Performing together at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, the legendary champion of Cuban son SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA IGNACIO PIÑEIRO and the longest running charanga band outside of Cuba ORQUESTA BROADWAY.
This double bill will perform on Saturday, om January 16th, 2016 at 8pm. Septeto Nacional de Cuba, formed in 1927 by Ignacio Piñeiro, are the paragon interpreters of son cubano, a style of music and dance that originated in Cuba and gained worldwide popularity in the 1930s. The always-in-demand New York based Orquesta Broadway is celebrating more than 50 years as one of the most popular charanga-style bands, a form of Cuban dance music, first popularized in the 1940s that combines classical musical instruments with African rhythms. Produced by Leo Tizol.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for Viva Cuba! SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA IGNACIO PIÑEIRO and ORQUESTA BROADWAY, on Saturday, January 16th, 2016 are $60, $55, and $45, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low cost on-site parking available for $5.
SPECIAL PRE-SALE OFFER: Tickets purchased at the Lehman Center box office on or before December 31st, 2015 will also include a high resolution DVD of the SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA IGNACIO PIÑEIRO concert that was filmed at the prestigious musical stage of the Basilica of the Convent of San Francisco of Assisi, located in the historic center of Havana, Cuba.
SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA was founded in 1927 by the wildly prolific Cuban bassist and composer IGNACIO PIÑEIRO MARTÍNEZ (1888-1969), who was known as “El Poeta del Son” (“The Poet of Son”). Since then, the group has seen an array of Cuban musical superstars pass through its ranks, including Abelardo Barroso, Miguelito Valdés, Bienvenido Granda and Carlos Embale. Today, Eugenio “Raspa” Rodríguez and Francisco “El Matador” Oropesa carry Piñeiro’s musical torch as leaders of the group, keeping the original son and rumba sound, while also incorporating elements of contemporary harmonization, wider rhythmic concepts, and an exceptional repertoire that includes the most important Cuban hits with many of them written by Piñeiro himself. Cuban son combines elements of Spanish music with African rhythms and percussion. It gained immense popularity around the turn of the 20th century, continuing through the 1940s. The history of the genre is closely tied to Piñeiro, whose band was originally called Sexteto National. Piñeiro wrote hundreds of sones for the sextet, which soon became a septet with the addition of cornet player Lazaro Herrera. Piñeiro’s innovation was to add trumpet to the guitars, percussion and voices of previous son groups and to feature songs with ever-changing countermelody. After performing throughout Havana, Septeto Nacional made its first recording in New York in 1927 and became an international phenomenon. In 1929, the group received the Gold Medal from the Ibero-American Fair in Seville, Spain and was named Ambassador of Cuban Folklore in Europe. When George Gershwin travel to Cuba in 1932 and heard the music of Septeto Nacional, he befriended Piñeiro, whose song “Echale Salsita” (“Put a Little Sauce On It”) can be heard as an influence in Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. In the 1930s, Piñeiro wrote many songs that have become Latin classics, including “Esas no Son Cubanas” and “Suavecito”, which with their unique poetic lyrics and distinctive musical style laid a foundation for the music now known as salsa.
Today, Septeto Nacional is recognized as having some of Cuba’s finest instrumentalists and soneros, is hailed as Patrimonio Nacional de la Cultra Cubana (National Treasure of Cuban Culture) and in 2004 their album Poetas del Son received a Traditional Tropical Music Grammy nomination. The album ¡Sin Rumba No Hay Son! was released in 2009 and in 2012 they received a Latin Grammy award nomination for La Habana Tiene su Son, which commemorated the group’s 85th anniversary. In 2013, the Council of the City of New York honored Septeto Nacional de Cuba Ignacio Piñeiro with a proclamation in recognition of their extraordinary musical achievements and their album El Final no Ilegará was released in 2014. Septeto Nacional’s latest recording El Mas Grande y Universal is due to be released in early 2016.
ORQUESTA BROADWAY is a Cuban charanga style band that was founded in New York City in 1962 by flautist Eddy Zervigón and his brothers Rudy (violin) and Kelvin (piano) along with their neighbor Roberto Torres as their vocalist. Eddy was born in 1940 in Güines, Cuba and originally played the piccolo before switching to the 5-key wooden ‘French flute’ in 1955. He chose the wood flute because in charanga, the flautist must “improvise at all times” and at the higher register on a metal flute, you cannot create as many sounds. Eddy played in several bands in Cuba with his twin brother Rudy before moving to Miami in April of 1962 for four months with his band Ritmo De Estrellas. He then relocated to West 135th Street in Manhattan where he worked with Johnny Pacheco, Arsenio Rodríguez, Joe Valle, Lou Pérez, Alfredito Valdés and Pupi Legarreta and his Charanga and others before forming his own band, Orquesta Broadway, which debuted in October 1963 at NYC’s Palladium concert hall. Charanga is an instrumental format of Cuban origin developed at the end of the 19th century consisting of flute, violins, bass and a rhythm section composed of tumbadora, timbale, güiro and singers.
Orquesta Broadway’s first album Dengue was released in 1964 and contained the cha cha hit “Como Camina Maria”. Their next four releases, which included Arrímate Pa’ Acá (1965) and Tiqui, Tiqui (1966) solidified their popularity as one of New York’s top bands. 1972’s album Cómo Me Gusta! Contained the hit “Pa’ Africa” which inspired Orquesta Broadway to perform in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Europe the following year. Between 1975 and 1981, they released four more albums, and one of them Pasaporte (1976) was so popular, they became NYC’s busiest band, playing an average of 15 dances a week. The band continues to release albums on a regular basis and their La Charanga Que Manda/40 Aniversario was nominated for the 2003 Latin Grammy Award. In February, 2013, Orquesta Broadway added to their long list of accolades by wining the Congo de Oro for best orchestra at the International Carnival in Barranquilla, Columbia. Now, more than fifty years after its foundation and despite changing music styles, the always-in-demand Orquesta Broadway continues to enjoy an enviable position at the forefront of Afro-Cuban and Latin music in the country.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2015-2016 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.