to gain popularity and critical acclaim, and by the early 21st century it had become one of the most dynamic and diverse components of the jazz world.
New generations of musicians expanded the Afro-Cuban foundation of the music by adding elements from other Latin American traditions.
In 1930 he moved to New York City, where he played with singer and bandleader Noble Sissle.
Bauzá became music director for the Chick Webb Orchestra and played saxophone and trumpet in the bands of Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, and Cab Calloway.
Moreover, as a wave of young instrumentalists—including virtuoso performers on piano, flute, saxophone and trumpet—brought the phrasing and instrumental articulation of Cuban and Puerto Rican motifs and melodies to the music, the style’s earlier dependence on percussionists began to diminish.
The Cuban orchestra Jesús (“Chucho”) Valdés (son of Bebo Valdés) and featuring soloists such as clarinetist-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, the group was recognized for its innovative fusion of jazz, Western classical music, rock, funk, and Afro-Cuban religious music as exemplified by the collection Fort Apache Band from New York City, led by percussionist and trumpeter Jerry González and his brother, bassist Andy González, offered listeners a return to Latin-bebop fusions with Latin jazz versions of the music of jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk.