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.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Taco Festival Returns To Sacramento

4th Annual Sacramento Taco Festival Returns Saturday, June 3, 2016

Sacramento’s Taco Festival returns and will feature 20 taco vendors, a live performance from recording sensation “LeLe,” and Northern California’s only “Chihuahua Beauty Contest.”

SACRAMENTO, CA – Labeled as the “first party of the summer,” the Sacramento Taco Festival returns to Old North Sacramento on Saturday, June 3, 2017.  With its unique blend of contests, entertainment, and huge variety of tacos, there is no other event like this in Northern California.

“Where else can you enjoy professional wrestling one moment and a Chihuahua Beauty Contest the next?” asks Mina Perez, the Sacramento Taco Festival’s coordinator and cofounder.  “This event has all the staff and volunteers thinking out of the box to out-do the previous year’s event.”

This is an enclosed event held on Del Paso Boulevard between West El Camino and Arden Way, where vacant lots and empty buildings are transformed to accommodate vendor booths and performance stages.  The designated area can hold up to 10 thousand attendees, although organizers don’t believe it will reach that capacity this year.

"Chabalita" 2016 Queen
“The area being enclosed is perfect to create a fun and save environment for everyone who comes,” adds Perez.  “Each year this event has grown, from 600 the first year to over 5 thousand last year with the Chihuahua Beauty Contest being the most popular event.”

Because of its popularity in the previous years, this year’s Chihuahua Beauty Contest is being coordinated by Larry Groves (former coordinator of the Sacramento Ugly Dog Pagent.) and is being assisted by marketing consultant Nancy Grace McMillan. 


“Our goal is to make the Chihuahua Beauty Contest into a national event,” says Nancy Grace McMillan.  “There is nothing like this in California and we think it has the making of a wonderfully fun and heartwarming event.”

SAMMIES Nominated "La Noche Oskura"
The Main Stage will be filled with musical energy and upcoming stars, including the return of Sacramento’s own, and SAMMIES nominee, “La Noche Oskura” with their high-energy reggae sounds.  Berkeley’s Roc-N-Español stars “Los Sweet Bones,” who’ve been packing Bay area nightclubs and with a rock sound transcending cultures and ethnicities.  And, newly signed recording breakout artist "LeLe" (pronounced Lee-Lee), whose new single “Girlfriends” is moving up the pop charts. 

Bay Area's "Los Sweet Bones"
“We have not finished the line-up yet,” says Rachel Parra, the Festival’s Entertainment Coordinator.  “We’re still looking at and negotiating with the many musical artists that submitted requests to be considered, and our criteria is simple, they have to be high energy.”

A key part of the Festival this year is the focus on local and regional artisans, who use their creativity to either make wearable art or create home accents like sculptures and paintings.

Recording artist "LeLe"
“As an artist, I have a soft spot for fellow artists, so we decided to create a section for local and internationally renowned artists this year,” says Perez.  “We have signed up the Diva Market, a wonderful group of African-American artisans who’ve been holding monthly events at Carol’s Books on Del Paso Boulevard.  And this year, we are featuring Maestro JohnHuerta, who designed the California Lottery’s Dia de Los Muertos scratcher ticket and a very special artist and guest, Tom Franco whose bringing an art collective from Oakland.”

Tom Franco, who is brother to actors James and David Franco, owns and runs four art galleries in the Oakland-Berkeley area and houses three art collectives including the world renowned Firehouse Art Collective.  Franco has wanted to bring his art and the Firehouse Art Collective to Sacramento for some time now and the
Artist Tom Franco
Sacramento Taco Festival is proud to be able to accommodate another first for the city.

Del Paso Boulevard was the start of “Second Saturday” before it moved to the mid-town area.  This forced the many art galleries to close, leaving only three that have been struggling over the years.  The Boulevard offers three light-rail stops, retail space, and empty lots that can be built on by creative investors.

“This event is important for our community and the city because it’s great to see families, especially children, enjoying themselves eating tacos and cheering for their favorite Chihuahua on this Boulevard, but more importantly, it’s the focus this event brings to a historical part of the city,” says City Council Member and Festival Chairman Allen W. Warren, District 2.  “I was born and raised in North Sacramento and I want to see this community, this District, thrive with businesses, activities, restaurants, and just a great place to live and raise a family and through this event we invite people from throughout the region to see what we have to offer.”

