Cha-Cha Blues

Cha-Cha Blues for percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2008)
Composed: 2007
Duration: 2’15”
Difficulty: Medium
Instrumentation (8-9 players): xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, claves, guiro, congas, drumset, optional bass guitar

The 12-bar blues is quite possibly one of the most influential musical forms of the past century. This simple chord progression has been incorporated and modified by some of the greatest musicians in rock and jazz. It is flexible enough to work in virtually any style, including of course, the cha-cha. After an opening ensemble statement and a few bars of the groove, the standard 12-bar blues format begins with the xylophone serving as the primary melodic instrument. Following two statements of the tune, the ensemble shifts into a montuno (repetitive ostinato) section which eventually becomes the vamp over which individuals in the ensemble can solo. The drumset, congas, and a chromatically descending line in the mallet instruments kick the ensemble back into one final blues chorus and a one-bar ensemble tag.

… there are several opportunities to improve technique, become aware of style, and improve the skill of ensemble performance. – George Frock
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.