Buffalo Philharmonic celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with church performances, Mambo Kings concert

BUFFALO, NY – It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and the BPO is celebrating.

BPO violist Janz Castelo is leading a string quartet composed of himself, BPO violinists Andrea Blanchard-Cone and Amy Licata and cellist Eva Herer in performances at several churches that serve the Hispanic community. Castelo is the Artistic Director of the Buffalo Chamber Players, is active in the Puerto Rican community, and speaks fluent Spanish. He selected the music to be performed, and will speak on behalf of the BPO at each visit. Casimiro Rodriguez Sr. of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York and the BPO Diversity Council will introduce the quartet to each congregation.

On Sept. 24, the quartet performs during the Spanish-language masses at 10:15 a.m. at Holy Angels, 348 Porter Ave. and at 12:15 p.m. at Holy Cross, 345 Seventh Street. On Oct. 15, the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month, the quartet will perform at 10:15 a.m. at Destiny International Church, 172 15th Street and at 11:30 a.m. at Primera Iglesia Metodista at 62 Virginia St.

On Oct. 14, the BPO is performing with the Rochester-based Mambo Kings at Kleinhans Music Hall. The BPO Diversity Council has arranged performances of Hispanic dance music by Hutchinson Tech’s Tech Tones and Olmsted High’s Jazz F.L.O. at 7 p.m. in the Mary Seaton Room. The Mambo Kings take the main stage with the BPO at 8 p.m. Bradley Thachuk conducts this tour of Latin jazz, featuring music by everyone from Astor Piazzolla to The Beatles, from Dave Brubeck to Tito Puente. The Mambo Kings have been together since 1995 and have earned a reputation as America’s top Latin jazz ensemble, performing with The Florida Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and more. The concert is part of the KeyBank Pops Series.

The Hispanic Heritage Month celebration was spearheaded by the BPO Diversity Council. The Council formed in July 2016 to assist the orchestra in realizing its longstanding goals of presenting diverse programming, supporting artists of color, and engaging with every part of the Western New York community in a meaningful way.

The formation of the Diversity Council places the BPO at the vanguard of a national movement to diversify the American classical music scene. The Council will help the orchestra work towards the goals of featuring artists of color (soloists, conductors, composers) in concerts; creating programs tied to community events and history that are relevant to diverse audiences; establishing collaborative partnerships with diverse organizations; supporting music education in under-served areas and encouraging broad participation in music programs; and seeking diversity at all levels of the organization including the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and the orchestra itself.

Tickets to The Mambo Kings range from $29 – $84, with student tickets available for $11 with ID. Purchase tickets by visiting bpo.org, by calling (716) 885-5000, or by stopping at the Kleinhans box office at 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201. Tickets include the pre-concert performances by Hutchinson Tech and Olmsted High School.


As Buffalo’s cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 40 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org.

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