CharangaSue.com

Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Leeds Arts Research Centre

The Leeds Arts Research Centre (LARC) brings together creative practitioners and academics across Leeds Beckett University whose research interests lie in the arts, whether that is music, film, fine art, design or performing arts.

LARC draws on staff from the School of Art, Architecture and Design and from the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts. It brings together cultural historians and theorists with arts practitioners at the cutting edge of practice as research. Providing a forum for debate, it is also a window on the exciting and innovate creative work going on across the two Schools. Here staff collaborate on new projects, showcase their research and build together the research culture

Recontextualising Ragtime: Connections, Influences, Perspectives A two-day symposium 6&7 May 2017

Recontextualising Ragtime: Connections, Influences, Perspectives

A two-day symposium
6&7 May 2017

Location: Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield, UK
Organised by: Prof. Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield) and Dr Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University) in association with Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield

Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation review in Latin American Music Review Journal

Review by Sunni Witmer of ‘Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation’ by Sue Miller in Latin American Music Review, Volume 37, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2016, Published by University of Texas Press
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/619638

‘All in all, Miller’s book is a valuable contribution to the scant research on charanga, and it is especially informative for those interested in improvisation, performance practices, analysis of popular music, flute performance, and, of course, Cuban music.’

Review in Flute Journal

Book Review: Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation And Improvisation, By Sue Miller. Book Review by Jessica Valiente Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation, by Sue Miller (The Scarecrow Press, 2014), holds the distinction of being the only scholarly work published in English devoted exclusively to the study of the Cuban charanga. Read more here: Book Review in Flute Journal [...]

Charanga del Norte at Cambridge Jazz Festival 22 November

Charanga del Norte are performing at Cambridge Jazz Festival on 22 November preceded by a talk by Sue Miller on Cuban music in New York. There’s support from Vesperados and a wine reception. Room for dancing at the venue is at the back (Churchill College)

ARSC Journal Review of Cuban Flute Style by Nestor Torres

I am honoured that the multi-talented flute player Nestor Torres has reviewed my book for the Association of Recorded Music Sound journal (ARSC):
‘I declare that Cuban Flute Style is brilliant and without precedent. The research work is thorough and meticulous. The historical narrative of the flute styles and its protagonists is comprehensive, consistent and most importantly, respectful of the music’s tradition and filled with palpable affection. Her improvisation transcriptions and music samples from a wide selection of recordings (most of them commercially released) are accurate and accessible. . . .Sue Miller has created a work that celebrates and guarantees the perpetuation of Charanga and its Cuban Flute Style Tradition for many generations to come. Its historical, cultural, and pedagogical value cannot be overstated.’ (ARSC Journal)

‘Activating Improvisational Creativity in the Performance of “World” and “Popular” music’ has a new review in the Journal of Music, Technology & Education

Sue Miller’s chapter on improvisation in university music education has a review in the Journal of Music, Technology & Education:
‘As in Part 2, the arrangement of chapters in Part 3, Experiments in Teaching, brings out their thematic connections. Improvisation, composition and the experience of diverse musical cultures are prominent in this section. Sue Miller describes using her practice-led research in Latin improvisational styles to inform research-led teaching (Chapter 6, ‘Activating improvisational creativity in the performance of “World” and “Popular” music’). She argues for the positioning of improvisation at the centre of musical education, and against the cultural imperialism of most university music curricula.

New Review in the British Journal of Music Education

Sue Miller provides an intricately argued call for the study of both theoretical and practical improvisation to take centre-stage in higher music education (Chapter 6), a point pursued by Esmée Olthuis, who posits that improvisation can foster musical leadership and critical skills of self-reflection.

Review in Ethnomusicology Forum Journal

Sue Miller’s monograph on Cuban flute style will be of interest to ethnomusicologists and flautists alike. It is a clearly written, highly musical book that serves as both a guide to performance practice and an academic text. Miller brings together performance as a research technique, interviews with musicians, lessons with renowned flautists, and detailed and extensive transcription and analysis of recordings to create a ‘musical archaeology’ (246) of creative processes, interpretation and improvisation in Cuban charanga flute performance.

Latin Improvisation Aesthetics in New York: SEM Panel Presentation

Sue’s panel at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference in Texas Austin takes place on 3 December at 4pm. Also on the panel are renowned scholars of Latin American music Professor David Garcia (University of North Carolina) and Dr Ben Lapidus (CUNY).
Panel Abstract: ‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Afro-Cuban/salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically. Building on research in this area by Christopher Washburne, Peter Manuel, David Garcia, Robin Moore, Lise Waxer, and Robert Farris Thompson, scholars of Latin improvisation consider how clave remains a point of tradition, pride, and practice for many performers of Afrocuban music in New York City. Brass, woodwind and piano clave-based improvisation styles are examined to demonstrate how clave feel can define both the artistry and identity of performers. Ethnographic research informs the musical analyses of solo improvisations from both recordings and live performances to demonstrate how clave sensibility permeates the artistic work of New York-based Latin soloists.