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March 22, 2006
DH 06 RH21
Contact: Russ Hudson,
Media Relations Coordinator
Gustavo Aguilar, Beastie Boy’s Nishita,
Loya Wind Up ‘Primavera’
Carson, CA— Next in the Primavera Music Series at California State University, Dominguez Hills is avant-garde musician Gustavo Aguilar on April 12. His presentation, “Performing Chicano Identity,” is free and open to the public, as are all Primavera Music Series events.
Following Aguilar a week later, on April 19, will be Beastie Boys’ Money Mark Ramos Nishita, who will deliver “Getting Something from Nothing: Pop Music, Movie Soundtracks and Noise.” The last event in the series will be CSUDH’s Marcos Loya, a well-known musician and composer for theater and movie productions, including “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” Loya’s May 4 performance will be, in part, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Loya came to campus during the fall semester to teach the Chicano/Latino Music class for the Chicana/Chicano Studies Department and was instrumental in bringing the five other artists to campus for the Primavera series. As he explains, it’s the dynamic nature of such music that makes it impossible to peg it as one thing or another. “What we’re really trying to do is show the diversity of Chicano/Latino music, while also showing the thread that ties it all together. We’re trying to open the students’ minds to all these beautiful styles of music and their roots,” he says.
The program kicked off on Feb. 1 with Guillermo Cespedes’ discussion of Afro-Latin music, where African American and Latino music merge. Both Loya and Irene Vasquez, professor and chair, Chicana/Chicano Studies, say such fusion is at the heart of the program and Chicano/Latino music in general, which draws its influences from genres as divergent as rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, and even punk. The recent emergence of reggaeton, a genre that combines Latin music with hip-hop, and its chart-topping artists like “Daddy Yankee,” further supports such a focus.
While hoping to bridge divides between cultures through the focus on fusion, Vasquez references a performance by Loya last year as the seed from which the program was born. The audience’s reaction to Loya showed her that a series of such performances mixed in with discussion and lecture could provide much more than entertainment for students. “I realized that music is a very contagious art form. When you hear it, you not only want to get up and dance and move to it, but it can also have a deep impact on people,” she says.
Providing an example, she refers to the most recent Primavera performance by Martha and Quetzal Flores, in which Martha Flores explained she was able to avoid the troubles and pitfalls of living in an inner city East L.A. community when she stepped into her music. Today, that music reflects such an upbringing and can help audience members who have also faced such life challenges, Vasquez says.
The series began Feb. 1 with the Afro-Latino music of Guillermo Céspedes in “Afro-Latino Rhythms as Reconciliation: African Americans and Latino Relations in the Americas.”
The Primavera Music Series is free and open to the public. Performances will be in room A-103, the recital hall on the first floor of La Corte Hall, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.
For more information on the event, call (310) 243-3326 or (310) 243-3327.
Cal State Dominguez Hills is at 1000 E. Victoria Street, off Avalon Boulevard between the 91 and 405 freeways and east of the 110 freeway at the 190th Street exit (190th becomes East Victoria). La Corte Hall is directly across Toro Center Drive from parking lot six, accessible from the Tamcliff Street-Toro Center Drive entrance off East Victoria Street. Parking is $3 and parking permits are available from the yellow dispensing machines at the perimeters of parking lots.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University Communications & Public Affairs
Welch Hall, B-363