Lionel Belasco (1881-1967) was born in Trinidad to a Creole mother and Sephardic Jewish father. Growing up as a piano player he was more an observer than a participant in Trinidad's Calypso scene but he began writing music, leading bands for parties and, as he traveled and lived throughout Latin America, he absorbed influences from many different cultures into his compositions. Belasco eventually landed in Harlem in the 1920s and '30s where he made a name for himself as a Calypsonian, writing, playing and recording for New York's burgeoning West Indian population.

"Las Palmas de Panama" is actually a medley of two separate Belasco compositions, "Las Palmas de Maracaïbo," a Venezuelan waltz, and "Panama Paseo no. 1," originally written on the completion of the Panama Canal. In order to segue between the different time signatures, we worked out a way to use the cross-rhythm of the waltz to set up the two-beat of the Paseo.

This is our third recording of music from Lionel Belasco (see also "Carmencita" and "Esperanzas"). In contrast to its Viennese cousin, a Venezuelan waltz is an earthier, more polyrhythmic dance. The term "Paseo" ("walk" in Spanish) refers to a section of the dance where couples promenade onto the floor.


from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You, track released January 1, 2018
Recorded October 13, 2017 at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA

Panorama Jazz Band:
Ben Schenck - Clarinet, Accessory Percussion
Tomas Majcherski - Alto Saxophone
Charlie Halloran - Trombone
Michael Ward-Bergeman - Accordion
Patrick Mackey - Tenor Banjo
Matt Perrine - Tuba
Doug Garrison - Drum Set, Guiro

Music by Lionel Belasco (PD) and arranged by Ben Schenck (Snack Daddy Music/ASCAP).
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Lu Rojas at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA
Cover photo by Greg Miles.
Graphic design by Ben Schenck


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Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana

"New Orleans' genre fluid jazz band"

The Panorama Jazz Band and the Panorama Brass Band have been working steadily in New Orleans and beyond since 1995. Many hundreds of nightclub gigs, festivals, weddings, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades have added to this community of musicians' collective experience, all of which they bring to each of their recordings. ... more

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