Alberto Socarrás

Alberto Socarrás Estacio, (Manzanillo, 19 September 1908 – New York City, 26 August 1987), was a Cuban-American flautist who played both Cuban music and jazz.

Socarras started learning the flute in 1915 with his mother, Dolores Estacio, and later joined the provincial music conservatory at Santiago de Cuba. He completed his studies at the Timothy Music Conservatory in New York, gaining the equivalent title to a doctorate in music. In the middle 1920s he moved to Havana to join the theatre orchestra of Arquimedes Pous, where his sister Estrella was playing the violin. He also played in one or two early Cuban jazz bands (Early Cuban jazz) before moving to the United States in 1927.

In the US he recorded with Clarence Williams in 1927 with his first flute solo taking place on "Shooting the Pistol" on the Paramount label that year, making him the earliest known jazz flute soloist (earlier even than Wayman Carver). He played with The Blackbirds revue between 1928 and 1933, and plays on Lizzie Miles's 1928 recording "You're Such a Cruel Papa to Me". In 1933 he played with Benny Carter, then led the all-female Cuban band Anacaona on a tour of Europe in 1934. In 1935 he played with Sam Wooding and led his own bands from 1935 into the 1940s; his sidemen included Edgar Sampson and Mongo Santamaría, and Cab Calloway as a singer. He also played with Erskine Hawkins in 1937. He made one recording session in 1935, with four numbers. He also recorded for RCA Victor in 1947 and SMC Pro-Arte c. 1950. He recorded again in 1955, cutting Afro Cuban versions of four Duke Ellington compositions. In 1956, he recorded two LPs for Decca. In 1959, he appeared on the exotic "Tambo!" LP by Tito Puente for RCA Victor.

In the 1950s he took part in Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone on TV, and offered concerts of cult music at the Carnegie Hall in New York. In the 60s he dedicated himself to teaching, but also made some recordings. In 1983 he was filmed by Gustavo Paredes playing the flute in a TV documentary Música.

Birth and Death Data: Born September 19th, 1908 (Manzanillo), Died August 26th, 1987 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1928 - 1957

Roles Represented in DAHR: flute, composer, saxophone, director, leader, alto saxophone, performer, clarinet, lyricist, arranger

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 33 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-77459 10-in. 8/14/1933 Consuelo Alberto Socarrás y Consuelo Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, composer, director  
Victor BS-77460 10-in. 8/14/1933 La conga Alberto Socarrás y Consuelo Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, composer, director  
Victor BS-77461 10-in. 8/14/1933 398 Alberto Socarrás y Consuelo Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, composer, director  
Victor BS-77462 10-in. 8/14/1933 Reparte las propinas Alberto Socarrás y Consuelo Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-77691 10-in. 9/20/1933 Consuelo Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, composer, director, flute  
Victor BS-77692 10-in. 9/20/1933 La conga Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, composer, director, flute  
Victor BS-77693 10-in. 9/20/1933 398 Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Jazz/dance band composer, director, instrumentalist, saxophone, flute  
Victor BS-77694 10-in. 9/20/1933 Reparte de propinas Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, director, flute  
Victor BS-77699 10-in. 9/21/1933 Despierto holgazán Alberto Socarrás Clarinet solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, clarinet, composer  
Victor BS-77981 10-in. 9/21/1933 Goyo Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Instrumental quartet instrumentalist, clarinet, composer  
Victor BS-77982 10-in. 9/21/1933 Yoyo Orquesta Alberto Socarrás Instrumental quartet composer, instrumentalist, clarinet  
Victor BS-83594 10-in. 7/30/1934 Flauta y saxofón Trío Matamoros Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal duet composer, lyricist  
Columbia W146430 10-in. 6/12/1928 You're such a cruel papa to me Lizzie Miles Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with instrumental trio instrumentalist, flute, alto saxophone  
Columbia W146431 10-in. 6/12/1928 My dif'rent kind of man Lizzie Miles Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with instrumental trio instrumentalist, alto saxophone, flute  
Decca 65744 10-in. 6/7/1939 Siga contando hasta diez Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 65745 10-in. 6/7/1939 La pena de Gabino Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 65746 10-in. 6/7/1939 Casate y veras Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 65747 10-in. 6/7/1939 Timoteo Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 65748 10-in. 6/7/1939 Eres tu solo tu Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 65749 10-in. 6/7/1939 Sara sarita mia Alberto Socarras performer  
Decca 100965 11/14/1956 Frenesi Alberto Socarrás instrumentalist, flute  
Decca 100966 11/14/1956 Hora staccato Alberto Socarrás instrumentalist, flute  
Decca 100967 11/14/1956 Capricho brujo Alberto Socarrás instrumentalist, flute  
Decca 100968 11/14/1956 Madrid Alberto Socarrás instrumentalist, flute  
Decca 101366 1/15/1957 Tiger rag Alberto Socarrás instrumentalist, flute  
(Results 1-25 of 33 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Socarrás, Alberto," accessed November 27, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110509.

Socarrás, Alberto. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 27, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110509.

"Socarrás, Alberto." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 27 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110509

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