This special evening highlights a newly-formed saxophone quartet. Their wide-ranging musical forte includes pop, ragtime, light classical, spiritual, jazz, blues, big band and swing. The Los 4 Vientos Saxophone Quartet is comprised of Daniel Oliveros, director of the Puerto Vallarta Symphonic Orchestra, on baritone saxophone, Diego Benitez on soprano, Humberto Munguía on alto and Nayelli Coronado on tenor.
"A few months ago, I started working with three tremendous saxophonists to create an ensemble I love, the sax quartet. Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, we played a super varied repertoire with classical music, rock, swing and Christmas songs...saxophone, jazz and chamber music." Daniel Oliveros
They perform selections from Handel to Piazzolla, spirituals to Weather Report ("Birdland"). Tonight, they appeared, lined up and set the stage with a jazz funk number "The Chicken". Followed was a beautifully strong Handel's "Sing Unto God", a 1736 wedding anthem, joyous, uplifting and loyal. The four have rehearsed for so many months preparing for this first evening together, first time live on stage together and that fact was evident in how well they harmonized with each taking lead portions of every song. Daniel mentioned that they play numbers by Bruce Evans, a Canadian who is co-founder of the Diamond State Saxophone Quartet in 1972. "Diamond State Rag" rose through the room portraying the influence of the sax in rag music. Bruce's compositions reappeared with "Sweetie Pie", a sparkling blend of the horns honoring a loved one.
The saxophone was designed in the 1800s by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Its early use surfaced in vaudeville and ragtime bands in the early 1900s, leading to use in dance orchestras and jazz. It first gained popularity in military bands, chamber and light classical music. During the 1920s, the saxophone came into use as a jazz instrument, fostered by the influences of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. A whimsical "While Strolling The Park One Day" from"The Nifty Nineties", a 1941 Disney Mickey Mouse flick, showed the light humor of this quartet all playing saxes evident in the buoyancy displayed.
Daniel said that many songs written by big band or jazz leaders contained their name as "Blue Monk" by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. The sax works very well with jazzy musical style. Another theme was slavery, dating back to the Bible when Moses called up the Lord to "Go Down, Moses (Let My People Go"), the Jews, later sung by black people wanting their own freedom which turned the composition into a spiritual cry for freedom. "Lemon Meringue", a merengue, (derived from meringue, a dish made from egg whites which is popular in Latin-American countries.) The striking muti-sounds stirred up the listeners.
After a brief intermission, the quartet returned to offer what Diego said everyone should be familiar with, "Pink Panther" by the terrific Henry Mancini. His music for the animated film was bouncy, with the sax solo furnishing the desired sound and style. Demonstrating the range of saxophone usage in music of many genres, the quartet went into "Oblivion" by Piazzolla which was a haunting tango entry.
Diego announced that the theme is being changed due to this being the Holiday season times. For a special Christmas treat, the group invoked the spirit of the season with jazzy versions of several popular holiday tunes starting with "Santa Baby", a light-hearted classic by Eartha Kitt, although the saxes did not purr. On religious terms, they presented "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" but the special excellence was heard when they played a soft "Carol of the Bells"/"We Three Kings". The piece was utterly masterful.
Diego sadly stated that the evening must end for the next show and they rode off on "Sleigh Ride" to the sheer delight of the audience. One could hear the bells ringing as the vehicle flew through the snow (but not here in the tropics). Their delivery put many present right into the spirit. They were about to walk away when an encore was summoned. The sax quartet felt that this song was the ideal ending for the festive night and played "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", an old English carol. They bowed and wished that we would encourage their return and be given the ability to educate and please many more music lovers.
More photos are visible on my Facebook Shows group below.
Act II Entertainment - Act2PV - Red Room
Insurgentes 300 (corner of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes), second floor
Romantic Zone/SouthSide, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
Show info available at www.act2pv.com
The box office is open from 10 am - 10 pm.
Puerto Vallarta OldTown/SouthSide:
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