Latin Jazz Festival Concert with special guests Francisco Mora Catlett and Danis Perez

Presented by: 
School of Music
Latin Jazz Festival Concert with special guests Francisco Mora Catlett and Danis Perez
Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 7:30pm
Voxman Music Building
93 East Burlington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
Concert Hall
School of Music
Music Recital Attendance
Dance Concert Attendance

Presented by the UI School of Music.

FREE Admission.


The Roots:
CUBiowA Drum and Dance Group
Francisco Mora Catlett – percussion  
Danys "La Mora" Pérez – choreography

1. Eleguá (Yoruba): This is an Orisha from Cuba’s Santería religious tradition. Eleguá is the guardian of the gates and likes to play tricks on humankind. He is recognized at the beginning of any journey or event.

2. Oyá (Yoruba): This female Orisha represents maternal instincts and when provoked, will respond with wind and storms over the water.

3. Rumba Guaguancó: A uniquely secular Cuban rhythm and dance that captures both the story (sung by the sonero at the front of the piece) and the age-old interplay between man and woman (shown by the dancers).

4. Palo (Bantu): Another folkloric religious tradition from Cuba showing the roots of people from the Congo basin of West Africa. Palo is an intense dance and rhythm that shows the intense energy of warrior characteristics.

The Branches:
UI Latin Jazz Ensemble
Featuring guest artist: Francisco Mora Catlett

5. “Saints at Congo Square”                           Traditional (Arr: Francisco Mora Catlett)

6. “One Spirit One Voice”                                          Francisco Mora Catlett

7. “Suny”                                                                    Francisco Mora Catlett

8. “Se Eu Soubesse”                                                   Luis Bonilla 

9. “Five times Max”                                                    Francisco Mora Catlett

10. “Ye Ye Olude” (Iyesa)/Conga de Comparsa        Francisco Mora Catlett/Traditional

(with CUBiowA Dancers and Drummers)

The CUBiowA Drum Group:
Chris Loeckle
Maurice Artiaga
Carlo Kind
Ed East
Adam Grosso
Michal Brauhn
Ben Yancy

CUBiowA Dancers:
Modei Akyea (Director)
Jensen Steinbronn
Alexandra Recht
Yinyin Hou 
Emily Gumal
Dharmini Piekarska
Sarah Skilling

UI Latin Jazz Ensemble
James Dreier (Director)
Josh Theodore – Alto sax
Matt Nicholson – Tenor sax
Derek VanDenTop – Bari sax
Ben Hoefle – Trumpet
Claire McCall – Trumpet
Nicholas Krejci – Trombone
Rayne Dias – Piano
Murilo Rezende – Bass
Ryan Smith – Drums and percussion

Francisco Mora Catlett: drummer, composer and educator, comes to his visionary work naturally: Born in Washington, D.C., into a family of celebrated artists (Mexican painter Francisco Mora and African-American sculptress Elizabeth Catlett) he began his musical career in Mexico City, where he had grown up.

Mora Catlett worked as a session musician for Capitol Records' Mexican division during 1968-1970. He studied music at Music School of UNAM in Mexico and with a grant from the Mexican government, he returned to the U.S. from 1970 to 1973 to study with Alan Dawson at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He left Mexico City with the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1973 and worked with Sun Ra until 1980. While living in Detroit, in 1987 he released his first album as a leader, the Pan-Afro project Mora!

Since relocating to New York City in 2002, while co-founding the “Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Dance Company” with his wife Cuban dancer and choreographer Danys Perez Prades “La Mora”. Mora Catlett has added to his recording projects; two CDs for the FREEDOM JAZZ TRIO; New Under The Sun, featuring Francesco Tristano. in 2010, and Live At The Bronx Museum with Craig Taborn, in 2011, the new “Outer Zone Band” CD, ANDROMEDA M-31 featuring Craig Taborn, JD Allen, Graham Haynes and Val-Inc., in 2010, the acclaimed 2012 double Cd: AFRO HORN MX, with: JD Allen, Vincent Bowens, Alex Harding, Aruán Ortiz, Rashaan Carter and Roman Díaz, fallowing, AfroHORN "RARE METAL" in 2013 featuring Sam Newsome, Salim Washington, and vocal work from Oyu Oro, and for 2015-2016; AfroHORN "AT THE EDGE OF THE SPIRAL".

Danys "La Mora" Pérez - Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer of OYU ORO Afro Cuban Dance Ensemble

Originally from Santiago de Cuba, Danys "La Mora" Pérez is an internationally renowned master of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. 
Perez's special expertise as dancer, teacher, dance ethnologist, and choreographer is in the unique styles of her native region of the Oriente province in Eastern Cuba. Oriente attributes its rich cultural heritage to the infusion of Afro-Haitian influences to an already vibrant Afro-Cuban context.

Perez began her dance training at an early age with Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian
dance ensembles. At 13, she was asked to join the renowned national folkloric ballet company, Cutumba, and toured internationally with the company for 18 years. While dancing with Cutumba, she founded her own dance company, Adiro Omode, for Children ages 4 to 15 in Santiago de Cuba. Adiro Omode has trained some of the internationally acclaimed professional dancers currently working with Cutumba and Folklorico National de Oriente.  In 1998, Las Mora was the founder of another dance company, the original Oyu Oro, with professional and amateur dancers also based in Santiago de Cuba.

Since her first visit to the States in 1996, she has taught at numerous universities such as Cornell University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Williams College, University of New Mexico, Wayne State University in Detroit, University of Michigan. She was invited by the legendary Katherine Dunham to participate in her East Saint Louis seminars and the icon's invitation to Wayne State University led to the inaugural performance at the African-American Museum in Detroit.

For the past four years, she has been teaching weekly Afro Cuban dance classes at The Alvin Ailey Extension program. She has also attended in several dance programs and workshops outside New York, as a guest instructor and choreographer, including the annual participation to the summer intensive dance program at Humboldt University in California and Tulane University in New Orleans.

Modei Akyea - Modei Akyea is a long-time member of the Latin Dance community in the Iowa City area.  He has studied Cuban folkloric dance in Cuba with members of Los Munequitos de Matanzas and Afrocuba de Matanzas.

A Note of Recognition: Akyea and Dreier, along with colleague Paul Cunliffe (Dance) co-directed the UI Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble along with 2 “Intro” classes for dance and drums from roughly 2004 – 2015. Originating in the School of Music and then based in Dance, the group was a collaborative inter-departmental ensemble that performed the folkloric music of Cuba throughout the State of Iowa (UI ArstShare program). The directors made several trips to Cuba and organized a study abroad trip for UI students in 2003. The direct-source research developed from this unique ensemble is part of what has made this concert possible tonight.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the sponsoring department or contact person listed in advance of the event.