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Aguilar and Stringbeans
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Upcoming Circuit Productions Sponsored Performances: TBA

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Circuit Productions Inc. (CPI) is supported, in part, with public funds from New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Orlando Marin Ensemble

Born in the Bronx and a contemporary of Tito Puente, Machito, Tito Rodriguez and other New York mambo-era icons, Orlando Marin – The Last Mambo King is the only orchestra leader from New York’s golden era of mambo who still performs regularly.

Latin American music including mambo and cha-cha-cha are styles performed by the Orlando Marin Quintet. Here they are playing "Timbalero."

Special Programs Featured Artist

(c. 2010, Alex Hanna)

When one thinks about alternative medicine, herbal teas and salt baths may come to mind.  At The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) on July 14th, however, the alternative medicine of the day was Mambo, and the practitioner was none other than The Last Mambo King himself, Orlando Marin.

A master timbale player, Mr. Marin started his first band when he was just sixteen, having been swept up by the Latin dance craze of the early ’50’s.  Almost before he knew it, he and his band were a sensation in his native New York.  After world tours, military tours, appearances on radio and television, today Mr. Marin is the last of his contemporaries of the Mambo Era who still plays regularly.

It is perhaps to be expected that after so many years of being a major figure in his genre that his goals as a musician have changed.  His statement, “I play every Jail in New York City,” may come off as a humble admission from other musicians.  For Marin, this is a bragging point.  “For years,” he says, “I played for people who came to see me.  Now I play for the people who can’t.”  And for those who have the opportunity to receive his gift, appreciation doesn’t describe the half of it.

From the first note, some staffers and patients in the TBHC cafeteria were on their feet.  Others were contented at first to just tap their feet, but most couldn’t keep still for very long.  Playing his own classics like Que Chévere as well as standards like Summertime, the audience had an immediate connection to this vibrant musician and his extraordinary band.  Gene Jefferson, the Saxophonist and Flautist, played with particular poignancy and passion.

As the music drew to a close, it was clear that Marin’s music was not only a welcome addition to the hospital’s routine, but a necessary one.  A staff member Josephine approached Trisha Abrams (the event’s coordinator) and proclaimed, “We need the music to build up the energy in this place!  It’s so refreshing!  The world needs it!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.