Louisville Orchestra to Present Central and South American Music and Culture – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville
The Louisville Orchestra will showcase the sounds and cultures of Central and South America with its Latin American Music Festival this month.
The festival, which runs from March 4-26, will feature several concerts, events and “concert talk” sessions, hosted by 90.5 WUOL program director Daniel Gilliam. WUOL and WFPL are part of Louisville Public Media.
“The whole festival started with an initial commission idea for a new work,” said Louisville Orchestra director and conductor Teddy Abrams. “And this piece will be premiered at the first of the concerts that will take place next week.”
This piece is “Tentación” by MacArthur Fellow and Grammy-winning Cuban-American composer Dafnis Prieto.
“‘Tentación’ is a love story, or better said an imaginary love story, driven by the powerful law of attraction,” Dafnis said in a statement about the work.
When Abrams commissioned Prieto for the play, he asked for one thing.
“It’s for the audience to get up and lose control and want to dance during an orchestra concert, so there would be a real blend of the two cultural experiences,” Abrams said.
Abrams said Prieto’s piece meets that demand by featuring singers, dancers, percussion, piano, and jazz instruments in addition to orchestral strings.
Puerto Rican composer Angélica Negrón produced the other work specially commissioned for the festival.
His piece “Fractal Isles” deals with how his home in Puerto Rico is sometimes seen as nothing more than a resource and tourist attraction by outside forces.
The piece combines a full orchestra with sounds taken from the environment of Puerto Rico.
The two new works will be presented later this week.
During these concerts, the New York music collective People of Earth will replace the traditional soloists. They will step in to improve the timba, a style of salsa music that is highlighted in the show.
Abrams said that to make the festival as accessible as possible, programs, signage and everything featured on stage will be offered in English and Spanish.
Beyond the concerts, he said there will also be several community engagement events held around Louisville to provide more opportunities to experience music.
People of Earth will perform throughout the city, including Jefferson County Public Schools.
The Louisville Orchestra has also partnered with Louisville Refugee Ministries to organize performances of Cuban music.
Abrams believes that events like the Latin American Music Festival help broaden the audience and perception of the orchestra within the local community.
“I’ve always said the orchestra stage should reflect the community itself, and we have this wonderful, diverse community and the stage should be a place that not only welcomes people from all walks of life, but celebrates who they are. are all,” Abrams said.