KCUR's Band Of The Week: Ensemble Ibérica

May 10, 2017

Ensemble Ibérica, a Kansas City based ensemble dedicated to “the music of Ibéria (Spain and Portugal) and the colonial Americas,” interprets the music of southern Mexico and South America at Monday’s Tierra del Sol concert.

Beau Bledsoe, the group's leader, is one of Kansas City’s most versatile musicians — he also oversees the Turkish jazz group Alaturka and is a member of the classical chamber group Bach Aria Soloists, and Ensemble Ibérica is the backing band on Ibérica, the sublime new album by the Kansas City jazz saxophonist Matt Otto.

Monday's show includes contributions from the marimba quartet Sol de Chiapas, the Bolivian musician Amado Espinoza and vocalists Barrera and Victoria Botero.

It also features Fedra Cooper Barrera. Her vocals for the group’s reading of the classic Mexican song “Dega Que Salga La Luna” demonstrates Ensemble Ibérica’s refined yet lively approach:

The complete lineup of Monday’s concert: John Currey (marimba, percussion); Sam Wisman (marimba); Laura Lee Crandall (marimba); Katie Garcia (marimba); Amado Espinoza (charango, flutes, percussion); Victoria Botero (vocals); Fedra Cooper Barrera (vocals); Michael McClintock (guitars); Jordan Shipley (guitars); Beau Bledsoe (guitars).

Ensemble Ibérica — Tierra del Sol, 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 15 at MTH Theatre at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 301, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.

Bill Brownlee’s writing appears weekly in The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine. He blogs about Kansas City’s jazz scene at Plastic Sax.