Bobby Sanabria & the MultiVerse Big Band: West Side Story Reimagined

Bobby Sanabria and the Multiverse Band -West Side Story Reimagined

Celebrating the Centennial of Composer Leonard Bernstein|
Hostos Center For The Arts And Culture Presents:
Bobby Sanabria & the MultiVerse Big Band
West Side Story Reimagined

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 7:30 PM

(Bronx, NY) – Celebrating the centennial (1918–2018) of its composer Leonard Bernstein, the multi-Grammy nominated Bobby Sanabria, and the MultiVerse Big Band pay tribute to West Side Story, the theatrical production that redefined the American musical, reimagined with an all-new instrumental Latin jazz score. The 21-piece ensemble will perform the work at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, 450 Grand Concourse (at 149th Street) in the Bronx, on Saturday, March 17, 7:30 PM in the Main Theater. Tickets range from $25 to $35 with student tickets at $5 and can be purchased at www.hostoscenter.org or by calling (718)-518-4455. The box office is open Monday to Friday, 1 PM to 4 PM and will be open two hours before the performance.

According to Sanabria, Bernstein’s “genius of utilizing the tri-tone, the interval of jazz harmony, along with several Latin American musical styles is something that was never heard on the Broadway Stage.” Reimagined expands upon the original Latin American styles utilized by Bernstein to include: Venezuelan joropo, Puerto Rican bomba and plena, Dominican merengue, Brazilian samba and samba cansao, Cuban mambo, cha-cha-cha, bolero, son montuno, West African-rooted bembé, and American funk and swing. The combination provides the musicians an “explosive platform as jazz soloists,” says Sanabria.

Sanabria commissioned some New York-based arrangers to take on the reimagining of the work including Jeremy Fletcher, Niko Seibold, Jeff Lederer, Matt Wong, Danny Rivera, Eugene Marlow, Nathan Sparks, Andrew Neesley and Takao Heisho. The work was debuted at the Manhattan School of Music with the MSM Afro-Cuban Orchestra in February 2017, with Bernstein’s son Alexander in attendance, and then for a sold-out run with the four-time Grammy-nominated MultiVerse Big Band, led by Sanabria, at Jazz at Lincoln Center in November. A live recording from those performances will be released later this year.

West Side Story is a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar community (in the early 1960s, much of the neighborhood was cleared in an urban renewal project for the Lincoln Center, which changed the neighborhood’s character). The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, from Puerto Rico, are taunted by the Jets, a white gang. The young protagonist, Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang’s leader, Riff, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. The 1961 musical film version won ten Academy Awards.

About Bobby Sanabria

Seven-time Grammy nominee as a leader, drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, educator, documentary film producer, and activist, Bobby Sanabria is a native Nuyorican born and raised in New York’s South Bronx. His unique perspective comes from having performed and recorded with every major figure in the development of what today is known as Latin jazz. From the genre’s acknowledged creator, maestro Mario Bauzá, for whom Bobby recorded three Grammy-nominated CDs and worked as the drummer in his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra for ten years, to Mongo Santamaria, with whom he started his career, to Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrill, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Candido, Dizzy Gillespie, Marco Rizo, and many more.

He is the Co-Artistic Director/Curator of the Bronx Music Heritage Center and the Artistic Director/Artist in Residence of the Roberto Ocasio Memorial Latin Jazz Camp for High School Students in Cleveland, Ohio.I Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo (PBS, 2009), and Latin Music U.S.A. (PBS, 2007), From Mambo to Hip Hop (Bravo, 2003), The Palladium Where Mambo Was King (2011). He has worked as a producer, advisor, and on-air personality on the award-winning documentaries Tito Puente: Masterworks Live!!! Album, and Kenya (2009), a tribute and re-working of the Machito Afro-Cubans’ legendary Kenya Revisited Live!!! (2008) And, with the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Urban Folktales was hailed by the jazz press worldwide for its futuristic take on the big band Latin jazz tradition. Grammy nominations followed for his Live & In Clave!!!A noted educator and clinician, Bobby Sanabria is on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music and of the Jazz & Contemporary Music Program at the New School and directs both schools’ Afro-Cuban jazz orchestras. In 2000 Sanabria’s groundbreaking Grammy-nominated CD.

Web Editor
Web Editor
Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

11,264FansLike
1,461FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,846FollowersFollow
5,700FollowersFollow
160SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more