Spanish Brass performs Jan. 16 - Eastern Arizona Courier: Lifestyle

Spanish Brass performs Jan. 16

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 4:45 am

The Gila Valley Arts Council announced the presentation of Spanish Brass that will be performing Jan. 16th, a Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m., at Eastern Arizona College's Lee Little Theater. GVAC is pleased to continue offering family-friendly ticket prices again this year. Adult tickets are only $10; students, $5. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased in advance at Richards Music or the Graham County Chamber of Commerce.

As always, in addition to the evening concert, GVAC will be sharing these great artists in a few workshops with many band students studying in our local schools. The school residency program is the main reason the Arts Council brings these fine artists to Graham County and GVAC strongly encourages the parents of students learning to play band instruments of all kinds: trumpets, tubas, trombones, saxophones, clarinets, flutes and drums, to buy tickets, attend the evening show and allow them to hear this world-class European brass quintet coming to Graham County all the way from Spain.

In 1989, five Spanish musicians created Spanish Brass — an innovative project that quickly gained world renown for its performances, educational activities and creative collaborations. After it won the first prize in the 1996 Narbonne (France) International Brass Quintet Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, trumpeter Bernard Soustrot said, “Of all the first prize winners of the Narbonne Competition, the Spanish Brass is the best since the competition was founded in 1986.”

Spanish Brass has given hundreds of concerts across the globe in such prestigious events and venues as the Great American Brass Band Festival, New York Brass Conference, Juilliard School of Music, Ithaca College, Festival de Musique de Radio-France, Granada International Festival, Lucerne Festival, Cheju Summer Festival (Korea), Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany), National Auditorium (Madrid), Palau de la Música (Barcelona), Kalavrita Festival (Greece), International Horn Society, Merano Brass Festival and Trento Philharmonic (Italy), Barcelona Auditorium, Festival de Inverno de Brasília, and countless others.

With its versatile programming and state-of-the-art staging, Spanish Brass has created such shows as "Concierto del Desconcierto" (A Disconcerting Concert), "Metàl•lics" (educational concert), "Brassiana" (with jazz trio) and "Make a Brazz Noise Here" (a tribute to Frank Zappa). It has recorded 14 CDs, including the double CD "The Best of Spanish Brass," and a DVD-CD.

Spanish Brass has been in the forefront of international music education, giving courses and master classes with the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, the Youth Orchestras of Catalonia, Valencia, Andalucía and Madrid, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Trumpet Lounge (Japan), the Showa School for Performing Arts (Japan), Lieksa Brass Week (Finland), the Eastman School of Music, University of Georgia, Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, Dartington International Summer School (England), International Winter Music Festival of Brasilia (Brazil), Ibero-American Cultural Festival (Puerto Rico), etc. Spanish Brass also runs three major brass festivals in Spain, the SBALZ Festival in Alzira, the Spanish BrasSurround Torrent and the Rafelmetall (

Spanish Brass currently teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia (Spain). It is sponsored by the instrument makers STOMVI, and tuba and euphonium makers Miraphone.

A sampling of its international accolades includes: “They are one of the world’s finest brass quintets, ranking up there with Empire Brass, Canadian Brass and American Brass” (Greg Alley); “One of the most exciting and artistic brass quintets to come on the scene in recent years … a gloriously brilliant performance” (International Trumpet Guild Journal); “They play with amazing cohesion and set the highest standard for brass chamber music” (Maurice André, trumpeter); and “I cannot think of a better brass quintet in the whole world” (Christian Lindberg, trombonist).

The evening's concert will include some very interesting music, not all from the purely classical repertoire. In addition to starting off the evening with Bach's "Aria from the Goldberg Variations," followed by the French composer Andre Lafosse's "Suite Impromptu," the quintet will be performing many of the famous composers from Spain, Manuel de Falla's "Farruca," Albeniz's "Asturias," Granados' "Analuza" and in the second half surprising the audience with some more modern works from the Brazilian Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Chega de Saudade," Duke Ellington's "Caravan" and even some Fats Waller with "A Handful of Keys."

All in all, this concert will be a marvelous collection of both old and new.

The Gila Valley Arts Council believes this will be one of its best presentations this year. The GVAC Fine Arts concert series is made possible in several ways. GVAC would like to publicly acknowledge the special support for this performance, which was funded by a grant from the Western States Arts Federation(WESTAF), based in Colorado. GVAC thanks also the support from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also very grateful for the local support it receives from the United Way of Graham County, the Gila Valley Community Foundation, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, and the many individuals who join as members every year, giving out of their personal pockets. Without the support of all of these sources, the Gila Valley Arts Council could not continue its work in our community. Those interested in helping GVAC in this effort may contact President Tom Green at 428-2146.

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