Joe’s Tango

Concerto for Trombone & other works

Hugo Montenegro composer
Chick Corea composer
Jorge Machain composer

UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie conductor
Joseph Alessi trombone
Boston Brass brass quintet

Release Date: November 10, 2023
Catalog #: NV6572
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Wind Ensemble

There is something very special about the symbiosis of a great composer and a talented performing musician: many of the great moments in musical history were born of such collaborations. This rare joy is now to be felt in our time: JOE’S TANGO features the world premiere recording Concerto for Trombone by none other than jazz legend Chick Corea, tailor-made for virtuoso solo trombonist Joseph Alessi.

It’s a riveting, marvelous work — classical in scope, but contemporary in rhythm and feeling. Conductor Thomas G. Leslie, his University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Orchestra, and the Boston Brass Quintet empathetically frame this centerpiece with works by Hugo Montenegro and the young Jorge Machain, who offers the world premiere recording of his Five Cities to the mix. The resulting album — as one might expect — is altogether outstanding.


Hear the full album on YouTube

"This is likely the band music release of the year."


Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Fanfare for the New Hugo Montenegro trans. and arr. Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor 3:39
02 Concerto for Trombone (World Premiere): I. The Stroll Chick Corea trans. and arr. John Dickson UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone 10:37
03 Concerto for Trombone (World Premiere): II. Waltse for Joe Chick Corea trans. and arr. John Dickson UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone 3:04
04 Concerto for Trombone (World Premiere): III. Hysteria Chick Corea trans. and arr. John Dickson UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone 3:55
05 Concerto for Trombone (World Premiere): IV. Joe’s Tango Chick Corea trans. and arr. John Dickson UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone 7:50
06 Her Name is Nessa Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor 6:13
07 Five Cities: I. City of Light Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Boston Brass | José Sibaja, trumpet; Jeff Conner, trumpet; Chris Castellanos, horn; Domingo Pagliuca, trombone; William Russell, tuba 2:08
08 Five Cities: II. City of the Sea Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Boston Brass | José Sibaja, trumpet; Jeff Conner, trumpet; Chris Castellanos, horn; Domingo Pagliuca, trombone; William Russell, tuba 3:47
09 Five Cities: III. City of Flames Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Boston Brass | José Sibaja, trumpet; Jeff Conner, trumpet; Chris Castellanos, horn; Domingo Pagliuca, trombone; William Russell, tuba 3:00
10 Five Cities: Cadenza: City of the Forest Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Boston Brass | José Sibaja, trumpet; Jeff Conner, trumpet; Chris Castellanos, horn; Domingo Pagliuca, trombone; William Russell, tuba 1:31
11 Five Cities: IV. City of Mankind Jorge Machain UNLV Wind Orchestra | Thomas G. Leslie, conductor; Boston Brass | José Sibaja, trumpet; Jeff Conner, trumpet; Chris Castellanos, horn; Domingo Pagliuca, trombone; William Russell, tuba 4:21

Director of Wind Band Studies, Professor of Conducting Thomas G. Leslie
Associate Director of Wind Band Studies Anthony LaBounty
Visiting Assistant Professor, Associate Conductor, UNLV Wind Orchestra Dr. Zane S. Douglass
Assistant Director of Bands Dr. David Coyner

Graduate Teaching Assistants
Ocean Akaka
Charles Greggerson
Kauri Koizumi
Christopher Massa

Recorded April 2023 at the Artemus Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV Campus, Las Vegas NV
Session Producer, Editing and Mixing Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Benjamin Maas
Stereo Mastering Melanie Montgomery
Dolby Atmos® Mixing and Mastering Brad Michel
Assistant Producers Dr. Zane S. Douglass, Anthony LaBounty, Dr. Tracy Leslie
Editing Assistants Thomas G. Leslie, Dr. Zane S. Douglass, Anthony LaBounty, Dr. Tracy Leslie

Preparation (Liner Notes) Ocean Akaka

Cover Art Clifford Bailey

Concerto for Trombone appears courtesy of Subito Music Corporation

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková
Production Assistant Adam Lysák

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Kacie Brown
Digital Marketing Manager Brett Iannucci

Artist Information

The UNLV Wind Orchestra


The UNLV Wind Orchestra has received international acclaim for its fresh and creative approach to music making. Performing contemporary repertoire in addition to classical masterworks, the Wind Orchestra at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has been responsible for commissioning and premiering nearly 70 significant new works by America’s finest young contemporary composers. The Wind Orchestra has recently commissioned and premiered new compositions by landmark American contemporary composers Bruce Broughton, Roger Nixon, and James Barnes. The ensemble is comprised of music majors, non-majors, and includes select graduate students enrolled in the masters and doctoral performance degree programs at UNLV.

