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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Music » » Les Baxter Live in Tampa, St. Pete & Clearwater!
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Les Baxter Live in Tampa, St. Pete & Clearwater!
OnyaBirri
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Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2007-11-02 10:28 am   Permalink

Tito Puente Jr. will be performing with The Florida Orchestra on Nov. 15, 17 & 18, 2007. He will be on the second half of the concert.

The first half of the concert will consist of the orchestra playing Latin-tinged orchestral numbers.

I am very happy to announce that on the bill will be a seldom-performed Les Baxter composition, “Mai-Tai” from Les's Reprise album "Soul of the Drums." The Orchestra is playing the very arrangement that was used on the recording, courtesy of the Les Baxter Collection at the University of Arizona.

This will represent a rare opportunity to hear an authentic Les Baxter orchestral exotica arrangement performed live. If you’re anywhere near the Tampa Bay area, I would urge you attend one of these performances and to CLAP LOUDLY. I cannot promise anything, but it is my sincere hope that this will open the door for a future Les Baxter-themed concert by The Florida Orchestra.

Incidentally, Tito Puente, Jr. plays his father’s music and uses many of the charts from his Dad’s book. The rest of the night should be a lot of fun also.

Go to
http://www.floridaorchestra.org for details on the concert.


[ This Message was edited by: OnyaBirri 2007-11-02 13:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: OnyaBirri 2007-11-02 15:14 ]


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The Mayor Of Exotica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 392
From: Boston
Posted: 2007-11-02 12:41 pm   Permalink

Now there's a double bill not to be missed!

 
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Tonga Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 154
From: The Tonga Lounge in Safety Harbor, FL
Posted: 2007-11-03 09:52 am   Permalink

I travel alot, so I hope I can go. Sounds like it should be a great time!! The more Tiki vibe in the Tampa area the better. Now if someone would only open a great bar...
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TikiLaLe
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Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 891
From: Largo, Floriduh
Posted: 2007-11-04 10:02 am   Permalink

Attend the Nov 18, show at Ruth Eckerd Hall .. Just Bence there and it was great !!!!

 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2007-11-15 8:22 pm   Permalink

Attended tonight's performance in Tampa, and the Florida Orchestra nailed "Mai Tai." How cool to hear a Les Baxter arrangement in person.

Anyone going Saturday or Sunday?


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2007-11-19 06:29 am   Permalink

KailuaGeoff and I were there last night with our resplendent wives and it was great to hear the conductor, Robert Romanski, mention that they are hoping to do a full night of Les Baxter tunes in the future.

One other odd note, the conductor's father was a bartender at the Bahi Hut in Sarasota.

He also mentioned to the audience that this was a style of music known as "exotica."
We were jazzed at the fact that the music is making its way into symphonic settings.

I'm wondering if a luau at The Rusty Key is in order.
Turns out Mr. Romanski lives right down the street from me.

I'll make him a Mai Tai he'll never forget.



[ This Message was edited by: pablus 2007-11-19 06:32 ]


 
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The Mayor Of Exotica
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Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 392
From: Boston
Posted: 2007-11-26 10:56 am   Permalink

I daydream about having a big band or orchestra that brings Exotica to venues like Symphony Hall here in Boston. I think the world is ready for it. I think the hard part is getting the authentic Mai Tai's served during intermission.

 
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OnyaBirri
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Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2007-11-26 3:29 pm   Permalink

It's ironic that this sort of thing didn't happen in the mid 90s, at the height of the lounge revival, isn't it? Orchestras (in the US) routinely worry about dwindling ticket sales and aging audiences. And all of a sudden, a genre of orchestral pop music was hip. The vinyl flew up in price, stuff was getting reissued on CD, and the people listening were younger urban hipsters. That first Esquivel collection on Bar None outsold most of that label's indie bands that year. I wonder if the staff of orchestras realized this at the time, but I'm guessing there was a disconnect.

In fairness, lots of this music was written especially for recording sessions, and designed to be played once. I'm sure lots of scores and parts have disappeared, and even if they existed, they would have been tough to cull together on short notice. And the oddball ensemble configurations on many of these records does not help matters, either.

Still, I'm glad that a good chunk of Les Baxter's music has survived. If The Florida Orchestra does any more Les Baxter, you guys will be the first to know!

[ This Message was edited by: OnyaBirri 2007-11-26 15:44 ]


 
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Mr. Ho
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Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 433
From: Boston, MA
Posted: 2007-11-26 4:21 pm   Permalink

ONyabirri - good points here!

I have lots of opinions about this subject being a classically trained percussionist and also a member of WAITIKI and the founder of our Esquivel Orchestrotica project.

I am not surprised you don't hear this material with bigger orchestras; what sells the most is usually the beethovens and mozarts and they have to do that stuff to stay alive esp in towns without lots of orchestral options. also, the whole concept of "pops" is generally a turn off (often a valid one) for the players and conductor alike who usually do these shows because they need to pay the bills ! Xmas pops and 4th of July are big ticket sellers. between that and the classical stuff, it doesnt leave much room for programming things outside the norm - and if it falls into the pop category, it's even harder to sell i the programming I think.

