MARLBORO — When Dartmouth College bandleader Don Glasgo was looking for an appropriate guest artist for his Barbary Coast Big Band, he came across an online video for the Gregorio Uribe Big Band.
Though Uribe's Afro-Cuban funk ensemble was smaller than Glasgo's band, Glasgo found the Columbian band leader's music “unique, energetic, and inspiring” - and he couldn't stop thinking about him.
After looking far and wide, Glasgo settled on Gregorio Uribe and, now that he's worked with the Latin American musician during Uribe's recent residency at Dartmouth, he calls his choice “one of the best decisions ever.”
“From the perspective of music, energy, joy, and emotion,” Glasgo said, “Gregorio Uribe is perhaps the guest artist who stands out most during my time at Dartmouth. Uribe is a vocalist, accordionist, composer/ arranger and bandleader - and one of the most charismatic performers I've ever seen.”
Marlboro College and Kingdom County Productions will present a Latin Big Band concert featuring Gregorio Uribe and the Barbary Coast Big Band - with 23 musicians onstage. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, at the Whittemore Theater at Marlboro College.
The Whittemore Theater provides the ability for audience members to sit in the intimate theater-in-the-round setting - or to dance in the ample space behind the seating area.
Uribe is a leading performer of Cumbia, a dance-oriented music genre popular throughout Latin America. Cumbia originated in Colombia's Caribbean coastal region from the musical and cultural fusion of native Colombians, Africans, and the Spanish during colonial times in the old country of Pocabuy, which is located in Colombia's Momposina Depression and in the ancient palenques of the Congo nation.
Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African population, which was later mixed with Amerindian steps and European and African instruments and musical characteristics. Cumbia is very popular in the Andean region and the Southern Cone, and is, for example, more popular than the salsa in many parts of these regions.