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"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Spice Up Mother’s Day With A Latin Jazz Concert

By Master Sgt. Amanda Simmons | United States Marine Band | May 4, 2016


On Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. EDT members of the Marine Band will present a dynamic Latin Jazz fusion program featuring salsa, Afro-Cuban, Venezuelan music, Mambo, cha-cha, and a few modern arrangements in John Philip Sousa Band Hall in Washington, D.C.  The concert is free and will also stream live on

According to program coordinator pianist Gunnery Sgt. AnnaMaria Mottola, the program’s structure is unique. The pieces will flow from one to another, changing frequently between featuring the entire 14-member group and smaller ensembles and solos.

The concert will include classics, such as Consuelo Velázquez’s "Bésame Mucho" (Kiss me generously), which was composed in 1940. Euphonium player Staff Sgt. Hiram Diaz will provide vocals.

“’Bésame Mucho’ is a very recognizable piece that has been covered for decades by both men and women,” Diaz notes. “This piece has a nice downtempo and was arranged specifically for our group by Mike Crotty.” 

On the flip side, Diaz will also provide vocals for Oscar Hernandez’s “Adelante Siempre Voy” which was made popular by Latin Jazz musician Ray Barretto. “This Puerto Rican salsa piece is about moving forward in your life and will showcase the brass and percussion sections of the ensemble,” said trumpeter Master Sgt. Scott Gearhart.

The program will also include “Yobo” by local composer César Orozco, Chick Corea’s “La Fiesta” and “Spain,” and Staff Sgt. Scott Ninmer’s arrangement of “El Diablo Suelto.” One presumed outlier is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This is one of Mottola’s favorite classical works. She had been searching for an opportunity to perform it, so last week she developed an arrangement of the recognizable theme from the concerto in a Latin style. 

The concert is free and no tickets are required. For a complete program, click here.

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