From salon to solar as the Faculty Concert Series goes Cuban

York music Professor Michael Marcuzzi (PhD ’05) headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York’s Music Department on Jan. 24 in a dynamic concert of Cuban music featuring a large ensemble of guest artists with a wide range of instruments, voice and live dance performance. The evening, titled "From Salon to Solar: A Retrospective of Cuban Music", takes place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East building on the Keele campus.

Marcuzzi’s research and publications focus on Cuba’s popular music and its African-derived religious traditions, and these interests have inspired the title and program of his concert.

Right: Michael Marcuzzi

"A ‘solar’ is the courtyard of the Spanish-style tenements, where improvised music like rumba would be played. ‘From salon to solar’ is a metaphor illustrating how this retrospective draws from both gentrified European traditions and also from African-derived folk music," said Marcuzzi.

The concert program will span more than a century of Cuban music, from the late 1800s to the present day. It includes works by famous composers such as Lecuona, Romeu, and Piñeiro, as well as recent work by Pedro Louis Ferrer. The musicians will be joined by dancers in traditional costumes: guest artists Orlando Cardoso and Melissa Noventa, a graduate student in York’s Dance Department, will be perform rumba and Afrocuban dance.

Marcuzzi and the dancers will share the stage with guest singers Daniel Stone and Laura Lindo, as well as instructors and graduate students from York’s Department of Music. Performers include Ruben Esguerra, Glenda del Monte, Tara Fernandez, David Font-Navarette, Julie Kwan, Rick Shadrach Lazar, Steve Mancuso, Paul Ormandy, Bernardo Padrón and the 12-member York Latin Ensemble, a charanga ensemble offlute, violins, cello, bass, piano and percussion.

Marcuzzi is a multi-instrumental performer, arranger, composer, ethnomusicologist and teacher with broad experience in classical, jazz, Cuban, Latin and popular music.  He has played trumpet as a sideman with artists such as Cleo Laine, Sid Caesar, Al Martino, The Four Tops, The Drifters and The Temptations, studied percussion in Havana and has performed with numerous musicians in Cuba and with many local Latin ensembles. His credits as arranger and composer include work with the University of Memphis Jazz Orchestra, California State University Latin Ensemble, and Toronto-based Latin ensembles such as Orquesta Fantasia, Cimarrón and Pacandé.

Tickets to the concert are $15, and $5 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the York University Box Office Web site or call ext. 55888.

This is the third of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature Mark Chambers, Catherine Robbin and Barry Elmes.