The Mayor and I have been discussing this recently and may be putting together a new project to focus on some of this type of music - the big big bongo beats, and ratpacky bigband sounds...classic mambo and crime jazz - in the jazz orchestra vain, this stuff is credible and definitely has it's challenges especially in the horn parts. There is even an existing orchestra who I think could be great to team up with given their mission statement...

The other issue here is funding - we've programmed the Orchestrotica only about 3x in the US and 1x overseas. the three shows in town we did were mostly money losers - meaning the band lost money on this entirely - usually because of the main expense being the musicians hall rental, and marketing the event. people dont want to pay 20$+ to see a band in a bar on a weekend unless you have a lot of following or have a big name behind you; this is why you dont see a lot of big bands : few spaces to play, no crowds, and not a lot of support/interest financially from clubs and sponsors (perhaps). In addition, getting the best players to commit to projects like this is quite difficult because good freelancers have very busy schedules and usually cost more (as they should). I don't think we ever managed to rehearse the entire Orchestrotica with EVERYONE there until we got to mexico! Then there is the equipment side (space aside, the percussion requirements are usually enormous and the stage equipment can multiple out of hand if you need PA on top of all the regular gear). So, if you dont do it in a club, then you move it into a concert hall but you have all the other issues i discussed here to deal with. ANyhow, that aside, what's a good project without it's challenges?

I am hoping that we can assemble up in boston a good group that can have a solid set of mambo/dancable material, ratpacky stuff (sinatra, vocalists etc), and exotica/esquivel/space-age sounds to fill out a night's entertainment. Then maybe add the spaghetti westerns, NFL films soundtracks, and more! With good players and a good entertainment angle, i think it could be stellar. We might start with more of a classic big band setup , then grow out the percussion more, auxiliary instruments, singers, and finally string section. You are right that a lot of those albums were "Record" albums and not setup for live performance so much. But we can try to change that! haha. ANyhow, I hope that we can do all this without also having to transcribe all the charts as we did have to for the Esquivel thing - hopefully some of these other composers still have material!

Okonkuluku!


_________________
Artistic Director, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band & Global Jazz Quintet
“no group on the planet sounds like the Orchestrotica”–Lucid Culture
http://orchestrotica.com/ ••• New album Nov. 2013


 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2007-11-26 5:01 pm   Permalink

I agree with all your points, and can imagine that big shows such as those you described may not even break even.

One thing worth noting, though: The core area of support for an orchestra is its subscriber base. A well-managed orchestra can afford to put at least one adventurous program on its pops series in a season. If it doesn't scare away the subscribers but at the same time generates additional single ticket sales, it would likely be considered successful. And if the conductor and musicians dig it more than the ubiquitous "Stars and Stripes Forever" for the ten thousandth time, even better.

Best of luck with your current and future projects! If I'm not mistaken, I think I saw you play in Robert Drasnin's group in 2005.

[ This Message was edited by: OnyaBirri 2007-11-26 17:02 ]


 
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Mr. Ho
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 433
From: Boston, MA
Posted: 2007-11-26 6:51 pm   Permalink

Okonkuluku again!

I agree about the subscriber base; however, a lot of conductors as i understand it, have control over the programming. i also agree they can get adventuresome; however, i think this more often means "harry potter suite" or something that people can relate to readily - again, probably becaues of lack of knowledge or respect for the crossover stuff we are talking about...stars and stripes aint goin nowhere but, maybe baxter and esquivel can start to make a come back glad we could play for you w/ drasnin!

_________________
Artistic Director, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band & Global Jazz Quintet
“no group on the planet sounds like the Orchestrotica”–Lucid Culture
http://orchestrotica.com/ ••• New album Nov. 2013


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1773
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-11-27 4:07 pm   Permalink

Hey Ho. (Heh, that has a nice ring to it.) I've got to say that if anything would make me fly to Boston for a concert, it would be you four directing an orchestra. Exotica, Esquivel, space-age, ratpack AND spaghetti westerns? 20 bucks is a steal.

 
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2007-11-29 11:30 am   Permalink


Don't be trying to steal this thread, you buncha egg-head Bos-tards.

Hey OnyaBirri, you up for a little luau action at the Rusty Key?

Rob?

Other FLohana?

I think I can get Romanski here through my good buddy DiMura.
Maybe a Thursday Night or some slow night after the holidays, of course.

I'm planning on flying Mr. Ho in to do some vibe work on the new Crazed Mugs CD so it should probably be right around then, ehh? Some Haole Kats? Maybe get a carver to show up - Coombs loves me.

I think rugbyMatt is gonna be here around the 12th of January so.... hmmmmm.


 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2007-11-29 11:37 am   Permalink

I'm always up for rum drinks! Send me a pm with the details and I'll be there!

 
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Mr. Ho
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 433
From: Boston, MA
Posted: 2007-11-29 11:38 am   Permalink

for what its worth, i just checked and if its somewhere between 1/1/08 and 12/31/08 i SHOULD be able to make it to the Rusty Key. its a tough life i have as a Ho sometimes.

if i needed your thread i would buy yarn. </deepthought>



_________________
Artistic Director, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band & Global Jazz Quintet
“no group on the planet sounds like the Orchestrotica”–Lucid Culture
http://orchestrotica.com/ ••• New album Nov. 2013


 
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