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A MEXICAN AFFAIR Extends Through August at the Paper Factory Hotel's Rose Room

Convergences Theatre Collective is pleased to announce A MEXICAN AFFAIR will be adding additional performances to their previously announced 'Cinco de Mayo Celebration' at The Paper Factory Hotel's Rose Room in Long Island City (37-06 36th Street, Queens, NY 11101). An evening of delicious food, music, candid stories, and spicy romance, created and performed by Rafa Reyes (Awarded Cultural Representative of Veracruz), with arrangements by musical director Felipe Fournier (two-time Grammy Awards nominee; One time Latin Grammy Awards nominee), and directed by Jeremy Williams (The Woman Who Was Me). Tickets start at $25 (VIP tables and bottle service also available) and can be purchased online at http://roseroom.nyc or by calling 718-706-8636. Doors open one hour prior to performance for dinner and drinks.


A MEXICAN AFFAIR will play the following performances through August 11th:

  • Fri, May 5 at 9:30pm -Cinco de Mayo Celebration
    Featuring special guest vocalist Lauren Langbaum (West Side Story - Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), percussionist Jhair Sala (Pedrito Martinez Group) and percussionist Rubén Coca (Heineken Jazz Fest).

  • Fri, June 2 at 9:30pm

  • Fri, July 7 at 9:30pm

  • Fri, August 11 at 9:30pm


Rafa Reyes celebrates the relationship of his native Mexico and the United States, and the beautiful cultural influences between both countries. An evening featuring popular Jazz tunes written by Mexican and American composers. The thrilling fusion of rhythms and musical influences work in tandem with the Paper Factory Hotel's Rose Room fusion of architecture and design. An adventure filled with passion, heartbreak, and a little dirty mambo! A Mexican Affair will offer an exquisite evening of great food and entertainment for a truly unique New York experience.


Created and performed by Rafa Reyes. Featuring Felipe Fournier on vibraphone, Dan Martínez (Supermambo!) on bass, Hugo Moreno (The Filmharmonic Brass, Jarana Beat, The Gregorio Uribe Big Band, Le Train Bleu, Marlboro Music Festival) on trumpet, Joel Mateo (Chembo Corniel Quintet, Jan Kus, Mixtura, Oasis) on drums, and percussionists Guillermo Barrón.

BIOGRAPHIES

RAFA REYES (Creator/Performer) is an awarded cultural representative of his home state - Veracruz, Mexico. His love for musical theater brought him to New York to train at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Theatre credits include Joseph (Benjamin), Man of La Mancha (Priest), Once on this Island (Ensemble), Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel (Ensemble), and most recently West Side Story (Bernardo). Dance credits include Calpulli Mexican Dance (Principal), Jazz Roots Dance (Featured), Teatro LATEA's La Llorona (Featured) and BABEL (Ensemble). He holds a special award from the mayor of Cordoba, Mexico for his efforts in the promotion of Mexican culture in the United States. He became a producing fellow with Convergences Theatre Collective in 2015 where he created and developed A Mexican Affair. In 2015 he premiered "Fiesta" - a musical short film tribute to Ricardo Montalbán and Cyd Charisse. Rafa wants to become a strong cultural link between Mexico and the United States, and bring a positive impact to the hispanic community through the performing arts, on both sides of the border and beyond. www.rafareyes.com

JEREMY WILLIAMS (Director) is committed to excellence and innovation in the Performing Arts in the roles of director, choreographer, producer, educator, and consultant. He focuses on challenging and redefining the creation of new theatrical works, developing curricula and pedagogy, as well as leading professional development of educators, artists, and audiences. As a Director/Choreographer/Producer, he has led the creation of more than 50 original pieces across the country. Williams' approach to performance-making, consulting and educating is centered around Audience Engagement as a tool for artistic and business success. He is a leader in the field, developing and teaching frameworks that reimagine the ways in which performance makers relate to audiences and that audience experience performance. He is currently a consultant and facilitates learning communities for Engaging Dance Audiences for Dance/USA as well as Building Demand for the Arts for the Doris Duke Foundation.

As a director and choreographer he has staged plays, musicals, and dance in New York, regional theatre, and for universities. He is a frequent director/choreographer for the NYC-based Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. Williams' work has been seen at NYC venues: TheatreLab, The Wild Project, PS 122, Theatre at the Riverside Church as well as in readings/studio showings at The Vineyard Theatre, Gibney Dance Center, Shetler Studios, Space on White, DANY Studios, and others. Selected Regional credits: PIPPIN, Fiddler on the Roof , and returned to Stage West Side Story in the summer 2016 with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Medea with University of Louisville, Touched at Kentucky Center for the Arts, and Handler at the Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder. He is the Producing Director/Founder of Convergences Theatre Collective. Current CTC projects include: Babel, an acro-dance-theatre production, Nina with Boris, a new play inspired by Chekhov, The Woman Who Was Me, a play for one woman by Peter Grandbois, and A Mexican Affair, a Latin-jazz cabaret. Williams holds an MFA Theatre: Contemporary Performance from Naropa University.

FELIPE FOURNIER (Musical Director/Vibraphone) is a graduate from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory, in jazz and Caribbean music. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy with Charlie Sepulveda and The Turnaround, and nominated twice for a Grammy with Nestor Torres and Ruben Blades & Cheo Feliciano. Felipe and his band Supermambo! have performed in several venues of New York City including Subrosa, Pioneer Works, Coca Cola Dizzy's Club, 55 Bar, Barbès, among others. Based in New York, he also plays as a sideman with Miguel Zenon's SUR, Luisito Quintero's 3rd Element, Guillermo Klein, Jarana Beat, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, and Tres del Solar.

