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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

Content tagged with: improvisation

New Charanga del Norte Animation ‘Atilana’

Animation by Ged Haney of Charanga del Norte’s track ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ based on research by Prof. Sue Miller, Dr Sarah Bowen and Cuban dancer Guillermo Davis on the televised version of ‘Los Problemas de Atilana’ by Orquesta Aragón in 1965. The flute solo by Sue Miller is a development of the solo by flute player Richard Egües which was danced by Rafael Bacallao. The animated Rafael here reflects the dance moves and musical gestures of Egües and Bacallao with a few new references and dance moves included for good measure!

Journal Article on Richard Egues and Rafael Bacallao in Ethnomusicology Forum Journal

An article co-authored by Professor Sue Miller, Guillermo Davis and Dr Sarah Bowen is published in a special issue of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum (June 2022). In it the flute solo of Richard Egües together with the dancing of Rafael Bacallao in Orquesta Aragon are analysed and the article is open access available here online […]

Free Workshop on Latin Music in York Monday 30 May

Members of Charanga del Norte Sue Miller (bandleader and flute), Nick Willimas (violin) and Matty Shallcross (percussion) are giving a free Latin music Workshop for Streetlife on Coney Street York Monday 30 May at 2pm. The workshop is free and you only need to register online here https://streetlifeyork.uk/events/latin-music-workshop-day-instrumentalists-vocalists-percussionists

Charanga del Norte Gig 10 June at the Wardrobe Leeds

Leeds/UK salsa/Cuban/Latin music pioneer DJ and promoter Lubi Jovanovic celebrates 40 years working in music this year (1982-2022). He’s throwing a few special parties in Leeds to celebrate this landmark including a big live Cuban/salsa/Latin jazz event at The Wardrobe on Friday 10th June. The venue has been the centre of Lubi’s live Latin music shows for over 2 decades now, ever since he brought his legendary ’90s night Casa Latina here in 1999. This gig will also be in the fringe program for inaugural Leeds Jazz Festival which is happening across the city from 1st-12th June.

There are two bands playing. One he has worked with since 1999 (Charanga Del Norte) and one which is a brand new band of musicians studying at Leeds Conservatoire today (Rumberos De Palo). A hot night of Cuban music and rhythms, New York pachanga sounds and smoking Latin jazz. Definitely the live Latin music show of the summer in Leeds.

LATIN MUSIC WORKSHOP DAY 24 APRIL MUSIC HOUSE LEEDS

The workshop is directed by Professor Sue Miller, bandleader and founder of Charanga del Norte since 1998 assisted by pianist and percussion tutor Helen Curtis. The workshop explores a variety of Latin/Cuban music popular styles through a mixture of workshops, sectionals and ensemble catering for brass, strings, guitar, woodwind, percussion, vocals, piano, and bass. In these workshops participants will be exploring the feeling of groove, clave feel, and Latin clave-based improvisation within an ensemble context.

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.