March Tumbao is an amalgam of the rhythmic styles of the Afro-Cuban tradition with the American march forms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The “tumbao” is the principal bass rhythm found in Afro-Cuban dance music and is also a term roughly similar to “swing” in jazz (i.e. the ineffable rhythmic sense of satisfying motion). This cross-cultural combination is far from new as the incomparable Jelly Roll Morton would incorporate Afro-Latin rhythms that he called “the Spanish tinge” into his works which used traditional march or ragtime form. Besides the tumbao, the cascara, son clave, montuno, and other characteristic rhythms are utilized throughout my composition. The form incorporates all of the typical elements of American marches and rags including a boisterous introduction, a syncopated binary first section, a tuneful trio section, the break strain or dogfight, and a virtuosic woodwind obbligato in the final trio statement. This work is dedicated to Bob Margolis whose Fantasia Nova inspired me as well as Dr. Richard Mayne (University of Northern Colorado, retired) who always loves a good march.
Six wind parts may be played with any number of instruments as described below:
Part 1: Piccolo (optional), Flute, B-flat Clarinet
Part 2: Flute/Oboe, B-flat Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Part 3: B-flat Clarinet, B-flat Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, F Horn
Part 4: B-flat Clarinet, B-flat Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, F Horn
Part 5: Tenor Saxophone, F Horn, Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon
Part 6: Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon, Tuba