Promoting Woodwind Quintet Music of the Western hemisphere for 40 years!
Premiere of New Commission
We are happy to announce the premiere of the Quintet’s latest commission, Ala Arusha – Mother Earth by Shanyse Strickland.
Shanyse Strickland, aka Shanyse Nicole or Majikstrick, is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, educator and songwriter.
She writes “Throughout my musical journey, I have performed with many amazing musicians across the country in various contexts with various genres. It was always clear to me, even at a young age, that versatility was the main ingredient to being the most efficient definition of a musician that one could be. With flexibility and open-mindedness being a key to all of this, I live in my truth when it comes to being a musician, limitless in what I can achieve through the mediums of my choosing. I am what the future of classical musicians will become. I encourage you all to find your OWN voice!”
Please check out all our spring dates and venues. We will be performing Ala Arusha on all of these concerts!
Quintet of the Americas Creates Concert Archive of Commissioned Works as part of Its Celebration of 40 Years in New York City – announcing launching of new archive website
Announcing launch of Quintet of the Americas archive website!
Please visit www.quintetoftheamericas.org our new website which has information about pieces we have commissioned since our founding in 1976. There you will find music of all styles. There are new introductions by composers for some of the works! We will be adding links to more YouTube performances but some are up already. Enjoy!
With great sadness we report the loss of our long-time board member, Jane Rubinsky. We met Jane through our first board chair, Lucille Duncan, who ran the music program at the Americas Society.
Lucille noticed Jane attending out concerts and introduced her to us. At the time Jane was writing for Keynote, the magazine for classical music station WQXR. After that Jane went on to edit the Juilliard Journal. Later she was a free-lance writer and journalist, as well as a dancer, actor and music-lover. Thank you Jane for your long years of support to the Quintet. We miss you!
The Quintet Continues Project to Perform Commissions New and Old
As we re-emerge with live concerts this spring The Quintet brings commissions to audiences in seven venues including 3 senior centers in Queens, and to audiences in Manhattan at the new 9B9 Gallery on the lower east side (home of the works of the late artist Ken Cro-Ken), and in Queens at the beautiful Celebration Hall in Maple Grove Cemetery, and at Culture Lab in Long Island City as part of the renowned Queens New Music Festival. Please see Upcoming concerts for details.
Our programs reflect the theme of Re-Emergence, a Spring Re-Awakening. Programs will include Echoes from a Distant Land by José Raul Bernardo which begins with the players musically searching for each other. We all were in isolation and to reach out and find our colleagues and friends again has been very meaningful. We are thrilled to revive Ed Bland’s Jazz Quintet which we commissioned and premiered in 1981. Performing it again now is surely a re-emergence of an important work. Allen Schulz spent 29 days in a coma and had a long but persistent recovery. For Allen, working on his new piece has been an important part of his recovery, surely a re-emergence of great significance and an inspiration for us all. Ljova’s D.O.M. is the 3rd movement of Rockaway Baby, inspired by seniors at a rehab hospital in the Rockaways. It is the first time we will be swinging it with contrabassoon. We premiered James Cohn’s Klezmer Fantasy February 2019 in Pleasantville, NY. More performances were planned for that spring but all the venues were soon closed as we went into isolation due to Covid. We are happy to be giving this piece those performances now as we re-emerge into live concerts.
The Quintet's mission is to broaden knowledge and appreciation of music from the Western Hemisphere, and particularly new music, through the performance, commissioning, and recording of woodwind quintets and related chamber music. We encourage inter-cultural appreciation and understanding by performing contemporary, classical and folk-derived music from the diverse cultural traditions of the Americas. We search out collaborations with composers, guest artists, other ensembles, other art forms and other organizations to enrich our own growth and to enrich the musical products we bring to the community. We seek to enhance understanding and appreciation of this music through exploitation of multiple media and innovative technologies. Through community partnerships the Quintet serves recent immigrants, seniors and lower income audiences in Queens with its unique programs that bring new concert music and living composers to the people.
