During my time playing with the Sandia Brass Quintet in Albuquerque, NM, there was one piece that always stuck out as a group favorite. Introduced to us by one of our coaches, the always cool Richard White, “Vuelta del Fuego”, by composer and trumpeter Kevin McKee is a piece that acted as a perfect soundtrack to the New Mexico culture and landscape. The translation of the title is “Ride of Fire”. Of the piece, McKee says, “The idea for Vuelta del Fuego came from a love of that Mexican “Zorro” sound that mixes over-the-top romance with unabashed flair and swagger.” Richard always said that it sounded like the sun rising over the Sandia Mountains, eating a green chile breakfast burrito, and bad Albuquerque driving, heh.
Wait, is this Albuquerque? Seems about right to me.
I think McKee was going more for this, rather than the former…
Anyhow, off topic. It is not an easy piece, but it is playable by a decent college brass quintet and well worth the work, being both really fun to play and a big crowd-pleaser. Go here to listen to a great performance by the All-Star Brass Quintet, including Ryan Anthony (on trumpet), who also says, “In all my years of playing brass quintets, I can honestly say that Vuelta del Fuego ranks on top of my most favorite pieces to play.”