Latin Dance Movements originated as a work written in 2015 for the Southern California Brass Consortium, and their conductor Hector Salazar. A few years later in 2019, a wind band consortium led by Erick Von Sas commissioned a work and I expressed my desire to create a full wind band version of the piece and he agreed.
The suite was originally four movements but I wanted to add an additional movement that didn’t use brass at all, to contrast some of the brass-heavy movements. The first movement is a prelude that is slow and mysterious with prominent solos and a full ensemble statement. The second movement, “Samba Despreocupado” (“Carefree Samba” in English), is a brisk-paced movement in a mellow tone, but with jaunty, sudden interjections that ironically break from the relaxed groove. The next movement is the “Beginner’s Rhumba” which utilizes only the whole-tone scale, giving it a clumsy and uncertain feeling in the context of the rhumba groove. “Bolero”, the all-woodwind movement, follows before concluding with the fiery Miami club beat of “Discoteca”, with its relentless rhythmic drive and screaming refrains.
— Anthony O’Toole
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