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About this Piece

Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic and YOLA

Born in Mexico, Arturo Márquez studied at CalArts in Valencia (CA) and privately in Paris. He has been inspired by vernacular music and is best-known to orchestral audiences for a  series  of  sinuous, evocative danzóns, a  dance  of  Cuban origin that is very popular in Mexico, particularly in the Veracruz region.

The conga is a Cuban carnival dance, from which the conga line, popularized in the U.S. by band leaders such as Xavier Cugat, was derived. Márquez’ Conga del Fuego Nuevo (the “New  Fire”  ceremony was a pre-Columbian  Mexican  ritual; Carlos Chávez composed a ballet titled El fuego nuevo) is  rather  more  elemental and multifaceted than  the  novelty dance, a rhythmically  more  playful  showpiece but nonetheless still  well  connected  to the staccato line-dance imperatives of 1-2-3-kick.