Thursday, July 24, 2008

All about the son... jarocho and otherwise

Grooves and good vibra here in the wake of the Self Help Graphics storm. Para empezar, I offer a strident shout out to Nico of Los Poets del Norte and his partner Mayra, who operates Teocintli, a cultural space and store in Boyle Heights that offers clothing, accessories, books and other relevant gear as well as a small gallery space. They recently relocated from a smaller home a block away, and the grand re-opening was well attended. Got my eye on one of Nico's paintings neart the register, so "hands off," please! Just keeding... Regrettably, I couldn't stay long enough to catch the poetry performances or the music from Buyepongo, but the art exhibition was definitely worth the trip over the hill.

The community meeting at Self Help reminded all of us just how important it is to create ownership of our own cultural spaces. The influx of investors who merely seek to "flip" property for a profit is a historical fact and since we weren't even safe in the hands of the church, it's time to remind all the well-connected and politically installed Chicanos that they have an important roll to play financially, that they shouldn't just come around when they're looking for votes or want some high quality and somehow still inexpensive art to decorate their fancy homes. They should get behind and on board a capitalization project that would create enough funding for a permanent Self Help home on the East Side.

Diatribes and tirades and soapboxes aside, the música jarocha showcase held at Trópico de Nopal last Sunday was pure sonic deliciousness. Reyes and his family should be proud of the space they have built from the ground up. The backyard at Trópico was awash in the sound of jarana and tololoche the likes of which had not likely ever been seen or heard in LA's Rampart vecindad. Of course, with Son de Madera having already played McArther Park as part of the Levitt Pavillion summer concert series and the unequivocably stunnng performance on the same stage last night by Quetzal, it's safe to say that son jarocho and sonfusión Chicano inspired by son jarocho are fast finding an audience in that neck o' the cityscape. And speaking of which, I can't miss CAVA, a band led by Claudia Gonzalez, whose older sister Martha sings lead vocals with Quetzal. CAVA performing tonight at the Zona Rosa Caffe in Pasadena, not too far from this little second floor redoubt in el sereno... Claudia also lends vocals to Mentiritas, the band I profiled for Tu Ciudad magazine and will have to do so again somewhere else since Ciudad's August issue (where the story was slated to run) was never published. For now, you can check out the piece on the Mentiritas page. I send special thanks to artist Rick Mobbs for the image above called "The Kiss of the Fourth Wind." I've borrowed it for a flyer to announce the "Literoticana Chicana: una noche de luz, deseo y lengua" poetry event I helped put together at East Side Luv on August 14th with Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara and maestra Gloria Alvarez. More on that shortly.


rick said...

Congrats on all your hard work on behalf of the many. I would love to see a copy of the flyer you mentioned here if you have a copy you could email. Also, if you could provide a link to my blog with your mention that would be appreciated.

I would love to see any work coming out of the juvenile halls. Others here would also if the kids don't mind. I would be happy to feature it on the blog.

Will add you to my blogroll. Keep up the good work.


Camilo said...

The long anticipated album from young Jarocho masters Los Cojolites was released on iTunes today by Round Whirled Records worldwide. "No Tiene Fin" stands at the top of the short list of must-have Son Jarocho albums that no serious Jarocho enthusiast can be without. If you like Son de Madera's "Las Orquestas del Dia" then you will love the brilliant new arrangements and beautiful sound quality from the up-and-coming youngsters of the Jarocho world who have already established themselves at the top of the Jarocho world.

Check out Los Cojolites and their beautiful new album "No Tiene Fin" celebrating la poesia mexicana y el son jarocho.