Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Latino Music, From Tango Back to the 16th Century

Many thanks to journalist Vivien Schweitzer and The New York Time Music section for this nice review of Wall to Wall Sonidos.

Since their founding in 1978, the annual Wall to Wall 12-hour marathons at Symphony Space have focused on a single composer; a genre, like opera; or a region, as did last year’s survey of music from behind the Iron Curtain. On Saturday the Wall to Wall Sonidos program explored Latino culture, with performers and composers from Spain and Central and South America representing myriad styles, including 16th-century vocal polyphony, tango, contemporary string quartets and Latin jazz.


That segment, which concluded after midnight, also included the premiere of Arturo O’Farrill’s “Still Small Voice,” with the composer conducting the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and the LaGuardia High School Senior Chorus.

Mr. O’Farrill was inspired by the idea of conscience, using biblical and Eastern texts and concepts to illuminate his work. No libretto was provided, and diction wasn’t always clear, but there were plenty of colorful moments throughout, including the babble of voices narrating the story of the Prophet Elijah at Mount Horeb, jazzlike choral writing and a lively instrumental movement. Both chorus and orchestra performed with panache.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Muñequitos de Matanzas and Michel Herrera to Perform at the Chico O'Farrill School of Jazz

The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance announced today that members of Cuba's legendary Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, as well as Cuban saxophonist Michel Herrera, will perform at its fundraiser benefiting the Chico O'Farrill School of Jazz (COSJ) to be held Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City from 6-9PM.

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba's premiere Afro-Cuban folkloric group, recently concluded a three-day residency at Symphony Space in their first visit to New York since 2002. Current Muñequitos members Ana Pérez and Luís Cancino Morales will perform, as well as special guests Ramón “Sandy" García Pérez, Roman Díaz, Eddy Mauricio Herrera, Lisa Maria Salb, and Wilson “Chembo" Corniel.

Read more here.