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Una Noche en Varadero

Una Noche en Varadero

Jeremy Bell

Una Noche en Varadero is a Salsa-inspired piece for Wind Ensemble incorporating elements of Latin music such as the 3-2 and 2-3 clave (which can be seen in the video to the right), bass drum tumbao, piano montunos, jazz harmonies, and stylistic scoops and falls. The piece also has a percussion feature using Latin percussion such as the guiro, timbales, and congas. 

Salsa music initially started to rise in New York City during the 1960s as many Cubans and Puerto Ricans (think West Side Story) who moved there began to fuse musical styles like the Cuban son montuno, cha cha, and mambo with elements of jazz as well as rock, R&B, and funk.  Salsa means "sauce" in Spanish and normally refers to the spiciness of Latin and Caribbean cuising, but in the context of the musical style, it carries a slightly different interpretation of frenzied, "hot," or wild. Una Noche en Varadero  begins somewhat "tamely" during the introduction until bar 31 when the conductor yells out, "Uno! Dos! Tres! Cuatro!" starting a faster tempo that gradually speeds up throughout the piece until it wild finale with the whole ensemble falling off their last pitch.

Una Noche en Varadero was selected as the winner of the SBMA composition contest winner for 2018 and received its premiere on March 3rd, 2018.  A link to the world premiere is available here.  

Una Noche en Varadero is a challenging piece, but one that is sure to rewarding and fun for players as well as the audience.  It provides a change of pace from the normal concert repertoire and would make a fantastic addition to any program, and is available for purchase through Bandworks Publications and J.W. Pepper.

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