Thomas Leslie

Thomas G. Leslie


As Director of the Division of Wind Band Studies and Professor of Conducting, Thomas G. Leslie has earned recognition for high-quality performances of the UNLV Bands. During his tenure at UNLV, his bands have received critical acclaim from fellow musicians internationally, from Grammy Award-winning recording artists to decorated members of the United States Marine Band, Air Force Band, Navy Band, and esteemed educators. Recognized for a fresh, interpretative style among collegiate wind orchestras, Leslie and the UNLV Wind Orchestra excel in their commitment to commission new works by the next generation of the world’s finest young composers.

Joseph Alessi


Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, The Gurnee F. and Marjorie L. Hart Chair, in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr., as a high school student in San Rafael CA, and was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music. Before joining the Philharmonic, Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for one season. He has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.

In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic was in the World Premiere of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto in the winter of 2017. Alessi has also appeared as soloist with the Philharmonic in performances of concerti by Kazimierz Serocki, Bramwell Tovey, and William Grant Still. Alessi performed the World Premiere of Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto, composed especially for him, with the Säo Paulo Symphony Orchestra in August 2021, and in May 2023 he performed its U.S. Premiere with the New York Philharmonic.

In 2002 Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing, and in 2014 he was elected president of that association. Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad. As a clinician for the Eastman-Shires Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own), and the U.S. Marine Band (President’s Own). He has also performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and has recorded with jazz greats J.J. Johnson and Steve Turre.

Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. His recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records). Alessi plays exclusively on a Shires-Alessi model trombone.

Further information about Alessi can be found on his website,

Boston Brass


Since 1986, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience, featuring colorful classical arrangements, burning jazz standards, and the best of original brass repertoire. Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of musical entertainment that bridges the ocean of classical formality to delight regular concertgoers and newcomers alike with great music and boisterous fun. The quintet has played to audiences in all 50 U.S. states, and over 30 countries. Though the band regularly concertizes as a quintet, Boston Brass also performs with orchestras, concert and marching bands, organists, and jazz bands, and regularly collaborates with composers to create new works for the brass canon.

Music education is at the core of Boston Brass’s identity, and the quintet continues to conduct sessions around the world, including masterclasses and residencies at such prestigious institutions as the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore. In conjunction with the Yamaha Corporation, the quintet engaged in a 2018 tour of major Chinese music conservatories, and in 2021 the members of Boston Brass were appointed to the International Artist Advisory Council to the College of Music at Mahidol University in Thailand.

The quintet’s newest release Blues for Sam (2022) features a mix of classical and jazz arrangements alongside old Boston Brass favorites, and is dedicated to the great Sam Pilafian who can be heard on the albums Simple Gifts (2018), Reminiscing (2016), and Rewired (2015). Latin Nights (2008) features a collection of some of the greatest classical and jazz works by Latin composers and features the legendary drummer Steve Gadd, the beautiful voice of Talita Real, plus percussion and guitar.

2011 marked the 25th Anniversary of Boston Brass and was celebrated with the 25 Fanfares Project, wherein 25 fanfares were premiered by composers from all over the country. Boston Brass also premiered a new major commission by noted wind ensemble composer Brian Balmages and new arrangements by former member and tuba player Sam Pilafian. Additionally, Boston Brass was very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate in the 2010/2011 season with the fabulous Imani Winds in a program entitled “Sketches of Spain,” featuring the music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans. In the 2012/2013 season the quintet began touring their “Notes from the Balcony” program with the Enso String Quartet featuring a program of music based on Romeo and Juliet.

With the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the massive cancellations of live concerts in 2020, Boston Brass started several projects with an aim to maintain creative momentum while still serving the music education community. This started with the Summer Winds Seminar, an online course for high school and college students featuring dozens of masterclasses by artists from all corners of the music world. Then the Boston Brass Flex project, a packet of recordings and flexible instrumentation arrangements, was designed to allow students to play along and learn chamber music from home or from a school setting where larger bands required downsized instruction. And in October 2020, Boston Brass presented a nationally live-streamed concert from the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee MI in the hopes of renewing the joy of live arts during the depths of the pandemic. Boston Brass is a Yamaha Performing Group and performs exclusively on Yamaha instruments. Boston Brass plays mouthpieces by Pickett Brass.

