Warm Winds in Havana

Suite for Saxophone Quartet

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Prelude - Havana Promenade

1) Salida del Sol (Sunrise)

2) Danza del Día (Dance of the Day)

3) Ritmo de la Noche ( Rhythm of the Night)

Warm Winds in Havana - Street Dancers

This lively rhythmic work was originally commissioned by the Sydney Saxophone Quartet. The work explores many varied time signatures (7, 5, 4 and 3 beats per measure), contrapuntal techniques and syncopated rhythmic effects as well as introducing strong melodic themes.

The work has been performed a number of times internationally, including at the Donne in Musica festival in Italy in 1997, at the Australian Rhapsodies to Rhumbas Concerts in 2013 and 2014 and in Cuba 2016.

A recording of this work by Cuban musicians is available on the Parma Recordings CD 'ABRAZO' (Ansonica Label). The Javier Zalba Quartet plus percussionist Andres Coayo, instil an authentic Latin-American vitality into this engaging composition. www.ansonicarecords.com
Catalogue Number MMP 9001

Cuban Rehearsals for Warm Winds in Havana Abrazo CD Cover



Saxophones and Percussion

Score and Parts MMP 9020

While in Havana, the composer was treated to a lively street parade with people dancing on stilts – just the sort of activity this for which this Havana Promenade is suited. The introduction begins with two punchy Baritone eighth notes answered with a syncopated chordal figure played by the remaining saxophones in the ensemble. The music in these first two bars would be the signal for the parade to start. Two bars later the percussion joins in and the fun begins in earnest. Once the intro is over, the solo Baritone Sax underlying figure establishes the feel for the central section of the piece. The higher pitched instruments play a counter melody to the baritone line which helps build excitement. The piece finishes with a reprise of the rather funky introductory material.

1) SALIDA DEL SOL (Sunrise)
The motif of this moderately paced and gentle work is a descending syncopated theme in 7/4 time which is shared around between the instruments creating warm colours. Once this theme has been fully explored, the music then floats into the contrasting theme in the style of a jazz waltz.

2) DANZA DEL DIA (Dance of the Day)
In contrast to the previous movement this brisk work begins in quadruple time enlivened by syncopated chordal effects. The second theme is in triple time featuring flowing melodic lines treated in a contrapuntal manner. The mysterious sparse rhythmic figure in the contrasting middle section forms a platform over which the soprano and alto saxophones enter into a conversation followed by a short coda employing both the homophonic chordal rhythm and the melodic themes from earlier in the piece.

3) RITMO DE LA NOCHE (Rhythm of the Night)
In this final movement repeated sixteenth notes occurring in layers between the instruments create a shimmering effect which leads into a bouncy answering figure.

The rhythmic effect is then contrasted with expressive soaring melodic lines. In the development section of the piece, both ideas are combined as the flowing melody line is underpinned with the rhythmic motif established in the opening bars of the composition. The added percussion on the Cuban recording supports and amplifies the rhythmic saxophone lines, lending an authentic Cuban feel to this work.

The music for 1-3 is published by Furore Music (Germany)



The 'Warm Winds in Havana' Saxophone Quartet plus the introductory movement Prelude 'Havana Promenade' was performed by the Brandmanburg players, at the Rhapsodies to Rhumbas concert on the 9th of November 2013.

Danza Del Dia (2nd Movt of this work) is included for study in Margaret's high school text Accent on Music.