Wed.-Sat., Nov. 12-15, 2003
Black Box Theatre (Bud Walton Theatre)
Admission: free to students, faculty, staff
Cuban writers have produced some of the most innovative and powerful literature of the 20th century. Julio Matas, the author of Deviations, is probably considered the best of the 20th century Cuban playwrights. Deviations delivers an almost mythic tale of a cane plantation owner who hires an assassin to do away with the owner's bastard son (conceived by his wife and her unusual lover, a Quasimodo-like character). The assassin becomes attracted to the owner's two daughters, and eventually runs off with one of them.
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Son Venezuela, with its sizzling sounds of Latin and Caribbean music, has become one of Kansas City’s most popular dance bands. Son Venezuela features a mix of salsa, mambo, merengue, calypso, tamboreras, and cumbia. The band consists of Luis E. Guillén, lead and background vocals, tambora, and percussion; Kelfel Aqüi, lead and background vocals, cuatro, and percussion; Marc Marcano, keyboards and background vocals; Byron Jones, trumpet and flugelhorn; Daniel Adams, alto saxophone and flute; Michael Walker, trombone; Glenn Gray, bass; Fernando Reynoso, congas and percussion; and Luiz Moreira, timbales.
Son is the predominant musical force in Cuban song and dance and the most influential element in popular Latin dance music. It originated early in the 20th century and became the island’s dominant Afro-Cuban musical genre. Son forms the core of salsa, which became popular in New York in the 1960s.
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2003
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Quimbombó blends Cuban rhythms, primarily the són (the contagious dance music championed by the Buena Vista Social Club that is the main ingredienct in salsa), with elements of jazz and blues to create a lively and unique sound. Quimbombó (pronounced keem-bohm-BO) is the title of a classic Cuban són popularized by Conjunto Chappotín in the 1950s; a word of Congolese origin, it means "okra" in Spanish. Formed in 1995, the group has performed at many venues including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Brooklyn Museum, Metronome, the BAM Café, the Brooklyn Public Library, and Bistro Latino.
Percussionist/composer/arranger Nick Herman has more than 30 arrangements of jazz and Cuban dance music to his credit. He studied in Cuba and Brazil and at the Drummer Collective and Harbor Performing Arts Center with members of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, AfroCuba de Matanzas, and Cutumba (leading folkloric group in Santiago de Cuba). He has also studies at Mannes College of Music, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Jazzmobile, and Manhattan School of Music. His articles on Cuban music have appeared in Aché and the All Music Guide.
David Oquendo, the lead vocalist, is a native of Havana and an experienced interpreter of many diverse styles of Cuban music. He founded the renowned folkloric group Raices Habaneras and has worked with many top artists including Paquito D'Rivera, Cachao, Compay Segundo, Willie Chirino, Marc Anthony, and Johnny Pacheco.
Steve Gluzband (trumpet, flugelhorn) is a veteran of the New York jazz and Latin scenes. He spent five years with Ray Barretto's orchestra and has recorded with artists such as Celia Cruz and The Talking Heads. He currently performs with a variety of New York bands including Nelson Gonzalez & Son Mundano, the Jet Set Six, Dem Brooklyn Bums, and Jimmy Bosch's Salsa Dura.
Jay Collins (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute) has performed and recorded with many major artists, including Bobby Sanabria, Kenny Barron, Gregg Allman, Andrew Hill and Eddie Bobé. In addition to directing his group, the Jay Collins Band, he co-leads the Latin jazz unit Mambo Macoco.
Chacho Schartz (tres, vocals) has performed and taught guitar in Argentina, Brazil, and Israel for more than 20 years. He currently co-leads Pan Con Timba and Manana and plays with many New York artists including Retumba, Son de Madre, Junior Vega, Ernie Agosto y La Conspiración, and Nicky Marrero.
Renato Thoms (congas, vocals), a native of Panama, has performed with many major figures in Salsa and Latin jazz, including Eddie Palmieri, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Miles Peña, Paquito D'Rivera, and Hilton Ruiz. He holds a master's degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music.
Jennifer Vincent (bass) is very active on the New York Latin and jazz scenes and has been featured in Downbeat. She has performed and recorded with Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, the late Cab Calloway, Abbey Lincoln, Geri Allen, Pasión, Bobby Sanabria, the Flying Neutrinos (where she recorded with Doc Cheatham), and Jon Hendricks.
Tuesday, Nov. 11
Webster Hall Auditorium
The Southern Jazz Orchestra, with guest soloist/master Cuban percussionist Michael Spiro and under the direction of Dr. Phillip C. Wise, presented a jazz concert in the Cuban style. The performance included the world premiere of a commissioned piece called “Cubaneando” (Cuban jazz mambo) by composer Robert Washut for MSSU's Cuba Semester. Dr. Washut is a professor of music at the University of Northern Iowa, where he has been director of jazz studies since 1980. An accomplished jazz composer and arranger, he leads the acclaimed Orquesta Alto Maiz Salsa Band.