Latin Strings Fiesta

By Erik Petersons on November 18, 2014
Dali Quartet at Free Library

It’s not often that the volume of the afternoon crowd at the Wyoming branch of the Free Library rises above the threshold appropriate for studying and browsing.  But last Wednesday, the Dalí­ Quartet was granted an exception as they took “center floor” to engage students in a rhythmic and cultural tour of the music the group grew up with.  The ensemble brought with them music from Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Mexico and Venezuela (where three of the members were born), pairing these works with a Mozart Minuet to demonstrate how various rhythms and dance steps are fundamental to all genres of music–Latin or Classical.

As the first installment of a pilot project with the Free Library this year, the Quartet (Simón Gollo, Carlos Rubio, Adriana Linares and Jesus Morales) is making appearances at three library branches to engage students, many of whom have little to no music at school.  After quickly covering the ranges of each instrument, they prefaced each work with the techniques they employed–like bowing behind the bridge as featured below.

The Dalí­ didn’t shy away from complex rhythms either (like three against two and the clave pattern) and drew the audience in by having them participate in finding and clapping the rhythms embedded in each piece.  The concert piqued the interest of students in attendance–many of whom tried out instruments and asked about taking lessons afterwards.  With an engaged audience of 50 students and adults, the space the library created for this up-close interaction is furthering and expanding our joint mission to inspire curiosity among people of all ages.  From the youngest child dancing to the music to the employees who stopped to listen, it was great to see people come together around chamber music, each connecting to it in their own way.

On Thursday, January 22nd, the Dalí­ Quartet will make their way to the Lillian Marrero branch (601 West Lehigh Avenue) at 3:30 PM for their second library appearance.