Noche Mexicana in Chicago with Doc Severinsen and El Ritmo de la Vida & Sones de México Ensemble

Doc Severinsen (trumpet), Gil Gutierrez (classical guitar) and Pedro Cartas  (violin).
Doc Severinsen (trumpet), Gil Gutierrez (classical guitar) and Pedro Cartas (violin).
Former “Tonight Show” music director and Grammy award-winning trumpeter Doc Severinsen brings his latest musical project to Chicago on Thursday, June 24, 2010, at 6:30 pm, on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The night of Mexican music begins with Chicago’s own Sones de México. Admission is free.

Doc Severinsen, virtuoso trumpeter, is best known as the “Tonight Show” bandleader from 1967 to 1992. In 2006, he retired to San Miquel de Allende, Mexico, and found “the rhythm of life” with local musicians playing in the area. Soon, the 81-year old trumpeter had crafted his innovative El Ritmo de la Vida project which is now touring the United States. The sizzling Latin rhythms mix in Argentine tango, Spanish flamenco, and gypsy jazz for an eclectic and entertaining performance. Severinsen is joined on stage by violinist Pedro Cartas, guitarist Gil Gutierrez, bassist Gilberto Gonzalez, and percussionist Miguel Favero.

The evening begins with Sones de México, an ensemble dedicated to Mexican folkloric music including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The group formed in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ music alive in its many regional forms.

Sones de México - Photo by Todd Winters
Sones de México – Photo by Todd Winters

Through the years, the ensemble has amassed a large collection of folk musical instruments representative of Mexico’s diverse local cultures and a team of multi-instrumentalist musicians. The sextet, formed by Victor Pichardo (music director), Juan Díes (producer), Lorena Iñiguez, Juan Rivera, Zacbé Pichardo, and Javier Saume released Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs recently. The bilingual, double album includes 44 tracks, some of which are 300-years old.

Their diverse repertoire, rich in colors, textures and rhythms demonstrates that there is more to Mexican music than mariachi. Today, the ensemble has toured extensively, developing and popularizing many original arrangements of Mexican traditional tunes, as well as experimenting cross-culturally with symphonic, Irish, folk, country, jazz, and rock music. Musicians in the group include music director Victor Pichardo, producer Juan Dies, Zacbé Pichardo, Lorena Iñiguez, Javier Saume-Mazzei, and Juan Rivera.

As part of Sones de México’s nonprofit mission for musical education, the members will give a free lecture and demonstration of Mexican folk music at 12 noon, also on June 24, in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center.

The June 24 concert is supported by the Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Tourism Board.

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north and Monroe St. to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and at the Grant Park North and East Monroe Garages, all located within a short walking distance of Millennium Park.

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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