Representing New Mexico:
Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra
LCSO POPS Concert Featuring the Mambo Kings
The 2019-2020 POPS concert hosted a visiting guest band fronting the full Orchestra, the Mambo Kings, a Latin Jazz Fusion band. The February 2020 Mambo Kings POPS concert attracted a diverse audience not typically found in the Classics concerts. The strong presence of a Latino community in Las Cruces was the impetus for programming a concert that featured a jazz fusion repertoire from countries such as Argentina, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the US. The high energy concert aims to appeal to both traditional classical concert audiences and younger audiences more accustomed to popular music, by incorporating strong percussion elements alongside more traditional string, brass, and wind instrumentation.
The Las Cruces Symphony POPS concert featuring the Mambo Kings allowed the Orchestra to reach audiences that may not typically attend a classical symphony concert. Conversely, it allowed symphony supporters to experience a different genre of music. By reaching a broader community than just the patrons of classical music, the LCSA accomplished its goal of music outreach to the community.
This project also helped the LCSA achieve its mission to provide music of the highest artistic quality to the region. It is a natural outgrowth and expansion of the current activity of the Orchestra. Many of the audience members who attend the POPS concert are hearing live, symphonic music for the first time. This first-time exposure often leads to an awakening of one’s desire for live music, and perhaps a return for our Classics Concerts, thereby enhancing the audience base of the only symphony orchestra in Southern New Mexico.
The Mambo Kings and Kenny Arroyos Light and Sound participated with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra to produce this event.