Michael Daugherty: Bay of Pigs, Gee’s Bend & TROYJAM

Manuel Barrueco (guitar), Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, D. J. Sparr (electric guitar), Neal Gittleman

Catalog #: TROY1866
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Format: Digital

This recording features three imaginative and dynamic works by GRAMMY® Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra gives exciting performances under the baton of long-time music director Neal Gittleman, joined by classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco, electric guitarist D. J. Sparr, and narrator Michael Lippert. Bay of Pigs for Classical Guitar and Strings evokes the bittersweet and turbulent events of past and present Cuba. Gee’s Bend for Electric Guitar and Orchestra is a tapestry of syncopated grooves, slow blues and spirituals inspired by the quilts and African- American women quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. TROYJAM for Narrator and Orchestra, with a poetic libretto by Anne Carson, retells the story of the Trojan War from Homer’s Iliad, but with a twist: the Greeks, led by the “lyre-strumming” Achilles against the Trojans led by Hector, decide to play the instruments of the orchestra in a wild jam session to make music, not war.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Bay of Pigs for Classical Guitar and Strings Michael Daugherty Manuel Barrueco (guitar); Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; Neal Gittleman (conductor)
Gee's Bend for Electric Guitar and Orchestra Michael Daugherty D. J. Sparr (electric guitar); Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; Neal Gittleman (conductor)
TROYJAM for Narrator and Orchestra Michael Daugherty ; Anne Carson (librettist) Michael Lippert (narrator); Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; Neal Gittleman (conductor)


  • The Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty aligns himself with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the conductor Neal Gittleman for these imaginative 3 works, where a special guest on each piece makes for a very distinct and captivating listen. The album leads with the 3 movements of "Bay Of Pigs", where Manuel Barrueco's sublime classical guitar playing is met with stirring strings that emits much beauty, though short bursts of intensity can also be found amid the elegance. Further into the movements, plenty of atmosphere arrives in a nearly haunting fashion, and even deeper the landscape ends up in cinematic areas of intrigue. Sandwiched in the middle is the electric guitar and orchestral meshing of "Gee's Band", where D.J. Sparr's soaring six string work is met with fluid and rumbling strings. The very cautious track then uses space and tension with much precision, and finishes with some good old fashioned rock'n'roll licks that are complemented by the rowdy strings. "TROYJAM"is the last piece, and combines narration and orchestra, where Michael Lippert's very expressive storytelling about the Trojan War from Homer's Iliad, via Anne Carson's text, benefits from quick flashes of woodwinds, brass and drums that builds into a booming, triumphant exit. A very diverse effort that embraces rock, classical, blues, jam band and orchestral ideas and isn't short on grooves, either, Daugherty's vision is nothing if not unpredictable, and just might be the best release on the Albany label this year, which is no easy feat.

    – Take Effect

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