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Baron Cimetiere's Mambo

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Donald Grantham

Donald Grantham

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c. 5:40
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Piquant Press
Cost: Score and Parts (Rental) - $300.00    |   Score (Purchase) - $45.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion I–II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum (with pedal)
  • Bell Tree
  • Bongos (2)
  • Brake Drum
  • Claves
  • Congas
  • Cowbell
  • Cymbal (suspended, sizzle)
  • Flexatone (2)
  • Floor Tom
  • Guiro
  • Maracas (2)
  • Marimba (2)
  • Ratchet
  • Sandpaper Blocks (4)
  • Shekere (or Cabasa)
  • Slapstick
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle (small)
  • Trap Set
  • Xylophone (3)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In Voodoo lore, Baron Cimetiére is the loa (spirit) who is the keeper and guardian of cemeteries, hence one of the spirits in charge of the intersection between life and death. ["Cimetiére" is French for "cemetery."] Depictions of him are, needless to say, quite chilling. He is usually pictured in dark tailcoat and tall dark hat – like an undertaker – wearing dark glasses with one lens missing. He carries a cane, smokes cigars, and is a notorious mocker and trickster. (The Haitian dictator ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier is said to have imitated the Baron’s sartorial style in order to intimidate any opponents who were practitioners of Voodoo.)

I first came across Baron Cimetiére in Russell Bank’s fascinating novel Continental Drift, which deals with the collision between American and Haitian culture during the “boat people” episodes of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Voodoo is a strong element of that novel, and when my mambo began to take on a dark, mordant, sinister quality, I decided to link it to the Baron.

Baron Cimetiére’s Mambo was commissioned by Neil Jenkins and Nikk Pilato for the J.P. Taravella High School Wind Orchestra, Coral Springs, Florida.

- Program Note by Donald Grantham

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (Michael Lebrias, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul Popiel, conductor) – 2 February 2019
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – - 3 October 2018
  • The Hartt Omni-Ensemble (West Hartford, Conn.) (Michael Carney, conductor) – 5 May 2018
  • West Chester University (Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Yozviak, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 23 April 2018
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 24 February 2018
  • Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Evan Rogovin, conductor) – 23 February 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Southern Conference, Tampa, Fla.)
  • Waxahachie (Tx.) High School Wind Ensemble (Richard Armstrong, conductor) - 16 February 2018 (2018 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 9 November 2017
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) Wind Symphony (James Spinazzola, conductor) – 18 November 2016
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Hindsley Wind Orchestra (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 26 October 2016
  • Gettysburg (Penn.) College Wind Symphony (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 30 September 2016
  • United States Army Band (Ft. Myer, Va.) (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) – 14 April 2016
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) – 29 March 2016
  • Flower Mound (Texas) High School Wind Symphony (Brent Biskup, conductor) - 18 December 2015 (2015 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Texas, Austin, Symphony Band (Ryan S. Kelly, conductor) – 14 October 2015
  • University of Southern California Thornton Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) - 6 April 2014
  • J.P. Taravella High School Wind Orchestra (Neil Jenkins, conductor) - 6 March 2010 (Music For All National Concert Band Festival, Indianapolis, IN)
  • J. P. Taravella High School Wind Orchestra (Neil Jenkins, conductor) - 29 March 2010 (FBA State Concert Band MPA)
  • All-Southern California High Wind Ensemble (Eugene Corporon, conductor) - 25 January 2008
  • Florida State University Wind Orchestra (Nikk Pilato, conductor) - 20 April 2007
  • J.P. Taravella High School Wind Orchestra (Nikk Pilato, conductor) - 25 May 2004    *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Donald Grantham website
  • Grantham, D. (2004). Baron Cimetière's Mambo [score]. Piquant Press: Austin, Tex.
  • Speck, Gary A. "Baron Cimetiére's Mambo." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 753-761. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.