Tone Poem Tuesday

William Grant Still, who lived from 1895 to 1978, is one of the most prominent and important African-American composers. He was prolific, writing five symphonies and eight operas in addition to an impressive array of other works. His is an important voice from the time when jazz was emerging and when the American musical vernacular was starting to move beyond its European-dominated roots.

This suite, the Danzas de Panama, is a chamber work that is heard here performed by full string orchestra. The suite of four selections uses folk source material from Panama, and Still creates the appropriate air of folk dance here, albeit combined with the traditional sounds of the Western orchestra.

Here is Danzas de Panama by William Grant Still.

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