‘West Winds’ to feature saxophonist quartet and celebrate Bernstein

The Embassy of Spain in Kingston has organized two free concerts as part of its ongoing contribution to the promotion of music and the arts in Jamaica.

One concert will be held in Montego Bay and the other in Kingston. Students at one institution in each city will also benefit from a workshop by Spanish musicians here for the concerts.

The concerts are made possible with the collaboration of The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF), Spanish engineering company TSK, responsible for building the 190MW power plant in Old Harbour, and  Lasco Icool, with the Embassy of Spain.

The concerts will be dubbed West Winds – a musical experience based on ‘West Side Story’.

West Winds features performances from Spanish saxophone quartet, Sigma Project, and violinist Cecilia Bercovich. West Winds pays homage to the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Leonard Bernstein, known for his role in promoting arts with his television lectures on classical music.

A release on behalf of the Embassy of Spain says “‘West Side Story’, is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time – inspired by Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Music for the West Side Story was composed by Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and is widely regarded as one of the best ever. “

The first of the two local staging of the concert will be held on Saturday, June 23, at the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay at 6 p.m. and the second will be held at the UWI, Mona Chapel Kingston on Monday, June 25 at 7 pm

Ambassador of Spain, Josep María Bosch, views the concerts as a cultural exchange between Spain and Jamaica. He is particularly enthused about sharing the experience with attendees from the west, where most of the Spanish businesses and hotels are located. He said the Embassy wants “to contribute to the cultural life in the area where our investors and most Spaniards reside, in order to get closer to the communities and its people”.

The quartet, Sigma Project, is known for its contemporary interpretation of the Saxophone, constantly searching for new sounds.

The four Spanish saxophonist Ángel Soria, Andrés Gomis, Alberto Chaves and Josetxo Silguero and lone female violinist Bercovich will also meet and share lessons with youth in Kingston and Montego Bay. Montego Bay Community College in St James will host the workshop for students in the western part of the island, while youngsters in Kingston and surrounding areas will gather at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

The upcoming concerts and workshops will take Ángel Soria to Jamaica for the third time. His last visit saw him perform at the Xamayca concert by Peter Ashbourne in 2016 with the Samuel Felsted Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica.

By Franklin McKnight

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