To support the Quintet in their outreach programs, commisions from artisits and other community events and concerts please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLACK LIVES MATTER! Statement of the Quintet of the Americas
The Quintet of the Americas stands in solidarity with the Black community, in the arts and beyond, as our country struggles to overcome racial discrimination and violence. Long espousing the values of equity and justice, both as an organization and as individuals, we will not remain silent at this time of turbulence.
The pandemic has affected us all, but none more than the Black community. Disparities in access to healthcare and housing, as well as education and jobs, have left communities of color struggling for survival.
As a musical ensemble, we recognize and value the immense contributions of Black performers and composers to chamber music. Our efforts to increase their visibility and representation, collaborating with Black and Latinx artists, have educated us and our audiences about the painful history of injustice they have long endured.
Quintet produces 9 educational videos
After visiting one school to perform our educational program, the virus stopped us from visiting any more schools. We spent the first 6 weeks of stay-at-home recording and assembling a workshop video and 8 more videos which we sent to many schools. Teachers and principals were grateful for these materials as they switched with no notice to on-line remote learning. We expect these videos will be used in more schools in the fall. They are all up on YouTube.
First Memory Project - Bayside Senior Center, Queens, NY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP0s4XwF8-g
New Memory Project work, "Retrospectives" by Harold Gutierrez on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4iVRrj-iQo
Memory Project post-concert interviews with students and parents from the Corona Youth Orchestra after our premiere performance of "Dreamers' March" for solo quintet and youth orchestra by Harold Gutierrez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYWhS2PhZFA
New NYSCA Commission "Variable Winds" by Daniel Ott on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQAKs__qfNc
The Quintet announces the release of its exciting new recording, SOUNDS OF BRAZIL, on the MSR label. The music includes choros, lullabies and songs by Gaudencio Thiago de Mello who performs with the Quintet on his unique organic percussion from the Amazon. Thiago plays with the Quintet on works by Ernesto Nazareth and Pixinguinha as well. The Quintet is proud to include Changes, a work they commissioned by Brazilian-American pianist and composer Marcelo Zarvos. Rounding out the CD is Ventos, another Quintet commission by a gifted young composer on the New York scene, Ricardo Romaneiro. Guest artists include Blair McMillen on piano and Scott Kuney on guitar.
SOUNDS OF BRAZIL on the MSR Label
Karel Husa Recollections on the New World Records label.
Dancing in Colombia on the MSR Label - 15 Colombian dances including bambucos, pasillos, bundes and paseos.
Self Portrait on the CRI label - avant garde music for Quintet including works by Pauline Oliveros, Elliot Sharp, Amy Rubin, Christopher Culpo and Lee Hyla
Discovering the New World on the MMC label - music from the Carnegie Hall Concert (Louis Ballard, William Thomas McKinley, Roberto Sierra, and "America (Suite Popular)" - Ilan Rechtman).
Souvenirs, 20 Musical Mementos from the New World on the XLNT label - Samuel Barber's "Summer Music" and many Quintet favorites.
Celebrate The 18th Annual Latin American Culture Week 2023
Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 3 PM, The CENTER at MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY, 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, Queens, NY 11415
Monday, November 13, 2023 at 7 PM, National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave., 7th floor, NY, NY 10001 (between 28th and 29th streets)
NEW CLIMATE CONCERT RELEASED ON YouTube
This concert addresses some of our concerns over the climate crisis. Works include Chant #2 Uirapurú do Amazonas by Gaudencio Thiago de Mello, Rockaway Beach Winter 2017 by Kevin James, A Hug for Pixinga and Chant #10: Canoa Furada by Thiago de Mello, World Winds (2017) by Bruce Odland, and Fireflies by Owl City (Adam Young). The music is beautiful, evocative, innovative and fun. It is up on YouTube at this link
Concert in time of COVID 19 - Concert #1
Quintet of the Americas visits the New York Hall of Science and Flushing Meadow Park. Hear El Picaflor (also available for download on Amazon from the Dancing in Colombia CD.)
Listen to the Quintet
Our website improvements have been made possible by the Queens Council on the Arts
with support made possible through the JPMorgan Chase Arts and Culture Regrants Program.
Special thanks to our major supporters:
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs