March 4, 2005 Aguavá New Music Studio to Perform on March 16

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Aguavá New Music Studio will present a concert of Afro-Cuban influenced music at the Library of Congress at 8 p.m. on March 16 in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The concert will be preceded by a panel discussion titled “At the Crossroads: Latin American Classical Music in the 21st Century.” The panel discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion, adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium. No tickets are required for the panel discussion.

Known primarily for its vocal and instrumental interpretations of recently composed art music, Aguavá New Music Studio will present a collection of contemporary works by several Latin American composers who have been influenced by Cuban traditions.

“Modern urban popular music has been particularly affected by this wellspring of Afro-American creativity,” says music director Carmen Helena Téllez, who is also director of the Latin American Music Center at the Indiana University School of Music. “In Latin America, the influence emanated primarily from Cuba, an island that remained under Spanish rule until 1898, but whose music has been a model for the development of many Latin American regional musical styles as unique variations of European genres since the 19th century.”

The evening’s performance will include “El Laberinto Mágico,” an experimental exploration of sound and space by Cuban-born Aurelio de la Vega and his “Variación del Recuerdo” in a version newly arranged for Aguavá’s virtuoso voices and instruments. De la Vega is celebrating his 80th birthday this year.

Also on the program is “Batéy,” by Cuban-born Tania León, a founding member and first music director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. “Batéy” interprets the rhythmic Afro-Cuban texts and rhythms from Santería rituals, a practice still thriving in the Caribbean. In this work, Aguavá will collaborate with Joseph Galvin, a percussionist trained in the tradition. Additional works will include Cuban songs in the salon tradition by Ignacio Cervantes and Joaquin Nin-Culmell, Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra’s “Bongó-O,” for bongo solo, and “Piedra en la Piedra,” a dazzling composition for flute, marimba and vibraphone by Venezuelan composer Ricardo Lorenz.

All Library of Congress concerts are presented free of charge to the public but require tickets for admission. Tickets are distributed by Ticketmaster at (202) 397-7328, (703) 573-7328 or, for out-of-state residents, (800) 551-7328. Baltimore residents may dial (410) 547-7328. Each ticket carries a nominal service charge of $2.75, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Tickets are also available at Ticketmaster outlets and online at Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert nights to wait in the standby line for no-show tickets.


PR 05-043
ISSN 0731-3527