Brass with a Spanish flair tonight at BYU-Idaho

Courtesy photo The Spanish Brass quintet is known for its clear sound, technical expertise and energetic performances.

Carlos Benetó always dreamed of a career in music.

“I come from a musical family,” Benetó said. “My parents enrolled me in music lessons when I was little. I think I’ve always wanted to be a musician. That has been my passion for as long as I can remember.”

Benetó has spent much of his life perfecting his craft. The fruits of all that labor will be on display tonight, when Benetó and Spanish Brass perform at Barrus Concert Hall at Brigham Young University-Idaho. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Spanish Brass is known for its clear sound, technical expertise and energetic performances.

“We focus on playing tight, clean music,” Benetó said. “We draw a lot of influence from traditional Spanish music, which at times can have a very proud sound to it, with short, fast, notes. Even when we’re playing jazz pieces, or something by Bach, I think you can still hear those Spanish influences in our music, especially in the trumpets.”

Don Sparhawk, Center Stage and performance tours coordinator, said the group also conducted clinics this week for BYU-Idaho music students.

“Seeing Spanish Brass perform is highly recommended,” Sparhawk said. “We wanted to bring in a top group for a classical music performance and Spanish Brass is just that. They are one of the top brass quintets in the world.”

In addition to Benetó, the group features Juanjo Serna on trumpet, Inda Bonet on trombone, Manolo Pérez on French horn and Sergio Finca on tuba — all are from Valencia, Spain.

“We were all members of the Spanish National Youth Orchestra,” Benetó said. “At the time, the orchestra was playing pieces by Brahms. Brahms didn’t write very much for brass, so the five of us found some music for brass quintets from the orchestra’s library and started playing together for fun.”

Initially, the quintet would perform for friends and other orchestra members. The group was well received.

In 1998, Spanish Brass recorded its first album and soon began touring. Today, the group plays more than 100 concerts a year, on average, Benetó said.

Tonight’s concert will feature a variety of music, including pieces by such classical composers as Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as 17th-century Spanish composers Tomás Bretón and Enrique Granados. They also are expected to play jazz pieces by Lee Morgan and Fats Waller.

Following its performance at BYU-Idaho, the group will return to Spain for a concert tour.

During each of its concerts, Benetó said the group works to engage the audience.

“We love to perform,” Benetó said. “Each show, the group tries to form a connection with the audience. When you’re on stage, doing a performance that really draws the audience in, is great. You can feel the performance come alive.”

Sparhawk anticipates an exciting evening.

“This will be a great show,” he said. “They are a very talented group and from what I’ve seen, they always seem to put on a great show.”

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