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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Content tagged with: improvisation

A musico-choreographic analysis of a Cuban dance routine: a performance-informed approach

The research is based on the analysis of a live performance on Cuban television of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in the early 1960s, where musical gestures are shown to be embodied in the flute and dance solo ‘duet’ performed by Cuban flautist Richard Egües and dancer Rafael Bacallao, revealing the shared memories of a community bound by common cultural experience. Interdisciplinary in nature, analysis is undertaken by a musician-scholar, a film scholar-practitioner and a professional Cuban dancer-animator in order to unearth details of this embodied repertoire, thus translating and making overt culturally implicit knowledge for those outside of the artistic community of practice, and, in some cases, within it.

A Musico-Choreographic Analysis of a Cuban Dance Routine – Animation Demonstrations

This practice research by Prof. Sue Miller, Guillermo Davis and Dr Sarah Bowen is based on the analysis of a live performance on Cuban television of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in the early 1960s, where musical gestures are shown to be embodied in the flute and dance solo ‘duet’ performed by Cuban flautist Richard Egües and dancer Rafael Bacallao. Through re-performance and re-presentation in the form of a recording and short animations, the many meanings embodied in the original performance are examined through analytical text, musical notation, visuals, recordings and animation film. The article will be published soon in the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Journal and below are some of the animations made to go with this article. Animations are by Cuban dancer-animator Guillermo Davis and the music is recorded by Sue Miller (flute) and her band Charanga del Norte.

Bill Kinghorn – A Tribute

I have studied and taught at a variety of Higher Education institutions and had some brilliant teachers and mentors along the way – but Bill stands out for his ability to teach, perform and entertain simultaneously. He was, in short, the best lecturer I have ever had. His piano playing in lectures on jazz harmony, for example, were both inspiring and so much fun – Bill himself said that if students are relaxed and having fun then they are more receptive to learning. He did not provide easy  answers or shortcuts (as he said “questions open doors – answers close them”) – instead he fueled your curiosity and enabled latent creativity to be realized. He encouraged his music students to think deeply about what they were doing and to listen to the results closely. 

NEW BOOK – Improvising Sabor – Cuban Dance Music in New York

Improvising Sabor: Cuban Dance Music in New York begins in 1960s New York and examines in rich detail the playing styles and international influence of important figures in US Latin music. Such innovators as José Fajardo, Johnny Pacheco, George Castro, and Eddy Zervigón dazzled the Palladium ballroom and other Latin music venues in those crucible years. Author Sue Miller focuses on the Cuban flute style in light of its transformations in the US after the 1959 revolution and within the vibrant context of 1960s New York.

Sue Miller features on the Radio programme Tropicana Musical in Brazil

Sue Miller was interviewed on the radio programme Tropicana Musical in Brazil by ethnomusicologist and broadcaster  Edwin Pitre  and is now available as a podcast.The interview on the history of Cuban charanga is mostly in Spanish and features music from Orquesta Tata Peireira, Arcano y sus Maravillas, Fajardo y sus Estrellas, Orquesta Aragon, Orquesta Belisario Lopez, Orquesta Broadway, Charlie Palmieri y su Charanga Duboney, Johnny Pacheco y su Charanga, Estrellas Cubanas, Orquesta Sublime and Charanga Rubalcaba.

New book Improvising Sabor pre-order half price in the 2021 special offer

You can get my new book Improvising Sabor: Cuban Dance Music in New York for only $20.21 until December 15th 2020 if ordered online which is a bargain especially for the hardback version.

DJRitu features Charanga del Norte’s PachangaTime in ‘A World in London’

DJ Ritu has included Charanga del Norte’s track ‘Bronx Pachanga’ from their new album Pachanga Time in her August Mix.
“Music to make you dance, weep, or chillax on this week’s A World in London! Get the globe in episode 15 of DJ Ritu’s Unlocked podcast series, with awesome new Latin vibes from Charanga Del Norte, multi-cult lockdown collaborations by guitar hero Simon Thacker, soulful Bosnian ballads from Amira Medunjanan, and British-Asian classics by pioneering vocalists Sheila Chandra & Najma Akhtar, plus a mini-tribute for Balla Sidibe, founder of legendary Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab. Listen live on Resonance 104.4fm at 6.30pm, Wednesday 5th August or anytime at Mixcloud!”

Charanga del Norte LIVE Recording ‘Bronx Pachanga’

This is the first of several live music documentaries of Sue Miller and her Charanga del Norte made by Tim Blackwell and recorded on ribbon microphones by Paul Thompson and Barkley McKay. This forms part of a research project funded by the British Academy. Here is a live take of Sue’s arrangement of ‘Bronx Pachanga’ with a cheeky little Watusi middle.

New Book by Sue Miller – Improvising Sabor: Cuban Dance Music in New York

My New Book comes out next year in hardback and paperback and if you pre-order there are really good discounts available from the University Press of Mississippi. More details here: https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/I/Improvising-Sabor      

Charanga del Norte Live Recording

Sue Miller and her Charanga del Norte are recording a new live album using ribbon microphones. Here’s a photo of our October recording session – recorded by Dr Paul Thompson and Barkley McKay from the department of Music and Sound at Leeds Beckett University and filmed by Tim Blackwell, course leader for Broadcast Media at […]