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My own recordings are self-produced and reflect my love of couple dance music from many parts of the world, from different traditions and time periods. All pieces are meant for both dancing and listening and are chosen for their special beauty, passion, and evocativeness. Musicians whom I’ve worked with over the years play on these albums with the result that there are delightful and varied arrangements, rich instrumentation, as well as stellar musicianship throughout.


cd cover: cascade of tears

15 Romantic Dances

Mary Lea & Friends

  1. Villa Rosa (Venezuelan waltz)
  2. Buon Giorno (vintage American tango)
  3. Ebba Polka (Ukrainian polka)
  4. Troll Polska / Sparf Fars Polska (Swedish polskas)
  5. Nüdeli (German zwiefacher)
  6. Down in Zanzibar (maxixe)
  7. Cascata de Lagrimas (Brazilian choro waltz)
  8. Cantares de me Tierra (Mexican waltz)
  9. Polka Fra Laesø (Danish polka)
  10. Morivivi - Mazurca Jibaro (Puerto Rican-inspired mazurka)
  11. Zwei Kapellan (German zwiefacher)
  12. Tango Argentino (vintage tango)
  13. Oscarina (Brazilian choro waltz)
  14. Moskwa (Russian-inspired polka)
  15. Chopin Waltz Op. 69 #2 (waltz)

Listen to mp3 samples by choosing from the links above

This particular selection of dance tunes reflects my years of playing for vintage dancers, who enjoyed a wide variety of couple dances from the 19th century and the 20th century Ragtime era. A few favorite Venezuelan waltzes are harbingers of my growing interest in music from South America, more evident in the two subsequent recordings.


Mary Lea
violin, viola
Peter Barnes
piano, flute
David Cantieni
Ruthie Dornfeld
Ralph Gordon
Russell Horton
Ann Percival
Steve Procter
Bill Tomczak
Mark Trichka

What do they say about this album?

“I’m playing Cascade in a rare moment alone in my own house—twilight, a feeling that I could be spending a hot summer evening in Argentina, or Austria, or Russia. There is a wonderful old-world feeling to the arrangements and instrumentation. You make me even enjoy a zwiefacher, which is an accomplishment..” –Paul Machlis, pianist CA (8/19/94)

…“Cascade of Tears arrived last month, and I am finally getting a chance to get it on air today. We played “Ebba Polka” and the title tune. It’s a fun record—lots of variety and charm, and good performances. You should be proud.” – Robert J. Lurtsema, Host for Morning Pro Musica, WGBH, (5/28/94)

“What a wonderful collection of dances! I loved your new recording upon the first listening, and it has grown on me even more with each listening. We play it often at home not only because we like it so much, but also because little Nathaniel seems to enjoy it so. If he is in a bouncy mood, he likes dancing to the polkas, and if he is fussy, the waltzes, especially “Cascade of Tears,” soothe him, or lull him to sleep…and the Chopin waltz is just as soothing, of course.” – Richard Powers, Prof. Of Dance, Stanford CA (8/12/93)

“Cascade of Tears remains one of my best musical purchases ever, one I return to over and over and love to show off for guests!” – Marlene Shostah, Athens OH (10/1/98)