Cuban Fire Heats Up Northeast PA

By Jayne Ann Bugda |

Published 07/10 2014 01:24AM

Updated 07/10 2014 01:29AM

  On Tuesday, July 22, 2014 the Upper Valley Winds will pay tribute to the music of Mr. Johnny Richards with a concert at Scranton High School Auditorum.  The concert is set for Tuesday, July 22 at 7 pm.
    Considered by many to be one of the greatest Latin-jazz composer/arrangers of the 20th century, Richards himself was of Spanish-Mexican birth . Though he began composing for film scores in 1932, and actually co-wrote Frank Sinatra's' Theme/hit "Young at Heart", it wasn't till he began an association with the Stan Kenton Orchestra  and more specifically the 1956 album "CUBAN FIRE" that he truly reached his stride.

 According to author Michael Sparks, Kenton's album "CUBAN FIRE" is an outstandingly flamboyant example of Richards work. It truly is the diamond of his compositional skills. A nearly immediate commercial and artistic success,  CUBAN FIRE remains as the most popular recorded album by the Kenton band.

 The Upper Valley Winds will be performing all seven parts of CUBAN FIRE as well as several other original J. Richards compositions.  This concert marks the second time that The Upper Valley Winds will be heard as a Jazz Orchestra. CUBAN FIRE requires an ensemble of twenty-seven musicians, which include: Five Trumpets, Five Saxophones, Four Trombones, Two French-horns, Tuba, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Timpani, four Latin Percussionists
and a conductor.  For more information visit:  or  our page on facebook.

(Information from Patrick J. Marcinko Jr.)

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