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Leymarie, Isabelle

LEYMARIE, Isabelle

PERSONAL: Female. Education: Columbia University, Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Playing jazz piano.

ADDRESSES: Home—Paris, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Continuum Publishing Co., 575 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022.

CAREER: Pianist, musicologist, author, and filmmaker. Yale University, New Haven, CT, former assistant professor of African-American studies; has taught at other schools, including New School University and Boricua College. Producer of radio programs on jazz and Latin music in Canada and Europe.

AWARDS, HONORS: Prix de Muses (France), for Cuba and Its Music.


Cuban Fire: Musiques populaires d'expression cubaine, Outremesures, c. 2001, translation published as Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz, Continuum (New York, NY), 2002.

Du tango au reggae: Musique noires d'Amérique latine et de Caraïbes, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1996.

Musiques Caraïbes, Actes Sud (Arles, France), 1996.

Dizzy Gillespie, CDLivre (Paris, France), 1998.

Les Griots wolof du Sénégal, Maisoneauve et Larose (Paris, France), 1999.

Also author of La salsa et la jazz latin. Author and director of documentary films Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy and Latin Jazz in New York. Contributor to periodicals, including UNESCO Courier.

SIDELIGHTS: Isabelle Leymarie is a pianist and musicologist who has specialized in the study of Latin music. In her book Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz, she focuses on the Spanish, African, and French influence that have combined to make a unique Cuban sound. From the 1920s through what Leymarie refers to as the "Golden Age" of the 1940s and 1950s to contemporary Cuba, she charts the development of conga, cha-cha-cha, son, mambo, rhumba, guaracha, pachanga, and other musical forms that have generated in that country and spread around the world. She also notes the influence this music has exerted on classical composers from Ravel and Debussy to Gershwin. In Library Journal contributor Dave Valencia praised Cuban Fire for its "scholarly, sequential style" and a text that transmits its author's enthusiasm for her subject with "ardor and verve." Lee Prosser dubbed Leymarie "one of the finest authors writing today about Cuban music," in an appraisal of the book for, while in a posting on the online Jazzscript a contributor praised Cuban Fire as a "major reference work" that tells a "thrilling story."



Library Journal, October 15, 2002, Dave Valencia, review of Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz, p. 74.


Jazz, (April 3, 2003), Lee Prosser, review of Cuban Fire.

Jazzscript, (May 7, 2003), review of Cuban Fire.*

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