Joaquin on Sunshine

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Jim Casella

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 4:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Tapspace Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $0.00


Player 1: Glockenspiel & Splash Cymbal & Finger Cymbals
Player 2: Xylophone & Crotales
Player 3: Chimes & Mark Tree & Triangle
Player 4: Vibraphone & Sizzle Cymbal
Player 5: Vibraphone
Player 6-7: Marimba & Suspended Cymbal & Sizzle Cymbal
Player 8-9: Marimba
Player 10: Timpani
Player 11: Piano
Player 12: Electric Bass
Player 13: Drum set
Player 14: Bongos & Guiro
Player 15: Congas & Cabasa & Djembe
Player 16: Timbales with 2 Cowbells and Cymbal attached & Djembe
Cymbals: 2 Suspended Cymbal & Sizzle Cymbal
Player 17: Shekere & Triangle & Suspended Cymbal & Tam Tam & Bell Tree

Program Notes

Joaquin on Sunshine was originally written in 2008 under the working title “El Ritmo Adentro.” In the early stages of my writing, the rhythms started developing an Afro-Cuban flavor, and before I knew it, I was writing my first songo-inspired piece. This wasn’t my original intent. I set out to write something where syncopation dictated its energy and the downbeats were rarely the dominant part of the pulse, melody, or phrasings. (El Ritmo Adentro translates to “The Rhythm Inside.”)

As the piece solidified, it took on a festive quality that turned out to be a lot of fun. However, I could never quite come up with a title that reflected this in addition to its Latin flavor. So while the title didn’t come around until after the piece was finished (with inspiration from my friends Murray Gusseck and David Reeves), I love that our friend Joaquin has something to smile about. Fans of the band Katrina and the Waves may not appreciate the corny wordplay, but it makes me happy.

Written for a large ensemble, the piece uses a fairly typical array of percussion instruments as well as a rhythm section including bass guitar, piano, drumset, timbales, bongos, congas and shekere. A recurring motive of 2+3 rumba clave appears regularly, though it isn’t meant to be a constant key to the groove. Aside from the inherent challenges imposed by the syncopation, the often dense scoring can be difficult for players to navigate within. This becomes a great way for ensembles to rehearse awareness so that accompaniment doesn’t become heavy and for more melodic parts to relate their off-beat phrasings to the groove supplied by the accompaniment. When performed well, the phrasing feels precise and fluid while weaving around the strong beats, with the various instruments finding a comfortable balance with each other.

Joaquin on Sunshine was written for the Foster High School percussion ensemble from Richmond, Texas, under the direction of Mr. Daren Jordan.[1]



Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Altered Gates - Percussion Quintet
Compound Autonomy - Percussion Ensemble (15)
Cop Drama - Percussion Ensemble (16)
Cyclone - Percussion Ensemble (12)
Dystopia - Percussion Ensemble (15)
Joaquin on Sunshine - Percussion Ensemble (15-17)
Katraterra - Percussion Nonet
Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe - Marimba, Percussion Nonet
Prime Ordinals - Multiple Percussion, Djembe
Stormbreak - Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble (optional)
Technology (Casella) - Percussion Ensemble
Truth or Consequence - Percussion Ensemble (19)
Windows of the Maloca - Percussion Ensemble(14)

Additional Resources