Tango and the Habanera

When the Afro-Cuban habanera, a combination of words and rhythm, arrived in Buenos Aires after 1850, it triggered a sequence that led to the milonga, canyengue, and tango. In New Orleans the habanera bass went straight into jazz. Jelly Roll Morton, who almost certainly learned it from Mexican bands in New Orleans, called it the “Latin tinge.” In the 1970s the popular New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair was alternating habanera bass and a boogie-woogie riff with his left hand while playing triplets with his right. (Thompson)