UNLV Wind Orchestra Members

Neo Von Townsend Las Vegas NV

Marta Płomińska *^ Krakow, Poland
Emily Carroll ^ Las Vegas NV
Resilda Lala ^ St. Louis MO
Ligia Verduga ^ Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ellen Hummel *^ Sorocaba, Brazil
Holly Fujita Honolulu HI

English Horn
Ocean Akaka ^ Wahiawa HI

Liz Valvano *# Austin TX
Xavier Woodley Oakland CA

Kelly Haines Henderson NV

B-flat Clarinet
Robert Mitchell *^ Sacramento CA
Jonathan Cannon ^ Bountiful UT
Kevin Vasquez Brownsville TX
Maria Lundström-Lopez Lund, Sweden
Chris Armeno Las Vegas NV
Eduardo Avelar-Avila Henderson NV
Nathan Scott Las Vegas NV

Bass Clarinet
F J Rodriguez Las Vegas NV
Charlie Greggerson ^ Piqua OH

Contra Alto Clarinet
Charlie Greggerson ^ Piqua OH

Contra Bass Clarinet
Nicolas Kösanovic Las Vegas NV

Alto Saxophone
Max Marquis *^ Sheridan WY
Yoni Kessler Denver CO

Tenor Saxophone
Ernesto Flores Los Angeles CA

Baritone Saxophone
Nicholas Logan Las Vegas NV

Kurt Tumbagahan * Manila, Philippines
Avery Yonehiro ** Ewa Beach HI
Jacob Zell Las Vegas NV
Chris Massa ^ Rapid City SD
Jaren Smith Henderson NV
Michael Benner ^ Gastonia NC
Tanner Farish Torrance CA

Eric On * Las Vegas NV
Hannah Johnson Quad City IL
Ryan Haines Henderson NV
Edward Boyce Las Vegas NV
Matthew Keenan ^ Mocksville NC
Goldy Coder Las Vegas NV

Dawid Mżyk *^ Jaworzno, Poland
Giovanni Lacala Las Vegas NV
Adam Frieden Las Vegas NV

Bass Trombone
Brian Kurtz ^ Hendersonville NC

Brent Mitchell * Las Vegas NV
Kerwin Santiago Las Vegas NV
Dave Yuson Las Vegas NV

T J Chiello * Henderson NV
Sol Del Risco Las Vegas NV
Gary Ofenloch # Addison IL

Double Bass
Keegan Carter Concord CA

Ryan Bond *^ Orem UT
Kobi Flowers Las Vegas NV
Kevin De Wayne Johnson ^ Fountain CO
Davey Martinez Las Vegas NV
Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos **^ Chihuahua, Mexico
Yupeng Wei ^ Taiyuan, China
Sam Wetzel ^ Kutztown PA

Andrew Naughton Colorado Springs CO

Kim Glennie Las Vegas NV

Finn Caoile Las Vegas NV
John Dickson *** Los Angeles CA

* Principal   |   ** Assistant Principal   |   *** Guest Soloist   |   ^ Graduate Teaching Assistant   |   # Academic Faculty


Hugo Montenegro may not be an immediately recognized name, but familiarity with his compositions and arrangements is almost certain. He worked primarily as a composer for film and television with credits including The Outcasts, The Partridge Family, and the iconic theme to I Dream of Jeannie. Many know him best for his arrangements of Ennio Morricone’s iconic music from Sergio Leone’s Dollar Trilogy. His cover of the theme to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly made it to number two on the Billboard charts in 1968.

Transcribed and arranged by Jorge Machain, this Fanfare, sometimes also credited as Fanfare for the New, was written for Stan Kenton’s Neophonic Orchestra and was originally recorded for their Grammy nominated album in 1966. The Neophonic Orchestra was an early experiment by Kenton to create a non-touring jazz orchestra, and while it only lasted three seasons it was considered an artistic success. Fanfare for the New is the opening track from the album which features an adventurous array of classical inspired jazz music.

— Jorge Machain

The composition Concerto for Trombone begins with a substantial introduction titled “A Stroll Opening” that includes free improvisation for the trombone followed by an interplay with harp, percussion, and piano. After the dialogue, “A Stroll” begins, inspired by Corea’s time living in New York City, walking uptown and downtown while taking in the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.

