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“For the Love of Mambo” pre-festival screening at SUNY Potsdam


POTSDAM - SUNY Potsdam will host a Latin dinner and pre-festival screening of “For the Love of the Mambo,” a documentary produced by Crane School of Music Associate Professor Dr. Marsha Baxter and co-directed by Doyle Dean. The film features the Latin Grammy-nominated Mambo Legends Orchestra as its experienced members work alongside La Garza, a student Latin ensemble based at The Crane School of Music.

The documentary screening will be offered at a special dinner at 6 p.m. April 21 in Thatcher Hall.

Sponsored by PACES, the event will kick off with a simple Latin buffet prepared by chefs Steve Maicco and George Arnold, followed by a pre-festival screening of “For the Love of the Mambo.”

Taking place in New York City and Potsdam, the documentary traces the story of the Mambo Legends Orchestra - musicians who, night after night, shared the bandstand with the iconic bandleader and percussionist Tito Puente over the course of decades. The veterans now reach out to a new generation of young performers from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, who uncover the intricacies and essentials of performing this treasured American art form. The documentary is narrated by David Sommerstein of North Country Public Radio.

Tickets to the “For the Love of the Mambo” dinner and screening are $10 for all SUNY Potsdam students, and $20 for the general public. VIP tickets may be purchased for $40.

To reserve tickets or find out more about the documentary, visit

Dr. Marsha Baxter is an associate professor of music at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, where she directs the Crane Latin Ensemble, La Garza. She has studied pre-Columbian music with a Huichol Indian in Guadalajara, Mexico; and as part of her doctoral research at Columbia University, she conducted fieldwork with an Andean panpipes subway performer, a dizi professor from the Beijing Conservatory, and with a Native flute performer and storyteller. Baxter is the recipient of the 2010 SUNY Potsdam President’s Award for Excellence in Research and/or Teaching Relating to Cultural Diversity. “For the Love of the Mambo” is her first documentary film.

Doyle Dean shoots and edits video in Northern New York. He worked in Los Angeles as a writer, director, producer and editor for 10 years, taught video art and humanities courses in Indiana for six years, and makes music using chance and codes under the name “The Utility Project.” Doyle wrote, produced and directed a feature film entitled “Four Way Stop” in 1998, produced and edited a documentary about contemporary artist Patrick Dougherty, and occasionally exhibits his own sound and video pieces. He has lived in Potsdam since 2008.

Founded by Director Dr. Marsha Baxter, the 24-member ensemble La Garza reflects the diverse musical life at Crane, bringing together brass, percussion, piano, woodwinds and voice. Their music — a blend of classical and contemporary salsa, Latin jazz and hip salsa hybrids - draws enthusiastic crowds in formal concert halls as well as informal venues.

In 2007, the ensemble performed as featured young artists at the International SAT Festival in Monterrey, Mexico, along with Panamanian percussionist Renato Thoms. La Garza also performed in Canada’s Capital Brassworks “Tour of the Americas” concert in March 2010. The ensemble recently returned to Mexico to play concerts hosted by the University of the Americas Puebla and the Mexico Tourism Bureau. They have also performed in concert with legendary Latin jazz trombonist Chris Washburne and Mambo Legends Orchestra’s tenor saxophonist and flutist Mitch Frohman.

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