Father, pianist, composer, arranger, educator, ethnomusicologist, mentor, author, founder/musical director (1983) of Europe’s greatest Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz group, ‪#‎NUEVAMANTECA‬ ‪#‎latinjazz‬ ‪#‎AfroCubanjazz‬ ‪#‎JanHartong‬ ‪#‎pianist‬ ‪#‎composer‬ ‪#‎arranger‬

“Dearest Jan, we all miss you terribly. ‘Wo’ happen meng?’

You have done so much for the music, and for all of us ! The life of many, many, many people would be completely different and with a lot less music and passion if you would not have been. Your spirit is within us. I thank you infinitely for everything, fare well my dear mentor, bandleader and friend, forever.”

wrote  NILS FISCHER (bongocero, percussionist Nueva Manteca)

Photos : 1. Jan Hartong 2. Nueva Manteca w/ special guest Bobby Sanabria c. 2001

R.I.P Jan Laurens Hartong

For my good friend, mentor and beautiful person.

BvdD : “Thank you for your inspiration. music, great concerts, funny moments, knowledge about an unbelievable number of things, spiritual advise, personal support, understanding, generosity, open mindedness and all the other things you shared”
wrote Ben van den Dungen -Nueva Manteca tenor saxophonist



All the notes that initiate  this posting were written by percussionists BOBBY SANABRIA, NILS FISCHER and saxophonist BEN van den DUNGEN. I copied them from the postings they shared with me thru Facebook.

What can I say about NUEVA MANTECA ? 

I  knew their music while debuting as an Assistant (radio helper)  of Ismael Rensoli in his program TE PROPONGO in Radio Rebelde  circa 1991.  He was preparing the sound tracks for our radio show (una Revista Nocturna for Friday Nights – as we used to label this kind of transmissions  in Havana) and my ears were filled with fantastic JAZZ beats !.

Days after, I was taken, trapped  by the sound of one of our “curtains” background music used during the talks of our host Eva Leticia and was  immediately taken by this attractive AFROCUBAN JAZZ sound so well played !

When I began my inquiries, Rensoli told me that he had copied it from an album that EMILIANO SALVADOR had borrowed him. Yes, this was exactly the link, EMILIANO and JAN two piano masters.

A few years after, I shared very happy moments with saxophonist BEN van den DUNGEN hanging out and partying in my Havana City, and there began the exchange of CDs with the music of Ben and Jarmo Quintet,  Nueva Manteca and The Lucas van Merwijk Cubop City Big Band.

LUCAS is Nueva Manteca’s drummer and one of the great drummers of HOLLAND and the world,  and he used to go to Pogolotti “a Rumbero borough” to the house of drummer OSCARITO VALDES Jr., to study percussion and I also met him casually while biking from Pogolotti to El Vedado. It was a short talk due to the traffic and the heat, but it all went fine.

THE DUTCH CONNECTION continued with my friend BEATRIZ AGUIAR “Bea” a Uruguayan singer and songwriter with domicile in Amsterdam, the unequal DUTCH capital city, and with every visitor to CUBA, Bea sent me more and more music.

The album MORE AND MORE (Benny More y Mas) by Lucas van Mewrwijk et his Cubop City Big Band has lived with me  since  then, and it was my soundtrack to a Lecture in Havana in 2006, Tribute to El Barbaro del Ritmo, Benny More.


The audience was “mouth opened”  when I presented the version of YIRI YIRI BON by Lucas Big Band, and it was also a good thing to revive and update the importance of  composer and dancer SILVESTRE MENDEZ.

That album was arranged by Edy Martinez the great Colombian piano master.

Up to what my memory hard-drive can keep, LUCAS CCBB has recorded three Tribute albums to three Cuban acts : Machito and The AfroCubans, Benny More and Arsenio Rodriguez.

I discovered the ARSENIO Tribute when I came to VERMONT in 2006, searching in the University of Vermont radio station library where I began my “international”  DJ Host career in December 2006 in my program GLOBAL WARMING.

In my first trip back to HAVANA in 2009, I returned to VERMONT with NIGHT PEOPLE a NUEVA MANTECA masterpiece that Ben van den Dungen had gifted me, and then I found another treasure that is NUEVA MANTECA TRIBUTE TO NEW ORLEANS – memories of which have been played abundantly in my radio transmissions here in VERMONT,  USA.

With NUEVA MANTECA Tribute to New Orleans I travelled to Havana in December 2015, and with my THE OPEN DOOR Jazz radio show partner-in-crime ESTANISLAO CORDERO we served its content  in two succulent NIGHT JAMS in RADIO METROPOLITANA. It made the dial vibrate of emotions !

BUT this is not all, THE DUTCH CONNECTION still lingers on with NILS FISCHER’s TIMBAZO, and BYE-YA “The Dutch Latin Jazz Quintet”, RUMBATA and countless others.

I am already thinking that we must honor “LAMBRIK” with a succulent JAM in THE CUBAN BRIDGE @ WWPV 92.5  FM  “The Mike”.

Rest in power, JAN LAURENS HARTONG  “piano con yunfa in the European continent”

Toni Basanta


from VERMONT The Green Mountain State in the US





DJ Host of t

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