Afro-Cuban Ensemble

(The Mason Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Fall 2015 – Photo by Suzette Niess)
The Mason Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble embraces the rhythmic Afro Caribbean traditions married to the harmonies of jazz, through music of the past, present and future. Led by Joe McCarthy, the ensemble explores different eras and their composers, as well as new compositions that continue the tradition of crossing musical borders.


  • Stay tuned for Fall 2017 dates.


  • Stay tuned for Fall 2017 dates.

We are thrilled to announce the release of our CD, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Swing! This CD features fourteen (14) tracks and six (6) performing ensembles including the Mason Jazz Ensemble (Jim Carroll), Mason Jazz Combo I (Wade Beach), Afro-Cuban Ensemble (Joe McCarthy), Traditional Jazz Ensemble (Dave Robinson), Steel Pan Ensemble (Victor Provost) and the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Darden Purcell).  Recorded by CFA Audio Engineer, Billy Kessinger, eighty-six (86) students participated in this project!

Purchase CD at, iTunes or Amazon.  For hard copies and bulk ordering, e-mail:

Proceeds from CD sales benefit the GMU Jazz Foundation for scholarships, internships, trips and future recordings.  Thank you for your support!

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Check out “No Rest for the Bones of the Dead” (© Roland Vazquez/ ASCAP) from an upcoming release of Joe McCarthy’s Latin Grammy award winning Afro Bop Alliance Big Band. Follow Joe at

Past Concerts

combos- afro cuban (1)