From its haunting opening arrangement of Sting's Latin-tinged song Fragile to the rousing sounds of the traditional Spanish flamenco Sevillanas, LAGQ Latin takes the listener on a journey to Latin lands and cultures, including Cuba, Central America, South America, and Spain.
South America is represented in a reworking of Forrobodo by jazz great Egberto Gismonti, as well as by an arrangement of tango master Astor Piazolla's Fuga y Misterio (Fugue and Mystery). From Cuban composer Eduardo Martin comes the virtuosic La Trampa (The Trap) and Hasta Alicia Baila (Even Alicia Dances), which is based on the guaguanco, a "call and response" form of the Cuban rumba. Cuban Landscape with Rain, by pre-eminent Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, creates a complete rainstorm, beginning with occasional water droplets and ending with a raging torrent complete with hail.
American composer Aaron Copland's Latin interpretations are heard in two of his three Latin American Sketches: Paisaje Mexicano (Mexican Landscape) and Danza de Jalisco (Dance from Jalisco). LAGQ's Andrew York created an inspired adaptation of the slow movement from Joaquin Rodrigo's popular Concierto de Aranjuez, titled En Aranjuez con tu amor (In Aranjuez with your love). York's composition Syzygy (taken from the astronomical term for an event in which two astronomical bodies are aligned with our Sun in a straight line) is a flamenco-flavored piece written as a commission for the San Francisco-based group Festival of Four. This performance features guest flutist James Walker.
William Kanengiser contributed his own arrangement of a six-movement suite from Bizet's opera Carmen, which has become a perennial audience favorite at LAGQ concerts.