Celebrate México Now! Ten Years of Musical Exploration and Deep Roots Feted in New York
September 12-21, 2013
Celebrate México Now! has brought edgy film, thought-provoking speakers, and powerful performers to New York for a decade. This edition offers the same intriguing mix of media—film and poetry, cuisine and performance—but reveals the full spectrum of Mexico’s sonic legacy and explorations: the madcap zeal of Esquivel, young tradition bearers with both rootsy chops and fancy footwork, and the unsung vocal music of a country where contemporary edge easily blends with long-standing song forms.
September 14 (Museum of the American Indian): Jarana Beat
Young and dynamic, this Brooklyn-based, 14-member ensemble unites Afro-Mexican, indigenous, and other traditions from across Mexico, in driving dance, soaring vocals, and jubilant instrumental music into one surprisingly diverse party.
September 19 (David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center): Acardenchados
Highly trained friends fascinated by traditional song forms, this quartet explores where old-school Mexican vocal music—including rarely heard songs that mix European and indigenous sacred music forms (Canto Cardenche and Pirekua) and pieces that draw on improvisatory, open-throated men’s songs—music meets contemporary sensibilities and extended vocal technique.
September 21 (Pace University / Schimmel Center): Sonorama: The Lost Music of Esquivel with Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Quirky and seductive, silly and technically stunning, Mexican maverick composer Esquivel found the recipe for midcentury sonic bliss. The Orchestrotica fearlessly hunted down some of the best from the vaults, digging up some of Esquivel’s lost gems and arranging them artfully.
“Mexican music, even at its rootsiest, has a complexity and sophistication that has won young performers over, all across the Americas and the world,” notes festival founder and director Claudia Norman. “It’s a real thrill to highlight this aspect of Mexico’s culture, and to show the many connections between local forms and international stages.”
Full festival listing: https://www.facebook.com/MexicoNowFestival
About the artists:
Acardenchados take their name from the Mexican Cardenche style of popular music, which is created through the spontaneous interpretation of three or four voices. This improvisational yet traditional vocal ensemble joins together in exploring creative boundaries of singing in the Cardenche and Pirekua-- the syncretism of religious music chants from the Spanish evangelizers and with Indian Mexican music-- ways. Joining Tareke Ortiz, Leo Soqui, and Juan Manuel Torreblanca, we welcome back Juan Pablo Villa, one of the most respected exponents of improvisation music in Mexico, who performed at Lincoln Center in 2010. Acardenchados exposes us to extended vocal techniques in the most fascinating and energizing ways.
Jarana Beat shares the unknown sounds of Mexico from a novel perspective that melds the traditional with the contemporary, and shows how these both bear fruit in New York. The percussive footwork of dancers dressed in traditional costumes, the rhythms of world music blending with the regional sounds of son jarocho from the Gulf Coast, son guerrerense from the Southern Pacific Coast, son huasteco from the Central & North-Eastern region, mexika from central Mexcio, and norteña from the North… all converge into the point of departure for his musical creativity, opening an environment for expressing the unique music of the band members’ homelands.
“Mexico-via-Brooklyn combo Jarana Beat weaves intricate rhythms and delicate plucks with rich, yearning vocals to gorgeous and surprisingly jolly effect. Great stuff.”–Time Out New York
Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica is the world's only big band dedicated to performing the lost space-age pop music of Juan Garcia Esquivel. The Wall Street Journal calls it "deliciously demented and entertaining in equal parts." Led by Mr. Ho (Brian O'Neill), the group has rescued the king-of-space-age-bachelor-pad's arrangements via meticulous by-ear transcriptions of Esquivel’s recordings, which were known for exploiting the new sound called “stereo” of the 50s and 60s. The ensemble—an experimental big band augmented with atypical roles such as slide guitar, four singers, B3 organ, and three percussionists—recreates the Hollywood, easy Latin, crime jazz, and bachelor pad sounds of mid-century living room hi-fis live on the Schimmel stage!