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Jacques Braunstein

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Jacques Braunstein August 30, 1931 – November 27, 2009 was a Venezuelan musician, economist, publicist and disc jockey

A native of Bucharest, Romania, Braunstein studied violin at age six and later, at age thirteen, took up the double bass Raised in a Jewish home, he moved to Brazil with his family before settling in Caracas, Venezuela in the early 1950s, becoming a Venezuelan citizen in 1955 Fluent in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, he studied at the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned two post-graduate degrees in economics and chemical industry

In his new home Braunstein, along with his father, founded the firm Braunstein Asociados, an advertising agency which lasted for more than five decades Besides this, he was an avid jazz collector and a true connoisseur of the bridge whist game, but found time to teach marketing techniques at universities throughout Venezuela Nevertheless, he was recognized as an international ambassador for jazz and its promotion as an art form

Since arriving to Venezuela, Braunstein became an active participant in the local jazz community for most of his life, as founder of his radio show Idioma del Jazz in 1955 and the Caracas Jazz Club in 1956 On August 12 of this year, he promoted the first official jazz concert in Venezuela at Caracas National Theater inviting the clarinetist and saxophonist John LaPorta, who was backed by several jazz bands during his stay in Caracas, while a selection of the repertoire performed at the concert was released under the title South American Brothers by Fantasy Records

Since then, Braunstein gained quite a reputation over the years for coming up by organizing concerts with notables jazz groups led by Nat Adderley, Monty Alexander, Jeff Berlin, Eddie Bert, Randy Brecker, Louis Armstrong, Gary Burton, Charlie Byrd, Chick Corea, Paco de Lucía, Paquito D'Rivera, Bill Evans, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, Winton Marsalis, Woody Herman, Barney Kessel, Tito Puente, Miroslav Vitouš and Paul Winter, among others

For many years, Braunstein also worked as a foreign correspondent for magazines as Billboard, Down Beat and Paris Match He also was honored by the U S Embassy in Venezuela on the 50th anniversary of his weekly jazz radio show, in virtue of his public profile, his love of jazz, and his becoming an ambassador of good will for the radio listeners during more than 2500 continuous editions from 1955 through 2005

As Braunstein said in his own words, Paz y Jazz, he devoted a significant part of his life to studying comparative jazz styles and techniques, motivating his audiences at Idioma del Jazz, which lasted 54 years, until a few days before his death in Caracas, at the age of 78, after suffering a heart failure


  • Enciclopedia de la Música en Venezuela – Directores José Peñín y Walter Guido, Tomo 1, pag 220 Publisher: Fundación Bigott, Caracas, 1998 Language: Spanish ISBN 980-6428-03-X
  • En idioma de jazz: memorias provisorias de Jacques Braunstein – Jacqueline Goldberg Publisher: Fundación para la Cultura Urbana, Caracas, 2004 Language: Spanish ISBN 980-6553-15-2
  • My Sax Life: A Memoir – Paquito D'Rivera, Ilan Stavans, pag 125 Publisher: Northwestern University Press, United States, 2005 Language: English ISBN 0-8101-2218-9
  • The guitar in Venezuela: a concise history to the end of the 20th century – Alejandro Bruzual, Anna Moorby, pag 135 Publisher: Doberman-Yppan, 2005 Language: English ISBN 2-89503-300-5

External links

  • Fantasy Records checklist, compiled by Jim Harrod & François Ziegler, March 2004
  • Google books – Billboard, June 15, 1968, page 56
  • Steve Khan In Memoriam
  • Andy Martin and Vic Lewis Paz y Jazz tribute

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