As you know, Panorama loves to try a lot of different-type stuff; we've dabbled in everything from Creole to Yiddish, disco to chamber music. One genre that we've returned to several times is that of the "Vals Venezelano" or Venzuelan waltz (see also "Carmencita," "Esperanzas," "Recordando a Venezuela" and "Las Palmas de Panama.") All of those but "Recordando" are written by the Trinidadian composer, Lionel Belasco (1881-1967) and so is your Panorama track for August, "Miranda."

For this one we employed the same forces as last month's drop, "Time Is Tight" but added me back in on clarinet. That particular 5pc (clarinet, accordion, tenor banjo, tuba and drums) is also the line up we normally bring into Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar, way up on Tchoupitoulas street, when we play there on the first Friday of every month. (Disclaimer: we will not be there this Friday! Gone fishin'...)

Compared to the better known Viennese waltz, the South American counterpart has an earthier and more polyrhythmic groove. For this one, accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman and I handle most of the melody lines but you'll get to hear tuba ace Matt Perrine on one of the "C" sections plus banjo man Gary Washington on a "B" section. Also check out the maracas work of Panorama drummer Doug Garrison who has actually traveled to Venezuela to study the folk music and was stoked to have another chance to break them out.

As a matter of fact we were recently joined at the Spotted Cat by a Venezuelan family. The daughter and son-in-law live here and the parents were visiting, having gotten out of Venezuela due to the current political and economic instability. We went into one of our Venezuelan waltzes when the old man approached the bandstand and gestured for the maracas. Doug handed them over, went to his drum sticks and we all got a maracas lesson from a true culture-bearer. (There is a clip on our instagram account dated March 30.)

Thanks for listening and let me know how it lands on your ear! At your service,
Ben Schenck
Panorama Jazz Band
New Orleans, LA


from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You, track released August 1, 2019
Recorded Jun 18, 2019 at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA

Panorama Jazz Band
Ben Schenck - Clarinet
Michael Ward-Bergeman - Accordion
Gary Washington - Tenor Banjo
Matt Perrine - Tuba
Doug Garrison - Drum Set
Composer - Lionel Belasco / PD
Arranger - Ben Schenck
Published by Snack Daddy Music (ASCAP)
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Lu Rojas at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA
Graphic design - Ben Schenck from a photo by Greg Miles


all rights reserved



Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana

"New Orleans' genre fluid jazz band"

The Panorama Jazz Band and the Panorama Brass Band have been working steadily in New Orleans and beyond since 1995. Many hundreds of nightclub gigs, festivals, weddings, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades have added to this community of musicians' collective experience, all of which they bring to each of their recordings. ... more

contact / help

Contact Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans

Streaming and
Download help

Report this track or account

If you like Song-of-the-Month Club: Good Music For You, you may also like: