"Olmos Got Rhythm!”
April 4, 2022
Laurel Heights Church
227 West Woodlawn Ave., SA, TX
Livestream link here
Brandon Guerra, percussion
Viviana Cumplido Wilson, flute
Paul Lueders, oboe
Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet
Sharon Kuster, bassoon
David Byrd-Marrow, horn
Augustin Lefhuss - Bebop Study for Woodwind Quintet
Valerie Coleman - AfroCuban Concerto for Wind Quintet
Paquito D'Rivera - Aires Tropicals
IV. Vals Venezolano
*programs and personnel subject to change
This program is sponsored in part by a generous gift from Dr. Sheila Swartzman, and Dr. Kenneth Bloom.
Program notes, written by Mark Teplitsky
Bebop Study for Woodwind Quintet
Augustin Lefhuss, living Austrian composer, was born in 1963 when pop and jazz music were not yet heavily integrated into a Classical audience’s palette. Despite major milestones being set by John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Nat King Cole, Lefhuss remained surrounded by classical music while growing up in Vienna. It wasn’t until Augustin met his high school teacher, Helmut Henesch, an accomplished classical pianist who accompanied the greats of the international jazz scene, that he was exposed to the literature outside of the classical world. A few years later Lefhuss was accepted to the jazz department at Vienna Conservatory for both music theory and composition. The Bebop Study for Woodwind Quintet is a short, but difficult study in syncopation that gets one’s foot tapping!
AfroCuban Concerto for Wind Quintet
The Afro-Cuban Concerto for wind quintet by Valerie Coleman, living American composer and flutist, was composed to focus on the title’s two incorporated regions, Africa and Cuba. The first movement, titled Afro, represents the essence of Santerían (African) religion that developed in Cuba during the late 19th century, a religion founded through a mix of Catholicism and the West African Yoruba religion. The introduction in the oboe and horn serves as a call to prayer and is followed by a 6/8 traditional Cuban clave rhythm over which each wind instrument takes a solo. The second movement, Vocalise, also begins with a prayer melody, but in the bassoon and horn. Similarly, this call is followed by a different Cuban rhythm, one in the form of a Habanera with a three note motif that repeats through the rest of the movement. The final movement, Danza, begins with a flurried flute solo that develops into a rhumba heavily featuring the bassoon. Valerie Coleman is the founder of Imani Winds, who have appeared across the entire United States and been nominated for a Grammy in 2005.
Born in Havana, Cuba, just a few years after the Second World War ended, Paquito D’Rivera began learning music from his father, conductor Tito Rivera. From age five, Paquito would attend popular jazz clubs across Havana with his father where he met and heard new musicians on a regular basis. Not much later, at age 25, Paquito and his friend, Chucho Valdés, founded the the group Irakere, which fused Jazz, Rock, Classical, and Cuban Music. However, under the Communist government in Cuba, Irakere was not yet able to flourish and Paquito D’Rivera sought asylum in the US, where he quickly became a phenomenon. Over the last twenty years, the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet could be heard performing with ensembles such as the National Symphony, London Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, Costa Rica National Symphony, Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and many more. Composed in 1994, the woodwind quintet, Aires Tropicals, was commissioned as a seven-movement work by the Aspen Wind Quintet. Written such that individual movements were performable on their own, the seven movements are titled: Alborada, Son, Habanera, Vals Venezolano, Dizzyness, Contradanza, and Afro. The work is extremely colorful and asks that the flutist and oboist also play the piccolo, alto flute, and English Horn.