Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sacramento Songwriters Showcase to Feature Performances

Songwriters perform original music at a free showcase, performances to be presented in South Sacramento
Sacramento, California - The Sacramento Songwriter Showcase will feature upcoming and established songwriters performing original music at a free showcase to the greater South Sacramento community public.
Each showcase presentation will featuring the hosting band and local songwriters & guest artists, each presenting a live 20-30 minute set of original Latin music and bilingual compositions in theater stage setting.
Hosted by Frank Lizarraga, Yesenia Fuentes and Ritmoz Latinoz band members with a grant by Creative Economy Pilot Program Grant Award.
March 29th 2018
6:30pm-8:30pm
Dinorah, RITMOZ Latinoz & Xochitl
Sound by DJ Bobby L
La Familia Maple Neighborhood Center
3301 37th Avenue Sacramento CA 95824
Supported by
La Familia Counseling Center, Caballo Mexican Restaurant
Franklin Boulevard Business Association
and Sacramento Presents
For information contact: Frank or Yesenia
http://www.sacramentosongwritershowcase.com/index.html

Friday, May 19, 2017

Taco Festival will feature two of Sacramento's Best!

The 4th Annual Sacramento Taco Festival will feature Kings’ Dancer Isela Perez as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the day’s event, and Comedian Stephen B will Emcee the Chihuahua Beauty Contest.

Kings Dancer/Festival MC Isela Perez
SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento Taco Festival organizers have announced that this year’s main stage will feature King’s dancer and local entrepreneur Isela Perez, while top local comedian Stephen B will be special Emcee for the Chihuahua Beauty Contest portion of the day’s events.

Isela has been a Game Night Emcee for the Sacramento Kings, now in her fifth season as a Sacramento Kings Dancer. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Journalism, Isela boasts over 18 years experience in various dance styles including jazz funk, hip hop, lyrical jazz and ballet folkorico. In 2015, following her fourth season with the Kings Dancers, she relocated to Nicaragua for six months and continued to work remotely as a journalist for her family business, Latino Journal magazine. Upon her return home, she sought to continue her exposure to Latin America’s vibrant culture and joined Calidanza, a local Mexican folkloric dance company. In addition, she refocused on professional dance and created FemDANCE, Sacramento’s only choreography class and training space designed for aspiring and current pro-dancers. Isela’s dedication to performing arts, media and community advancement led her to co-creating Obra, a local innovative business combining creativity, art and technology.

Stephen B is a Sacramento stand-up comedian with more than 34 years of experience performing in
Comedian Stephen B
comedy clubs, corporate clients, and churches nationwide. He’s opened up for Julio Iglesias, Michael Bolton, Weird Al and a host of other headlining musical acts over the years. He’s performed at Spirit West Coast and on the KLOVE Cruise and is the author of the book: The Road to Selfdom available on Amazon and through CrossLink publishing. Chihuahua Beauty Contest coordinator Larry Groves says “imaging...a stand-up comedian with 20 Chihuahuas in costume, laughs and fun for all!”

The Sacramento Taco Festival will be held on Del Paso Boulevard between El Camino Avenue and Arden Way, on June 3rd from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, and cohosted by City Council Member Allen W. Warren and the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership. Go to www.sactacofest.com for additional information and tickets.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A TACO A DAY...

MASA Guiseria
The 4th Annual Sacramento Taco Festival is all about The Tacos!

SACRAMENTO, CA – Listed as the “first party of the summer” by Lyon’s Real Estate Guide, the Sacramento Taco Festival is featuring a huge variety of tacos from typical to tropical in a unique setting like no other event in Northern California.

This year’s vendors include some from last year’s festival and many new ones who learned of this wonderful event dedicated to tacos.

“Everybody loves tacos,” says Mina Perez, the Sacramento Taco Festival’s coordinator and cofounder. “We have returning vendors like JimBoys Tacos, MASA Guiseria and Azteca Street Tacos, and we also have newcomers like Texas Street Tacos, Louisiana Heaven, and Kado’s Asian Grill.”

The Festival, which is held on Del Paso Boulevard between El Camino Avenue and Arden Way, is celebrating its fourth year and co-hosted by City Council Member Allen W. Warren. It is filled with continuous live entertainment, arts and crafts, kids activities, desserts, informational booths, and a beer garden.

“Our community is one of the most diverse in terms of ethnicity and culture in the nation,” says
Council Member Warren who also serves as the Chair of the Festival. “The Taco Festival is an event that brings us all together to share a food we all enjoy.”

The 4th Annual Sacramento Taco Festival is planned for Saturday, June 3rd, from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Admission is $10 per person, children 10 and under enters free. Taco prices and drinks are not included in the admission fee.


Friday, March 3, 2017

TEATRO ESPEJO PRESENTS: "Welcome to Arroyo’s"

A hip-hop theatre coming-of-age story by Pulitizer Prize finalist, Kristoffer Diaz

March 17 – April 9, 2017 California Stage, Sacramento, CA
Preview: Friday, March 17, 2017
Opening Night: Saturday, March 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA – Teatro Espejo, Sacramento’s longest running Latino theatre company, opens their production of Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz on March 18, 2017, with a preview on March 17. The play runs through April 9 at California Stage. Welcome to Arroyo’s is a modern-day tale of love, loss and family bonds told through a lens of hiphop and youthful energy.

Alejandro Arroyo owns the newest (and cleanest) bar in New York City's Lower East Side. He insists it’s a “lounge” and works non-stop to try to make it the hottest spot in the LES. His younger sister, Molly, has a nasty habit of writing graffiti on the back wall of the local police precinct. Officer Derek, a recent NYC transplant with something to prove, has a series of run-ins with Molly. Lelly Santiago, a socially awkward college student who calls herself “a nerdy little Puerto Rican girl,” may have discovered that the Arroyo siblings' late mother was one of the founders of hip-hop music.

Two fresh and funny DJs, who call themselves the “TripNel Cartel” – a play on words off their real names – and who Diaz uses as narrators in the style of a Greek chorus, spin the story, rewind scenes, and create community in this hip-hop theater coming-of-age story.

New York playwright Diaz was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which won a 2011 Obie Award for Best New American Play. Welcome to Arroyo’s, one of his early plays, is an homage to hip-hop that daringly writes women into the narrative of the foundations of hip-hop.

The play has a feminist bent, with a talented female graffiti artist whose late mother may hold a significant place in hip-hop history; and a highly enthused female grad student, whose love for (and research about) hip-hop has no boundaries.

The play is directed by Nicole C. Limón a long time member of Teatro Espejo. Music direction is by Adam Freas, with Mike Brim and DJ Jonathan Reyes of local hip-hop education organization, The Low End Theory Collaborative. The cast includes Ruben Oriol-Rivera as Alejandro Arroyo, Jezabel Olivares as Molly Arroyo, Bardo Gonzalez as Trip Goldstein, Ike Torres as Nelson Cardenal, Devin Valdez as Lelly Santiago, and Rhett Richardson as Officer Derek.

Welcome to Arroyo’s is produced by Teatro Espejo, Manuel José Pickett, Artistic Director.
March 17 –April 9, 2017 Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm Sundays at 2pm California Stage, 2509 R Street, Sacramento
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students with I.D. (Tickets for March 17 Preview, $12.50) www.Arroyos2017.brownpapertickets.com Group Sales of 10+ contact: teatroespejo@hotmail.com


Friday, March 4, 2016

'We Like It Like That' Documentary Now Available

We kept hearing, 'Before Latin boogaloo, I wasn't really into Latin music. It was my parents' music.' - Mathew Ramirez Warren
If you were a child in the 1960s, you're probably familiar with Latin boogaloo. It was one of the countless music crazes that defined the decade.  But for many Hispanic people — then and now — it was much more than just a fad. It was an entry point to defining their unique identity in Canada and the U.S.

The genre's rise and fall is the subject of a new documentary called We Like It Like That. Director Mathew Ramirez Warren talks to Shad about the film and how boogaloo helped shape the American identity of Latin youth.   

