Music, Performances

About the music: Year of the Horse Q&A with Rubim de Toledo

By kanderson
2 min read | November 12, 2014


Music is the backbone to any dance production and DJD’s newest show, Year of the Horse: The Completely Fictional Adventures of Josephine Baker, is no exception. From the beginning, Year of the Horse has your feet taping and inner jazz-lover smiling. Combined with the artistic direction of Kimberly Cooper and dancing prowess of the DJD Company dancers, it’s a sensory experience not to be missed.

To learn more about the original score, we asked DJD Musical Director, Rubim de Toledo a bit about it.

Name: Rubim de Toledo

Title: Musical Director, Co-composer and bassist

Years with DJD: 9 years

What do you do with DJD?  I compose music, play the bass and direct the bands

What do you do outside of DJD?  I am a freelance bassist and jazz music educator

How big is the DJD band for this production?  It is a trio, piano, upright bass and drums. Chris Andrew – Piano, Rubim de Toledo – Bass, Jon McCaslin – Drums

Tell us about the music behind Year of the Horse

The music has been composed by myself and pianist Chris Andrew.  It has a classic to modern jazz trio sound which spans a large extreme of Jazz influenced styles, rhythms and eras.

The show is about Josephine Baker, how did you go about creating the music?

When creating the music, Artistic Director Kimberley Cooper stated that she did not want any specific era of music.  For example, the music was not to resemble the era of Josephine Baker but instead create an era-less atmosphere out side of any specific time.

We were inspired mainly by direction from Kim.  She would state that she wanted music that created specific moods, had a specific rhythm or tempo and was of certain lengths.  We also were given constantly updated videos of the dances to watch and gain inspiration from.

Personally, as far as the Josephine connection goes, I was mostly inspired by images of her.  The images would create ideas about what musical moods might have been paralleled to the scenarios in the photos.