¡Fiesta! Series

for Marimba Ensemble

The ¡Fiesta! Series is an exciting collection of pieces set in the style of the Mexican Marimba Tradition from Southern Mexico. The arrangements require a minimum of 4 players, but may be augmented for up to 7 players with doubling of the upper voices, as is common performance practice in Chiapas, Mexico.

La Vida es un Carnaval $30.00 (Victor Daniel / arr. John Currey) Arranged for Mexican Marimba ensemble in honor of the passing of the Queen of Salsa--Celia Cruz, La Vida es un Carnaval is a relatively simple, yet very infectious melody reflective of Ms. Cruz's philosophy of life--that life truly is a Carnival, set over a groove that "cranks it up a notch" to get the musicians and audience moving.

El Llorón $20.00 (traditional / arr. John Currey) is one of the most oft and widely performed works in the repertoire of traditional folkloric dances from Chiapas, Mexico. Commissioned by the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York for their twentieth anniversary celebration, this arrangement is distinguished by a very persistent accompaniment that serves as the rhythmic foundation for the more technically demanding upper parts which cover a range of several octaves, include some rolls and double-stops, and has at times a somewhat unsettled feel, sometimes more duple, sometimes more triple in nature.

La Maruchita $25.00 (Francisco Santiago Borráz / arr. John Currey) One of several works written by Chiapan marimba builder and composer Santiago Borráz (credited with the creation of the Requinta, the smaller in range of the two standard chromatic Mexican Marimbas) for the "pre-chromatic" Chiapan marimba that was the standard until the mid-1890s, La Maruchita is more of an exception than the norm within the genre in that words are sung to the melody in its original form (no singing required in this version!). Highlights of this arrangement for diatonic marimba in C include an accompaniment that alternates between a fairly traditional waltz accompaniment in the 3/4 sections and an almost drum-like foundation throughout the sections in "cut time." The more challenging upper parts offer a few rolls and a fair amount of double-stops, beginning as a single melodic line quoted in octaves that evolves into three and four-note harmonization as the work progresses. NO ACCIDENTALS REQUIRED!!!

El Bodeguero $30.00 (Egüés / arr. Currey) is one of the best-known songs by one of Cuba's premier dance bands, Orquesta Aragón. Credited with being the catalyst behind the explosion in popularity of the Cha-cha-cha during the 1950s, Aragón's smash hit has been described as a "monumental" work in this Cuban dance style. El Bodeguero forever earned a prominent place in the hearts of music lovers world-wide when a version was released featuring the voice of Nat King Cole. The 2nd part is the real gem of this arrangement, with an original solo section in an impromptu character.

La Adelita $20.00 (traditional / arr. Currey), the tale of the valiant, beautiful woman who follows her man into battle during the Mexican Revolutionary War, is a premier example of the Mexican song form known as el corrido. The corridos, extremely popular during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, remember--sometimes in fact, but more often in fable--daring and heroic acts by individuals or groups in the face of incredible adversity. Now a central piece of repertoire of the Mariachi ensembles, La Adelita is a classic Mexican folksong known and loved throughout the Americas by all those familiar with Mexican history and culture. With rich voicings and unexpected shifts between duple and triple feels, this march-like music keeps rolling along.

El Tilingo-lingo $25.00 (traditional / arr. Currey) Recorded on Marimba Yajalon's 1994 release-- Chiapas!, El Tilingo-Lingo is a festive song from the Gulf Coast of Mexico originally heard from the harps and guitars of the Jarocho ensembles. While the bass and harmony provide a strong and driving rhythm section, the 2nd position serves up a good dose of double-stops to support the sparkling harp-inspired singing of the 1st part. Like the extremely popular song La Bamba--also from the Jarochos--El Tilingo-Lingo has an energy and flavor that comes from the musical tradition seasoned by the sun and surf of Veracruz, Mexico. This "toe-tapper" will have you shouting eso! and asking for more!!!

Las Perlitas $30.00 (Aguirre / arr. Currey) or "The Tiny Pearls" is a light-hearted piece heard in Mexico as both a marimba work and as a part of the Mariachi repertoire. Raindrops falling into a puddle of water is said to have been the composer's inspiration for the work. This arrangement is a synthesis of the two traditional versions with rhythmically energized figures and a sudden key-shift in the middle of all the fun. The listener is treated to the different "voices" of a mariachi ensemble with the character of violins and trumpets being preserved in the writing of the upper voices.

"Las Perlitas is a...lively composition, which would be suitable for the intermediate marimba ensemble"

- Percussive Notes review (p. 62,v.38,#1;Feb. 2000)

Los Machetes $25.00 (traditional / arr. Currey) a rousing rendition of a piece from the repertoire of the Mariachi was originally played as accompaniment for dancers engaged in a "sword fight" with machetes as the weapon of choice. A complete work suitable for most any concert setting, Los Machetes also works well as a "tag" to another one of John Currey's arrangements--Jarabe Mexicano (currently out-of-print), or, as an exciting encore selection. The bass and harmony parts are fairly easy, the 2nd part is slightly more challenging, and the 1st part includes an energized solo that allows a more advanced player to "show-off" a bit.

"Los Machetes will be fun and exciting for both the ensemble and the audience"

- Percussive Notes review (p. 62,v.38,#1;Feb. 2000) 


ALL PRICING is for Printed Score + 4 Parts 

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