Armando's Rhumba Transformed!

Through the generosity of David Kaun, ESF commissioned Emmy Award-Winning composer John Wineglass to arrange the famous tune off of Chick Corea's critically acclaimed album "My Spanish Heart." Octa Rhumba was premiered March 2014 at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose. 

Rehearsing Octa Rhumba/Photo: Scot Goodman

Rehearsing Octa Rhumba/Photo: Scot Goodman

Wineglass writes:
Octa-Rhumba is a composition/arrangement based on the theme of Chick Corea's Armando's Rhumba [1976]. It is in a simple A-B-A form stating the melody and going through several improvisations of the chord structure (like a standard jazz tune). The B section is a develop- mental section taking on new original melodic ideas inspired by 'if Corea was to approach this as Beethoven did' along with my own musical quotes of Lloyd-Weber thrown in for an eclectic mix of rumba, mystery, masquerade, macabre - a cadre of inspirations. 

One of the challenges at the request of the group was writing a work where some parts could be interchanged if a player was missing (ESF is a dynamic group of performers not always together at the same time). So doubling was something done on purpose, strategically. In constructing the work and thinking about sonority and composite color, I had to keep in mind that perhaps a flute might double or replace a vio- lin, and likewise with a shifting ensemble with (or without) clarinet, oboe, horn, etc.. This gives the audience a different experience every time (due to the shifting ensemble) while still keeping the consistency of the work. At the premiere performance, I added a cajon (a la myself as the performer) to keep everything together rhythmically. 

John Christopher Wineglass (®Emmy Award-Winning Composer) has performed on five continents, before every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan and with several ®Oscar and ®Grammy- Award Winning artists, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Jamie Foxx to name a few. As a recipient of three (two consecutive) ®Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series, and threeASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Mr. Wineglass holds seven ®EMMY nominations.