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On Wednesday, February 26, Milton celebrates Hispanic culture as it hosts the eight-piece Afro-Cuban band Flava Orchestra. The performance is slated for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Robert Saltonstall Gym; a hot lunch will be served.

“All are invited to listen and dance and forget about the winter blues,” says Bob Sinicrope (Music department), an event organizer.

Band leaders Ana Norgaard (a Melissa Dilworth Gold Visiting Artist) and Ernesto Diaz lead Flava Orchestra in an original repertoire based mostly on Afro-Cuban dances. Flava Orchestra performs pieces in various styles such as Danzon, Guaracha, Cha Cha Cha, Son, Songo, Venezuelan Merengue and Bolero.

The orchestra follows the Cuban “Charangon” format, which features the sound of trombone and flute for horn section; for the rhythm section, the band uses piano and bass; and for percussion, the timbale, congas and the bata drums. These elements combine with vocals to produce danceable salsa music.

True to her musical heritage, Ana composes Latin music and also incorporates in the repertoire pieces by her great uncle, composer and arranger Luis Alfonzo Larrain, who founded the first Orquesta Flava in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1929. The combination of contemporary sounds with the old sound of the 1920s and 30s gives the orchestra a unique identity.

Ernesto has been a musician in New England for 25 years. His exceptional performance skills distinguish him as one of the best percussionists in the East Coast. “Ernesto brings his musicality and virtuosity to the stage every time, delighting audiences with his tantalizing percussion sounds,” Bob says.

Come to the gym and warm up with Ana Norgaard and Ernesto Diaz and their Flava Orchestra.
Block Party is sponsored by the School’s Latino Association.