CONJUNTO BLUES Heads to Los Angeles this November
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is proud to announce the selection of Conjunto Blues as a participant in The Los Angeles Theater Company's 2017 Encuentro de las Americas. The festival will feature three weeks of artistic exchange, cross-company co-creation, and presented performances, in repertory, for audiences in Los Angeles, including one weekend-long International Convening of leading Latinx and Latin American theatremakers and guests produced by the Latinx Theatre Commons. The one-night only performance at the Guadalupe will serve as a fundraiser for the trip to Los Angeles.
"Sending Conjunto Blues to Los Angeles allows us to articulate the unique cultural experience of the Tejano community and this specific South Texas musical genre not just in Los Angeles but on an international stage," said Joel C. Settles, Director of Theater and Performing Arts. "The Encuentro provides an opportunity for our theatre program to connect with other artists, share ideas, and bring back fresh approaches to theatre in San Antonio."
Conjunto Blues is an exploration of the social and historical conditions that led to the development of Conjunto music as an expression of cultural resistance and liberation. The play centers around playwright, actor, and musician Nicolas Valdez's personal experience growing up in the Conjunto music scene. Audiences are taken through a shifting landscape of memory and reflection that is highlighted with traditional music, historical imagery, and documentary footage featuring interviews of Conjunto musicians and influencers including the 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellow Eva Ybarra, Jesse Borrego Sr., and Salvador "El Pavo" Garcia.
"Conjunto music tells the story of the Mexican-American working-class in the 20th century," said Valdez. "There is a rich history in South Texas that we are barely beginning to fully explore, a counter narrative to the established dogma that negates the contributions of generations of Mexican descendants."
Nicolas Ramiro Valdez is a San Antonio, Texas-based performance artist with over 15 years of experience in cultural arts activism. Nicolas was trained in traditional Conjunto music by master accordionist Valerio Longoria Sr. at the age of 9 and at 15 he was a founding member of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center's youth theater company Grupo Animo. Over the years, Nicolas has developed his own unique style incorporating music, poetry and theater into culturally relevant performances that speak to the experiences of the communities along the US-Mexico border. He regularly performs with Los Nahuatlatos whose music is a synthesis of traditional Latino styles with contemporary elements. Los Nahuatlatos have been featured at the 2013 International Accordion Festival and the 32nd Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival.
Nicolas Valdez time travels seamlessly through button accordion riff and character as he shares a live-music history lesson of Conjunto music as a form of cultural resistance and liberation from the campos to the cantinas. Performed in English and Spanish with English and Spanish supertitles.
Los Angeles Shows:
Saturday, November 4, 2:30pm and 8:30pm
Sunday, November 5, 2:30 pm
Thursday, November 9, 8:30pm
Friday, November 10, 10:00pm
Saturday, November 11, 2:30pm
Saturday, November 18, 2:30pm and 8:30pm
Sunday, November 19, 2:30 pm
The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tickets: $22-$44 https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/977908