Indiana Daily Student

Lecture concert to showcase Cuban music

Travel back centuries into a more classic Cuba tonight.

“De la contradanza al son: The Predecessors of Latin Dance Music,” a concert celebrating Cuba’s musical history, was collaborated on by the Jacobs School of Music Latin American Popular Music Ensemble and the La Casa Latino Cultural Center.

It will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are available for free at the Waldron Performing Arts Center two hours before the event.

“Since it’s a historical take on music, it’s different from concerts we usually put on every semester,” LAPME resident arranger Guido Sanchez said. “It’s what we call a lecture concert.”

Between musical performances, there will be three intermissions where a musicologist will discuss the styles of the music and their historical context.

Chronicling back to the mid-19th century and through the 1950s, Sanchez said the concert honors musicians that graced the ears of our ancestors.

Some of the most recognized styles born from contradanza include the Rumba, ChaCha and Son, the predecessor of salsa.

“This is the stuff our grandparents danced to,” Sanchez said. “It’s all very nostalgic.”
Growing up in Costa Rica, Sanchez said he remembers hearing contradanza on the radio. Even then, he said some of the songs were old.

But they’ve become a standard of popular Cuban music, and though people won’t be found dancing to them today, they’re widely known and still loved.

Everyone is invited to dance.

“It’s not just a show,” Sanchez said. “The last two sets will be especially dance-able, and we hope everyone will try it out.”

It’s too good to keep on campus, he said. That’s why they chose to perform downtown.

“We don’t want to keep it within the walls of the school,” Sanchez said. “We look forward to sharing all the work that we’ve done with the students, and we want the whole town to see it.”

The concert is part of a celebration of the 40th anniversary of La Casa.

“Our 40th anniversary isn’t just about celebrating La Casa but all the Latino contributions and involvement on campus,” the center’s director, Lillian Casillas-Origel, said. “We include everybody in our celebration to make it an educational opportunity.”

Getting introduced to new things is the ultimate goal, said Latin American Music Center Director Erick Carballo.

“This is particularly important to us because it teaches the students in the ensemble how to play this classic kind of music, and it makes the community more aware of it,” Carballo said.

Follow reporter Ashley Jenkins on Twitter @ashley_morga.

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