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The seis is the traditional song and dance form of the Jibaro people, the peasant farmers of the mountains of Puerto Rico. At least 50 distinctive types of seis have been identified, "Seis" means "six" in Spanish; the term orignally meant a dance for six men or six couples. The movement Seis Manuel, is based on a traditional recurring harmonic pattern called the seis mapeye, over which a singer improvises a melody.

Because of the very long history of military bands in Puerto Rico, with a particular importance placed on low brass and clarinets, those instruments are given solos. In keeping with the Puerto Rican tradition of naming a seis after someone important to its creation, this SEIS was re-named in honor of conductor Manny Laureano, who commissioned and premiered the piece.

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