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The UTB Center of Excellence for Latin American and Iberian Music is launching a new monthly series this fall with lectures, films, performances, and workshops for students and the entire community, all free of charge.

The first event will be on Wednesday, Sept. 24th, 2014 at 7:30 PM in the Eidman 1 Lecture Hall here on campus. It will feature the 54 minute documentary film, “Jornada di un Badiu: The Story of Cape Verdean-American Musician Norberto Tavares, “ written and directed by Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Susan Hurley-Glowa.


Cape Verdean-American musician Norberto Tavares was an influential bandleader, social activist, and humanitarian. For thirty years Norberto Tavares acted as the social conscience of this Luso-African island nation as it made the transition from a Portuguese colony to a free democratic republic. Tavares brought the distinctively African sounds of rural Santiago to the national identity and addressed some of Cape Verde’s problems including gender and emigration issues through his songs. Focusing on his life and music, this documentary presents the parallel journeys of Tavares himself and the Independent Republic of Cape Verde.

Please come and support the Center of Excellence for Latin American and Iberian Music Lecture Series. For more information, contact Director Susan Hurley-Glowa (, 956-882-5787.

Latin American Music Connections currently within the Department of Music include:
Marimba Reyna del Valle: The Mexican Folk Marimba performance ensemble features music of Chiapas and Guatemala.  The only traditional Mexican marimba band in the country offered for course credit.
Mariachi: The mariachi is an active and highly-esteemed performing ensemble and course offered for credit at UTB, under the director of Associate Professor, Antonio Briseño. UTB has an established Mariachi certificate to specialize music educators in mariachi for the public schools.  The UTB mariachi musicians often perform in public in conjunction with student folk dance groups. Offered for course credit at UTB.
Samba:  Dr. Tom Nevill leads a community and campus samba group that performs the popular street beats of Brazil.
Latin Jazz:  UTB has a nationally recognized jazz program for over twenty-five years with a strong Latin jazz component under the direction of Dr. Steven Shoop. The UTB jazz ensembles participate in the annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. Offered for course credit at UTB. UTB also has an established faculty Latin Jazz Combo.
Art Music Connections currently within the Department of Music include:
Guitar Program: UTB has an outstanding guitar program under the direction of Dr. Michael Quantz. Students perform old and new repertoire from Argentina, Cuba, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico on a regular basis.  UTB offers several guitar ensembles and applied lessons for course credit.  The guitar program hosts the annual Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition.
Wind Ensemble: UTB has award winning wind instrumental program led by Allen Clark and Dr. Steven Shoop with expertise in performing and teaching the art of the “Paso Doble,” as well as other Hispanic-influenced genres. Offered for course credit at UTB.
Symphony Orchestra: under the direction of Martha Placeres, a native of Mexico, with extensive study and research into the art music of Mexican composers and a faculty string quartet with specialty in music of Mexican composers. Offered for course credit at UTB.
Piano: UTB’s internationally acclaimed piano faculty include:  Dr. Juan Pablo Andrade of Costa Rica, a specialist of piano music by Central American and Latin American composers and Prof. Richard Urbis, a specialist in performing music by composers influenced by the music of the Basque area, Portugal, Spain, Cuba, and Mexico. Offered for course credit at UTB.
Ethnomusicology Courses: New ethnomusicology courses taught by Dr. Hurley-Glowa will contain units on Tejano and Norteña musical traditions, as well as information about music from other Latin American and Iberian areas. Some courses will feature service learning fieldwork components that involve students in the documentation and preservation of local traditions (conjunto, banda, religious music, etc). (Undergraduate and Graduate courses are offered for UTB credit)
Radio Show “Excursiones Musicales,” hosted by Dr. Susan Hurley-Glowa. These shows on Latin American and Iberian music and musicians are broadcast on National Public Radio through KMBH 88 FM each Friday at noon since October 2012.
The Annual Hispanic Heritage Faculty Concert: held during national Hispanic Heritage Month each fall, this annual scholarship fundraiser event features the UTB Music Faculty and Special Guests. All proceeds benefit scholarships for UTB Music Students.
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