First Listen - New Album Inspired by the Broadway-Aimed Immigration Musical AMERICANO!

By: Jan. 24, 2020
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First Listen - New Album Inspired by the Broadway-Aimed Immigration Musical AMERICANO!

As the eagerly awaited premiere of Americano! draws near, the production gives fans the opportunity to preview the score as well as make a contribution to a scholarship fund that benefits the sons and daughters of U.S. Marines.

On the album, nine of the more than 20 songs from the musical are performed by Americano! composer/lyricist Carrie Rodriguez, and the musical's arranger, Sergio Mendoza and his band Orkesta Mendoza. In addition to leading his own band, Mendoza is also a member of the Grammy nominated Arizona based band Calexico. Calexico bandmate Joey Burns is featured singing a duet with Rodriguez called "Moving On". Other featured vocalists on the album include Carlos Arzate who leads the band Kind Souls, and solo artist Brian Lopez. Both are well-known Tucson, Arizona singer/songwriters.

A pivotal song in this musical is entitled, "Come Join the Marines." To honor those serving our country the production company for Americano! will give the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation 100% of their publisher share of the download revenues for that song for 12 months. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF) will also get a portion of the profits from the album sales. For more than 50 years the MCSF has been honoring Marines by helping to educate their children.

"Americano! is extraordinary, fresh, different, and perhaps new musical vernacular. I am so pleased about what we have produced and want to make it available to the world in addition to people coming to Phoenix to enjoy it," said Mendoza.

"In a way, the MCSF donation helps bring some resolution to my journey. Not able to serve this country by joining the Marines, the telling of my story will honor those who served by enabling the sons and daughters of Marines to realize the promise of a college education," said Valdovinos.

Carrie Rodriguez is an Austin, Texas-based artist whose most recent release, the critically-acclaimed bilingual album, Lola, was named as one of NPR's top 50 albums of the year. Carrie has performed on stages across North America and Europe for the last decade, as well as on programs such as Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show, and A Prairie Home Companion.

Sergio Mendoza is a singer, guitarist and Latin music pioneer. Mendoza was born in the Arizona border town of Nogales. He is the founder of Orkesta Mendoza, a band in Tucson that melds Indie Rock with Latin music and he is a member of the band Calexico. Mendoza's musical influences come from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The concept album release was produced and arranged by Mendoza and recorded at Embassy Studio in Tucson. All songs were written by Carrie Rodriguez/Indian Trails Music.

MORE ABOUT AMERICANO! AT THE Phoenix Theatre Company JAN. 29 - FEB. 23

The Broadway-aimed musical Americano!, inspired by the life of DREAMer and community organizer Tony Valdovinos, is the first major musical based on the struggles of DREAMers. The world-premiere production, runs January 29 - February 23 at Phoenix, Arizona's The Phoenix Theatre Company.

Americano! is presented by The Phoenix Theatre Company, during its 100th Anniversary season, and Quixote Productions (Jason Rose, producer), Tony Award-winning producer Ken Davenport (Altar Boyz, Godspell, Kinky Boots and Once on This Island) is the executive producer. Americano! features an original score by critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez ("Lola," named as one of NPR's top 50 albums of the year), with a book by Michael Barnard (Producing Artistic Director, The Phoenix Theatre Company) and Jonathan Rosenberg. Michael Barnard also serves as the director of Americano! which features choreography by Sergio Mejia, and musical arrangements by Sergio Mendoza with Marco Rosano. Former New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief Fernanda Santos is a creative consultant.

Americano! features Sean Ewing (Broadway's West Side Story, Amazing Grace) as Tony Valdovinos, leading a company including Johanna Carlisle-Zepeda, Maria Amorocho, Edgar Lopez, Alyssa Gomez, Joseph Cannon, Justin Figueroa, Michael Scott, Sonia Rodriguez Wood, Anson Romney, Chris Eriksen, Joseph Cavasos, Matravius Avent, Jessie Jo Pauley, Shani Barrett, Nicholas Flores, Ricco Machado-Torres, Lucas Coatney, Anne-Lise Koyabe, Tarnim Bybee, Cole Newburg, Elyssa Blonder and Aidan Lutton.

With America once again embroiled in heated debates about immigration, Americano! is the true story - the life, the challenges, and the trials - of Tony Valdovinos, a DREAMer brought to America by his parents when he was two years old. Inspired by 9/11, Tony walked into a Marine Corps recruitment office visiting Camelback High School in Phoenix on his 18th birthday to enlist, only to discover his parents hadn't told him he was an undocumented immigrant. But he didn't give up on serving the only country he had ever known-he did it in alternatively powerful ways instead. Americano! casts a deeply human light on what it means to be a DREAMer, at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on their fate in June, 2020.

Tony Valdovinos, whose life story serves as the inspiration for Americano!, also serves as a consulting producer. "I knew it was a big opportunity," says Valdovinos. "I was approached by these fellows that wanted to write a story of an immigrant. They had read an article about me. I met with them and I told them my whole life story. Imagine someone calling you out of the blue and then a year or so later, you hear 20 songs involving the most intimate details of your life? Here were 17 artists investing their best talent in the depiction of some of my most personal challenges. But this journey is worth it to share the story of DREAMers and what their families are going through. And it will also put a smile on their faces."

Americano! premieres on the mainstage at The Phoenix Theatre Company, January 29 - February 23. Opening night is January 31. Performances are Wednesday - Saturday at 7:30PM, with matinees at 2PM on Saturday & Sunday. Tickets for Americano! are $32 - $82 and available at www.phoenixtheatre.com. Visit AmericanoTheMusical.com for more information.




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