Esperanza Arts Center Ensemble-In-Residence
Folk and dance music of Puerto Rico with Suzzette Ortiz
Friday, November 22, 2020, 7:30pm
Conversation and Audience Q&A immediately following the performance
Tickets $10 Adults
Free Admission for children and students under 18.
Musica Puertorriquena will include a compendium of: danzas, musica Jibara (originally music from the mountain dwelling peasants), bomba, plena, boleros, salsa y regueton. The concert will be multi-disciplinary, including audio-visual and dance. Esperanza Academy Dance Ensemble under the direction of Tania Ramos, will premiere original choreography of a new work composed by Suzzette Ortiz after Hurricane Maria entitled “Yukiyu” (the Taino Indian God that lives in “El Yunque”). Ortiz will share the stage with Juan Medina on bass, guitar and vocals, Pedro Zayas on timbal, Augusto Febres on congas, Iriana Alvelo on cuatro, Rene Ginett on vocals and Ortiz herself on vocals and piano. Waleska Lopez will also make an appearance as special guest bomba dancer.
Interview with AMLA Artistic Director, Suzzette Ortiz:
How have you shaped this program to represent the immensely rich and diverse cultural traditions of PR through music and dance?
It is difficult to come up with a compendium of music and dance from PR in a one hour concert. Music plays an important role in our lives. The music of Puerto Rico is indeed extremely rich. Keeping this in mind, I built the repertoire focusing on the three main groups that represent our history; the Taino, the Spaniards and African influences. Later in the program I will feature more current music to showcase, not only our influence in the world but how our music has been influenced by other cultures. The music selected for that night will be presented chronologically.
Is there a common theme among the featured works?
The featured theme is Puerto Rican music and the history behind the styles showcased on the night of the concert. From Taino rituals to the sensual dances of salsa, I want to showcase our tradition through songs of social gatherings, songs of love and passion, or simply songs that tell the stories of a community and who we are.
How does this program reflect your personal background and influences as an artist?
I was born in an artistic family where music and arts played an important role in our lives. I was classically trained and had to learn about Puerto Rican danzas on the piano. My father guided my music career. He encouraged me to learn all kinds of music styles including the music of my roots. There was always music of cuatro and guitarra in my house; especially during Christmas time. After leaving the island more than 3 decades ago; my desire to learn more about my music roots increased. I feel extremely honored for the opportunity to be featured at Esperanza Arts Center as well as having the opportunity to share my roots with wonderful performers and a live audience.
More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF4svYCMtY8&feature=youtu.beNovember 22 @ 7:30 pm - 09:30 pm