The second movement is titled “Waltse for Joe.” “Waltse” is an idiosyncratic spelling of “waltz” that Corea used on several occasions. Corea was keen on exploring the very lyrical side of the trombone, and this part was composed to do just that. Beginning with an extended, beautiful string interlude, this waltse is reminiscent of the music of Erik Satie.

“Hysteria” was composed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this title was chosen to stress the chaos enveloping the world. The music is menacingly chromatic, apropos of the movement’s title, but it is at the same time lighthearted. The movement finishes with a harp and percussion vamp overlaid with an improvised trombone solo.

The fourth movement, “Joe’s Tango,” starts boldly with a strings-and-percussion vamp over a solo that is both agreeable and contrary, and then a cadenza that Corea composed. The melody then becomes very lyrical, riding on a vamp with a Latin flavor. The tempo slows and eventually ceases entirely. Finally, a new, faster vamp creates a flourish of activity to finish the concerto. The first version of “Joe’s Tango” ended peacefully, similar to the previous movements. I had to summon the courage to ask Corea if he might consider rewriting the ending. After I explained to him that this composition suggested to me the idea of two strangers, reluctant to really engage, dancing an increasingly impassioned tango and finally surrendering in the embrace of one another, Corea agreed and created a bold ending.

— Joseph Alessi, featured soloist

Her Name is Nessa was originally written for the 2021 NGC Composition Competition. The goal of the competition was to write an overture, or the main title music, in the style of film music. The judges didn’t care as to what style it had to be written, but only that it is written for an orchestra and the music must be less than 5 minutes in length. I chose to write a piece that depicts adventure and excitement. While it didn’t win, I was surprised to know that I was one of 15 finalists. When I wrote the piece I had a Celctic landscape in mind. In my head, all I could picture was a girl who loved adventure, maybe a little mischievous, but never ill-willed. I looked up some female gaelic names and Nessa was the one I picked. Nessa means powerful and ambitious, but still beautiful and divine.

— Jorge Machain

Five Cities is a brass quintet concerto commissioned by Thomas G. Leslie, conductor of the UNLV Wind Orchestra, for the Boston Brass Quintet and the UNLV Wind Orchestra. It is a four movement work with a cadenza between movement III and IV. As you’re listening to the concerto, imagine yourself as the overseer of these different worlds, passing through each one and experiencing what each city would be like to live in.

“City of Light” is the first movement and opens up the concerto with a brilliant fanfare call from the brass quintet. When the quintet concludes their call, the wind orchestra picks up their announcement and commences with flashing harmonies and exciting woodwind runs, giving the listener the image of bright lights.

“City of the Sea” brings the bright colored sheen of the previous movement to a nighttime dark blue colored sky with the reflection of the moon hitting the sea. On the surface, everything is calm, still, and peaceful, but as you dive into the sea, the further you go down, the more marine life starts to unfold itself, eventually leading you to the bottom of the sea, where things are dark and mysterious. The piece begins with a single instrument. As the piece moves along, the activity of the orchestra becomes more active with lush harmony and intricate rhythms.

“City of Flames” takes you into a world of intensity, explosiveness, and restless beauty. This
movement dives right in (no pun intended) from the second movement with a fast tempo. It features different groupings of the quintet to give the players a moment to shine with various pairings of instruments. The wind orchestra complements the quintet by providing a variety of sonic scapes in the upper and lower tessitura allowing the featured players to speak through the colossal sound of the orchestra.

“City of the Forest” is a cadenza that follows the third movement. It features the quintet without the wind orchestra. I picture the forest to be calm, beautiful, and even still, but within the life of the forest lies an abundance of movement and action. The cadenza starts with a choral-like statement but then moves along into a funk section! This highlights the quintet’s versatility. The two trumpets, horn, and trombone provide the melodic and background figures while the tuba shines keeping the groove going, just like a baritone saxophone player would in a funk band.

“City of Mankind” is the fourth and final movement of the concerto. This movement was inspired by the unpredictable nature of humans. I heavily relied on the elements of jazz: improvisation, syncopation, and extended harmony. The movement starts out with an improvised trumpet solo provided by the first trumpet player and is accompanied by the rest of the brass quintet. The ensemble comes right in with a steady beat, followed by melodic fragments from the woodwind family and syncopated figures from the brass family. If you’re a jazz lover/enthusiast, you’ll notice me quoting Oleo, a piece well known in the jazz community that was written by tenor sax titan Sonny Rollins. I also quote a famous line written by George Gershwin called Fascinating Rhythm. The piece concludes with an ensemble tutti with the brass quintet to come to a bright and powerful close.

— Jorge Machain