We Like It Like That is a feature-length documentary film about Latin boogaloo, a colorful expression of 1960s Latino soul, straight from the streets of New York City.  Starring Latin boogaloo legends like Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon and Pete Rodriguez, We Like It Like That explores this lesser-known, but pivotal moment in Latin music history through original interviews, music recordings, live performances, dancing and rare archival footage and images.  From its origins to its recent resurgence, it is the story of a sound that redefined a generation and was too funky to keep down.  For more information on the film go to latinboogaloo.com.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Story of a Mexican American Musical Icon


BOOK REVIEW
by Adrian Perez

     Whether you’re Latino or not, if you enjoy Tex-Mex music, you’ve probably heard of Little Joe Y La Familia, the Grammy Award winning band that fused traditional Mexican, salsa, rock and roll, jazz and country western music to create a new revolutionary sound.  Initially established as Little Joe and the Latinaires in the early 1960s, the band’s image and sound changed over the years, leading to a name change as well to Little Joe Y La Familia.  Fronted by Jose Maria (Little Joe) Hernandez and his younger brother Juan (Johnny) Hernandez, the band offered a powerful sound with lead vocals and harmonics that resulted in a string of hits.  The combined musical and business talents of the brothers catapulted them from the cotton fields of Texas to international music stages where tens of thousands of fans cheered their performances.  Having reached a success of legendary status, what happened that split this musical dynamic duo?

     Many have said that Little Joe Y La Familia reached their musical peek in the late 1970s with their international mega hit “Las Nubes,” when rumors started about the band breaking up.  Some believed it was jealousy among siblings that led to the band’s fall, while others thought it was excessive use of illicit drugs.  Now, through the autobiography “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” by Johnny Hernandez, the myths and rumors of the Band’s breakup are told.

     This well written book takes the reader through several decades from the hardship of being born and raised in central Texas where many Mexican American families followed the cotton-picking season, through the pressures and excesses of being a musical star.  Johnny’s depiction of growing up in Temple, Texas, as a cotton-picker, will resonate with many former farmworkers whose working days usually started with the smell of fresh made flour tortillas.  Others will quickly relate to the experience of going to public school and facing a combination of discrimination and bullying, forcing Mexican Americans to band together for protection and survival.  However, perhaps it's Johnny’s telling of the respect and love he had for his family and friends as a preteen, a teenager and as an adult that makes his story extra unique.

     As he tells it, singing is what kept Johnny going when working the cotton fields during Texas’ hot and humid summers.  He often daydreamed that someday he would be performing on a stage in front of hundreds of cheering fans.  That dream almost did not become a reality because of Johnny's rebellious tendencies, which got him into legal trouble, had him drop out of school, and marry by age 16.  It was after getting married that Johnny began to learn the hard lessons of life, taking on various jobs to earn a living for him and his wife. 

     There were many people who entered Johnny’s life that slowly helped turn him around from his rebellious ways.  However, none was more influential than his brother Jesse, who had convinced Little Joe to make Johnny a part of Little Joe and the Latinaires.  It was brilliant move by Jesse, who was convinced the group was headed to stardom.  After recording their first major hit, “Por Un Amor,” Little Joe, Johnny and the Latinaires also hit the road for performances across Texas.  Unfortunately, Jesse was killed in a car accident before he could see his brothers reach the heights of their musical success.

     After releasing a string of hit songs, Little Joe moved the band to California where they discovered new musical sounds and performed with popular acts like MALO and Tower of Power.  During the late 60s and early 70s, the look and feel of the band fit in with the sounds and styles being created by Bay Area bands, winning over thousands of new fans, especially when they broke out with Tex-Mex music.  Johnny was also getting more solo singing opportunities, not only recording, but writing as well.  During this time, he also met and became friends with many Chicano music legends like Rick Stevens and Richard Bean.

     Being apart for lengths of time from his family, put a tremendous strain on Johnny’s marriage, resulting in his first divorce.  It was also around this time that Johnny met Pat, a beautiful Mexican American girl from Modesto, California, who became his second wife, and as Johnny declares, the true love of his life.  When the band moved back to Texas, Johnny took Pat with him and started a life together, but not everything was honey and roses.  Suddenly, Johnny began to feel anger directed at him by Little Joe, an anger that would determine the fate of Johnny's musical future and the Band's direction.

     “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” is a series of well-told stories by Johnny Hernandez who presents them in the form of a diary or journal, sharing the hardships and successes he achieved, as well as missed opportunities.  This book captures the realities of growing up poor in Texas where unfairness and discrimination are as common as compassion and equality, and where life is learned in the streets.  Johnny’s detailed description of his adventures, including a sudden trip to Veracruz Mexico, gives the reader the sense of being in the rider’s seat on a very unique, spur of the moment trip.  This book is easy, fun and interesting to read, but it’s the story telling of musical historical events that makes Johnny Hernandez’ “The Cotton Picker – An Odyssey” a must-have book.

Available at:  AMAZON; BARNES AND NOBLE; TOWER BOOKS.