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About Danzones

Who is Arturo Marquez and What Makes His Music so Popular?

Who is Arturo Marquez and What Makes His Music so Popular?

Who is Arturo Marquez and What Makes His Music so Popular?

Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez made it big with his symphonic hit, Danzon No.2, now mainstream repertoire for every major U.S. orchestra. It even had a starring role in the Amazon hit series, Mozart in the Jungle. Marquez has composed 9 danzones, which are based on a dance originally from Cuba, a kind of rondo with recurring refrains separated by verses, featuring instrumental solos, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Like the tango, it is an urban dance with nostalgic melodies and intense sensuality. But Marquez writes more than danzones. He has composed a variety of beautiful, complex works for orchestra, small ensembles, and film scores—music that is always accessible, strongly melodic, and rhythmically varied.

Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez made it big with his symphonic hit, Danzon No.2, now mainstream repertoire for every major U.S. orchestra. It even had a starring role in the Amazon hit series, Mozart in the Jungle. Marquez has composed 9 danzones, which are based on a dance originally from Cuba, a kind of rondo with recurring refrains separated by verses, featuring instrumental solos, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Like the tango, it is an urban dance with nostalgic melodies and intense sensuality. But Marquez writes more than danzones. He has composed a variety of beautiful, complex works for orchestra, small ensembles, and film scores—music that is always accessible, strongly melodic, and rhythmically varied.

Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez made it big with his symphonic hit, Danzon No.2, now mainstream repertoire for every major U.S. orchestra. It even had a starring role in the Amazon hit series, Mozart in the Jungle. Marquez has composed 9 danzones, which are based on a dance originally from Cuba, a kind of rondo with recurring refrains separated by verses, featuring instrumental solos, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Like the tango, it is an urban dance with nostalgic melodies and intense sensuality. But Marquez writes more than danzones. He has composed a variety of beautiful, complex works for orchestra, small ensembles, and film scores—music that is always accessible, strongly melodic, and rhythmically varied.

Arturo Márquez was born deep in the Sonoran desert in the colonial town of Alamos, Mexico on December 20, 1950, one of nine children. He was named after his father, Arturo Márquez, who was of Mexican descent from Arizona and a man of many talents. He played the violin, was a mariachi, and worked as a carpenter. The Márquez family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1962 where Arturo began to study violin and several other instruments at his junior high school. He also began to compose. Márquez said, “My adolescence was spent listening to Javier Solis, sounds of mariachi, the Beatles, Doors, Carlos Santana and Chopin.” At 17, he returned to Sonora, and the following year he was named director of the Municipal Band in Navojoa. In 1970, he began his studies at the Mexican Music Conservatory and later received a scholarship from the French government to study composition with Jacques Casterede in Paris. After studying in France, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a Masters in Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts.

Arturo Márquez was born deep in the Sonoran desert in the colonial town of Alamos, Mexico on December 20, 1950, one of nine children. He was named after his father, Arturo Márquez, who was of Mexican descent from Arizona and a man of many talents. He played the violin, was a mariachi, and worked as a carpenter. The Márquez family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1962 where Arturo began to study violin and several other instruments at his junior high school. He also began to compose. Márquez said, “My adolescence was spent listening to Javier Solis, sounds of mariachi, the Beatles, Doors, Carlos Santana and Chopin.” At 17, he returned to Sonora, and the following year he was named director of the Municipal Band in Navojoa. In 1970, he began his studies at the Mexican Music Conservatory and later received a scholarship from the French government to study composition with Jacques Casterede in Paris. After studying in France, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a Masters in Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts.

Arturo Márquez was born deep in the Sonoran desert in the colonial town of Alamos, Mexico on December 20, 1950, one of nine children. He was named after his father, Arturo Márquez, who was of Mexican descent from Arizona and a man of many talents. He played the violin, was a mariachi, and worked as a carpenter. The Márquez family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1962 where Arturo began to study violin and several other instruments at his junior high school. He also began to compose. Márquez said, “My adolescence was spent listening to Javier Solis, sounds of mariachi, the Beatles, Doors, Carlos Santana and Chopin.” At 17, he returned to Sonora, and the following year he was named director of the Municipal Band in Navojoa. In 1970, he began his studies at the Mexican Music Conservatory and later received a scholarship from the French government to study composition with Jacques Casterede in Paris. After studying in France, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a Masters in Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts.

Arturo Márquez has written his series of classical music danzones as a tribute to popular music and to express his feelings about the dance and its important role in Mexican urban music. The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments. This kind of music and dance atmosphere inspired Márquez to compose not one, but a series of eight danzónes for orchestra. "It allowed me to go into the symphonic world, into the classical world — I wouldn't say easily, but with a very natural sense," Márquez says.

Arturo Márquez has written his series of classical music danzones as a tribute to popular music and to express his feelings about the dance and its important role in Mexican urban music. The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments. This kind of music and dance atmosphere inspired Márquez to compose not one, but a series of eight danzónes for orchestra. "It allowed me to go into the symphonic world, into the classical world — I wouldn't say easily, but with a very natural sense," Márquez says.

Arturo Márquez has written his series of classical music danzones as a tribute to popular music and to express his feelings about the dance and its important role in Mexican urban music. The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments. This kind of music and dance atmosphere inspired Márquez to compose not one, but a series of eight danzónes for orchestra. "It allowed me to go into the symphonic world, into the classical world — I wouldn't say easily, but with a very natural sense," Márquez says.