The Search for Trumpeter Theodore "Cuban" Bennett
Pittsburgh's Theodore "Cuban" Bennett was Benny Carter's cousin and hailed from McDonald, PA , a small town southwest of Pittsburgh. "Cuban" played trumpet, and according to both Benny and Roy Eldridge was "great". Unfortunately, he had a problem with alcohol, left NYC and eventually returned to Pittsburgh. He never recorded, but is that true?
I recently had a lengthy telephone conversation with Tom Roberts, pianist, former Vince Giordano band member, and all-round Jazz savvy person. Both he and Joe Kennedy IV have done extensive research on "Cuban". (So, who is Joe Kennedy IV? He is Joe Kennedy, Jr.'s great-grandson. The senior Joe Kennedy was a violinist and a founding member of the Four Strings, whose personnel included a very young Ahmad Jamal.)
Moving on: Joe, IV's occupation and business is researching African American ancestry for clients tracing their lineage. He is also the family repository for all "Cuban" Bennett's memorabilia and artifacts. He has suggested there is possibly documented audio of "Cuban." I've been given the details and listening material(s) via Tom and plan to engage in some critical listening. I think a trip to Pittsburgh is in my future for a meeting with both Tom and Joe IV. Stay tuned!
- Melissa Jones, member of the Unilateral Hot Club of Morristown, 2018