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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Content tagged with: improvisation

‘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.

Charanga del Norte at Cambridge Big Festival 10 July

Charanga del Norte perform at The Big Weekend in Cambridge on 10 July 2016. Featuring Guillermo Monroy on vocals the band will play as part of a 3 day world music festival  and it’s FREE! Held on Parker’s Piece, Cambridge.

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.

Charanga del Norte launch the new Spanish department at Reading University

Charanga del Norte (the southern team) performed at Reading University on 25 November 2015. Los Musicos joined the band to form a male coro section. Great gig – we had lots of fun!

New Charanga del Norte Recording ‘Atilana’

New Charanga del Norte recording with prize winning design by Rianne van Male, a graphic design student from Anglia Ruskin University.

New Publication for 2015: Chapter on Improvisation in Higher Education

“This book treats with freshness and vitality issues that are crucial for educators in higher education and beyond. The international and multi-disciplinary group of scholars – anthropologists, psychologists, musicians, artists and art educators – engage us in deeply educational issues and experiences…Enthusiastically recommended!” – Liora Bresler, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Illinois, USA

New Review of Cuban Flute Style by John Robert Brown in Jazz Journal

Cuban Flute Style is thus a contextualised, analytical study, arising from a combination of Miller’s lessons from Egües, her research in Havana and New York, her subsequent experiences as a charanga bandleader, and the completion of a Leeds University PhD undertaken to study the processes involved in learning the charanga style of improvisation.

BfE and AAWM Conference in London on 1-4 July

My paper is on 2 July:

Title: Analyzing Clave feel within melodic-rhythmic ‘mambo’ improvisation

Abstract:

‘Clave feel’ is often cited as one of the main elements of Cuban and salsa improvisation yet very little to date has been done to demonstrate this concept analytically whether using notation- or purely text-based analysis. The mambo-style solos of flautist José Fajardo are analysed here in order to demonstrate this clave concept using annotated transcriptions of recorded solos to demonstrate the relationship between the two-bar timeline of clave and melodic-rhythmic improvisation characteristic of Cuban and Latin popular styles.

Review of Cuban Flute Style by Bill McBirnie

Let me begin by saying that Sue Miller’s Cuban Flute Style is an extraordinarily comprehensive oeuvre, with respect to both the history and the technique of charanga flute playing. In addition, her book is realized with a broad as well as a thoughtful understanding of the entire tradition on which this style of music is based.