The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective
The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective was created by Jose Guzman during his graduate studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In 2020, Guzman was awarded the Urbana Arts Grant for the opportunity to pen new compositions using several Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms. The compositions were presented at the 2020 CU Jazz Fest. The group is celebrating its fifth year performing in Central Illinois and looking to grow in 2023 with the release and touring support of our full album, Fiesta at Caroga in the Summer. Their self-titled EP (2019) was has received airplay on radio stations around the country as well as in South America. “Maria Cervantes” has been included in playlists such as the Solar Latin Club from Colombia and was a semi-finalist on the Unsigned Only Music Competition 2020.
“With a sonorous cocktail where changüi mingles with modern harmonies and Latin jazz plays a major role, The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective is a sober and serious album that fulfills the role of entertaining without being frivolous. On the contrary, each musician’s virtuosity splashes through their repertoire.”
José Guzmán Borrero, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is a multi-genre guitarist who has performed with jazz ensembles, chamber groups, and rock bands. As a jazz guitarist, he has recorded on albums by Dimijtre Vasiljevic (released on Rope a Dope Records), KASA String Quartet, and Mr. Chair's Better Days. He leads the Latin jazz group, The Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective, which has released several albums on Spotify. Guzmán has performed as an artist in residence at the Caroga Lake Music Festival as both a classical and jazz guitarist. He has received grants from the city of Chicago's Department of Culture and Special Events, Urbana Arts, and the Mykytyn Composition Award for his composition "Isochronal: A Suite for Big Band."
He holds an undergraduate degree from the Puerto Rico Conservatory in Jazz Guitar and Afro-Caribbean Music, a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Theory and Composition, and a doctorate degree (DMA) from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in Jazz Guitar Performance with a minor in Composition.
Photo by Herminio Rodriguez