Arts & Culture

Maracas Artist Manual Alejandro Rangel to Play With UK Wind Symphony

Watch Manuel Alejandro Rangel perform "Pataruco" with Sinfónica Simón Bolívar.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2019) The University of Kentucky Wind Symphony will present a concert featuring music inspired by the cultural, historical and artistic influences of Spain, Venezuela and Argentina with guest soloist Manuel Alejandro Rangel, considered to be one of the world’s finest maracas artists. The concert, "Duende: Celebrating Diversity through the Spirit of Music," will begin 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

Manuel Alejandro Rangel will join UK Wind Symphony to perform “Pataruco: Concerto for Venezuelan Maracas” by Ricardo Lorenz. The program will also include “La Procession du Rocio” by Spanish composer Joaquin Turina, “Danza de Los Duendes” by American composer Nancy Galbraith and “Duende” by contemporary Spanish composer Luis Serrano Alarcon.

The concert draws its name from el duende — the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to art. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive. Folk music in general, especially flamenco, tends to embody an authenticity that comes from a people whose culture is enriched by diaspora and hardship; vox populi, the human condition of joys and sorrows.

Rangel is an internationally acclaimed maracas player from Venezuela. As a soloist, he earned first place at the International Villavicencio Festival in Colombia and recently represented his home country in the Tatuí International Percussion Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He contributed to the Latin Grammy-winning album "Tesoros de la Música Venezolana" and released his first solo album, "Instinto," in 2008. Touring throughout South America and internationally, he has shared the stage with Celia Todd, Pablo Gil, Carlos “Nen” Quintero and Gonzalo Teppa, among others.

UK Wind Symphony is part of University of Kentucky Bands, which represent over 400 student members from several different organizations including the Wildcat Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Concert Band, and the UK Basketball and Volleyball Pep Bands.

Tickets for "Duende" are $12 for the general public and $5 for students. Free tickets are available for UK students in advance up to the day before the show when picked up at the Singletary Center box office. Tickets can be purchased through the Singletary Center ticket office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at or in person.

UK Wind Symphony is part of the UK Bands program at the School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.

multiple photos of Manuel Alejandro Rangel playing maracas imposed on each other
Manuel Alejandro Rangel

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.