GUILLERMO BARRÓN (Percussions) studied at The Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Music and Jazz program where he graduated summa cum laude. He has performed with international musicians, such as Luisito Quintero, Charlie Sepúlveda, Brian Lynch, Oscar Stagnaro, Víctor Manuelle, Pepito Gómez, among many others at various stages and festivals in Mexico, United States, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Italy and Austria. His album ¿CUÁL ES LA PRISA? contains his own songs and arrangements, and includes his main musical influences - Latin American music, jazz and flamenco. Guillermo Barrón is an endorser for Istanbul Mehmet cymbals.

RUBÉN COCA (Percussions - May 5) drummer, percussionist, arranger and Mexican composer, Rubén graduated from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, by the Department of Jazz and Caribbean Music, performance in drums 2008-2012. He began his studies of drums when he was just 3 years old. When he turned 10 years old, he entered the House of Culture of the State of Puebla. Later, he studied classical percussion and took drum lessons. From 2012 to 2013 he attended a diploma in drum performance, granted by the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. He has participated in the Heineken Jazz Fest of San Juan Puerto Rico, San Thomas, U.S., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and NYC. He has taken seminars with Eddie Gómez, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, Antonio Sánchez, Ignacio Berroa, Ed Shop, Dafnis Prieto, Henry Cole, Miguel Zenón, Vince Cherico, Ed Simon to name a few. Likewise to seminars, as in the Jazz Festival of Chihuahua in 2011. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where he is participating in different projects.

LAUREN LANGBAUM (Vocalist - May 5) is thrilled to be working once again with Rafa Reyes and Jeremy Williams. She last worked with them at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre playing Maria in West Side Story. She has had the opportunity to work at some of the best regional theaters in the country including Barrington Stage Company & North Shore Music Theatre. Later this month, Lauren has the pleasure of returning to the Carnegie Hall stage to sing in New York Lyric Opera's Night of Opera Scenes. Follow her journey on Instagram! @laurenlangbaum/@hightopsandhealth

DAN MARTÍNEZ (Bass) started on music at the age of 12 at Escuela Libre de Mu?sica in Puerto Rico. Later continued his studies in Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where he also started playing the upright bass, studying with bass legend Eddie Gomez. During this time he performed in a wide variety of bands of different genres, including Jazz, Pop/Rock, Salsa and Latin Jazz and Folkloric music. He received his Master's Degree in Jazz performance from the Aaron Copland School in New York. Based in New York, Dan performs regularly with Luba Mason, Jan Kus, Richard Padron, Supermambo! and many others. JOEL MATEO (Drums) began his musical studies at an early age at the Escuela Libre de Música Juan Morell Campos in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He completed his BA in the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico and a MA at the Aaron Copland School of Music in NYC. His musical range has lead him to play live and record with International Artists such as Papo Vazquez, Miguel Zenon, Manuel Valera, Andy Gonzalez, Tego Calderon, Elio Villafranca, John Benitez, La Mala Rodriguez, and Paoli Mejias among others. Joel currently resides in New York City where he continues to play, record and travel with different artist and groups.

Hugo Moreno (Trumpet) has performed in several Broadway shows, Symphony Orchestras, Big Bands, Salsa Bands and Latin Jazz groups since moving to New York City. He also has appeared onstage with Paquito d' Rivera, Gustavo Santaolalla, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, and John Legend. Hugo is currently the trumpet player for GRAMMY and LATIN GRAMMY winner Lila Downs, a founding member of New York based groups The Filmharmonic Brass, Jarana Beat, The Gregorio Uribe Big Band, Le Train Bleu, and is an ongoing participant at the Marlboro Music Festival.

JHAIR SALA (Percussions - May 5) is a world-class and in-demand percussionist who regularly performs with the Pedrito Martinez Group. Sala's unique style represents a new-school approach to Afro-Peruvian and Afro-Cuban musical styles. Sala's first teacher was Lucho Gomez, who taught him proper finger, hand, and palm techniques for cajon and other percussion instruments. During his teens, he performed with his mother's band on The Mariela Valencia Show, which gave him an opportunity to travel all over the world and absorb a variety of cultures and musical traditions. Once settled in the USA, Jhair Sala had the opportunity to study percussion with his idol, Pedrito Pablo Martinez. Under Martinez's guidance, he absorbed Cuban music and gained fluency on congas, bongos, timbales, and Bata. Subsequent lessons with Roberto Chino Bolaños readied him for his first significant American appearance. Performing with the group Kambalache Negro, Jhair Sala revealed a unique perspective on soloing and grooving. His career took off and he began performing with bands and artists that include: Desmond Child, Patience Dabany, Hector Tricoche, Andy Montañez, Pedrito Pablo Martinez, Justo Betancourt, Xiomara Laugart, Brenda K. Star, Osmany Paredes, Jimmy Bosch, Adalberto Santiago and Ismael Miranda, Nino Segarra, Raulin Rosendo, Paquito Guzman and many others. Jhair Sala gained a reputation as a first-call accompanist. One of his first recording collaborations was with Mongo Santamaria's oldest daughter, Ileana, who produced the album I Know What I Want. Sala's session credits also includes albums with Patience Dabany, Osmany Paredes, Edmar Castañeda, Mariela Valencia, Kambalache Negro,Ropa Vieja, Afrodita, Yerba Buena, and Ibboru, among others.

CONVERGENCES THEATRE COLLECTIVE is an incubator for the research and development of new theatrical works.

Photo by Lloyd Mulvey


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