The Sacramento Taco Festival is held on the first Saturday of June and starts at 10:30 am and ends at 6:30 pm, with Del Paso Boulevard closed between West El Camino and Arden Way from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.  The Festival is Chaired by District 2 City Council Member Allen Warren and hosted by the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership, the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and SacLatino Magazine.  Net proceeds go to the Vida de Oro Foundation, whose mission is to provide art supplies and instruments to those seeking to get into the arts.  Admission is $10 per person, children 10 and under enters free.  Taco prices and drinks are not included in the admission fee. 

“The admission price is the same as last year and we hope to keep it that low as long as we can,” adds Perez.  “It’s not only affordable, but the experience is absolutely priceless, especially for the kids.”


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.

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Robert Trujillo presents a new film about the Greatest Bass Player

Jaco Pastorius, The Greatest Bass Player

EXTRAORDINARY NEW FILM CHRONICLES LIFE AND MUSIC
OF LEGENDARY BASSIST/COMPOSER JACO PASTORIUS

 
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY TO BE AVAILABLE
VIA VOD, STREAMING SERVICES, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD VIA VIRGIL FILMS & ENTERTAINMENT, AND DVD/BLURAY

SONY/LEGACY TO ALSO RELEASE "JACO: OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK"


JACO IS RELEASED ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH


Robert Trujillo, in association with Passion Pictures, has announced the official multi-platform release of the acclaimed new documentary, JACO, directed by Mr. Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak. The film - which chronicles the brief but extraordinary life of the great American musician/composer Jaco Pastorius - will be available via VOD, streaming services, and digital download on Friday, November 27th.

JACO will also have its official DVD/Blu-ray release that day, in association with Record Store Day and Black Friday 2015. That same day will also see the long anticipated release of "JACO: ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK," Sony/Legacy's official musical companion to the film. Full soundtrack details - including a complete tracklisting - will be announced soon. For news and announcements, please log on to jacothefilm.com/news.

Trujillo - world-renowned bassist with Metallica and the film's Executive Producer - will celebrate JACO and Record Store Day Black Friday 2015 with a special in-store at The Sound Garden in Syracuse, NY. Slated for TK, the event will feature a screening of JACO as well as a special signing session with Trujillo. For details, please see www.cdjoint.com/upcoming-events.cfm.

JACO is the subject of a successful PledgeMusic Campaign which will conclude at the end of September. Complete details can be found at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jacothefilm.

The official Record Store Day film of 2014, JACO had its world premiere earlier this year at Austin, TX's SXSW Film Conference & Festival, accompanied by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers Trujillo and Marchand as well as longtime Pastorius collaborator Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Word of Mouth) and JACO Executive Producer John Pastorius. The session can be viewed now at www.sxsw.com/music/news/2015/video-spotlight-jaco-2015-sxsw-music-conference. In addition, SXSW ON's Studio SX interview with Trujillo, Marchand, and Pastorius is streaming at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7CSf6rQeU.

JACO has since earned applause at a number of major festivals, including the inaugural Asbury Park Music in Film Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The film "(captures) the essence of what made Jaco such an influential artist," declared the Montreal Gazette, praising "the glowing words of Marchand's interviewees and the many recorded and live musical excerpts that he lets speak for themselves" and hailing JACO as "an enlightening introduction to a groundbreaking musician."

JACO tells the remarkable and tragic tale of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who single-handedly changed the course of modern music by redefining the sound and the role of the electric bass guitar. Never-before-seen 8mm film, photographs, and audio recordings unveil the true story behind Pastorius' all-too-brief life, his music, and heartbreaking end.

JACO follows Pastorius' beginnings and ascent, from his era-defining work with jazz-fusion pioneers Weather Report to crossover collaborations with Joni Mitchell and Ian Hunter to his own inspired solo career as bandleader and composer. Highlighted by exclusive material from the Pastorius family archive, the film features memories and encomiums from a spectrum of Jaco fans and followers, including Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, and many others. JACO is produced by Robert Trujillo in association with Passion Pictures (SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, PROJECT NIM); the film is directed by Mr. Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak.