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Musica, Historia y Cultura: Multicultural Music Encounters X

A three day multicultural music and arts series, featuring Five-time Grammy award-winning artist and Academy Award nominee Ray Santos

PRLog - June 1, 2012 - BRONX, N.Y. -- In celebration of the world famous New York City Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, Multicultural Music Group (MMG), a non-profit organization providing multicultural symphonic repertoire, teacher training curricula and instrumental music programs to New York City public schools will launch of its 10th annual Multicultural Music Encounters X; a presentation focused on promoting multiculturalism and cultural awareness within New York City communities. Complimentary admission is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. The exclusive three night multicultural music and arts series will take place at Pregones Theatre, 575 Walton Avenue, Bronx, New York, beginning Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9 at 8:00pm.

The mission of MMG is to promote social justice projects that depict, reflect, and illustrate history through the use of symphonic events. Multicultural Music Encounters X was developed as a series of concerts and educational outreach programs that bring together different races from all ages, cultures, languages, and musical styles reflecting Latino, African, Chinese, Jewish, Arab and European cultures, amongst others.
As the ethnic population in the United States continues to diversify, MMG believes it is important to examine and discuss what unites the country as a global village. From culture and value systems, to language and music; the use of multicultural music helps to unify the vision.

“Multicultural Music Encounters X was created to provide performances, instruction and professional development in multicultural music as a tool to promote global understanding, cultural awareness, and academic achievement,” shared Dr. Luis Mojica, executive director Multicultural Music Group. “Our goal is to increase appreciation and respect for different cultures through musical communication.”

This year’s series explores three distinct themes, divided into three evenings, amongst world renowned composers and musical directors Desmar Guevara, Juan Cólon and Ray Santos who will perform original musical compositions inspired by Latin American History. The evening events consist of two parts: 1) scholars, experts and historic events panel discussions moderated by Dr. Luis Mojica; 2) musical compositions featuring The Multicultural Music Orchestra together with The Bronx Arts Ensemble performing the following compositions:

June 7 - “Marina y Aurora,” based on events of “La Massacre de Ponce” (The Ponce Massacre).
•  Panel discussions: led by Dr. Iris Zavala from Hunter College/Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños; Dr. Hugo Viera from Universidad Metropolitana/Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez; and Alex La Salle, Historian and Puerto Rican Music Lecturer.

•  Musical composition: a two movement symphonic piece composed by Desmar Guevara; an accomplished composer, pianist, educator and champion of new music idioms in musical theatre and Latin jazz. Guevara is the recipient of a 2012 NPN Creation Fund Commission; 2006 Career Advancement Fellowship from the Ford Foundation; NYFA Fellow in Music Composition; Bronx BRIO awardee; grantee of the TCG/Pew Trusts National Theatre Artist Program and resident composer for Pregones Theatre.

•  Conductor: Luis Columna, producer, musical director and composer. Luis has performed with renowned Latin artists including Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Jose Alberto El Canario, La India and Grupo Niche.

June 8 – “Dominican Republic 1937,” based on the genocide of Haitian workers “Massacre de Parsley” (Parsley Massacre) during October of 1937.
•  Panel discussions: led by Dr. Carolle Charles from Baruch College – City University of New York; Dr. Edward Paulino from John Jay College – City University of New York; Michele Wucker, acclaimed author and President of the World Policy Institute.

•  Musical composition: a three movement symphonic piece by Juan Cólon; an author, recording artist and musical director of multiple Grammy award-winning artists including, Olga Tañón, Tito Puente, Ray Santos y su Orquesta, Los Hermanos Rosario and Juan Luis Guerra among others.

•  Conductor: Luis Columna, producer, musical director and composer. Luis has performed with renowned Grammy award-winning artists including Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Jose Alberto El Canario, La India and Grupo Niche.

June 9 - The Borinqueneers, inspired by the controversial events involving the 65th of Infantry.
•  Panel discussions: led by Noemi Figueroa, filmmaker of acclaimed documentary The Borinqueneers; Alex La Salle, Historian and Puerto Rican Music Lecturer; and John Andrades, Community Activist.

•  Music composed and conducted by: Five-time Grammy award winner and Academy Award nominee for Best Song in a Motion Picture - “Beautiful Maria of My Soul in The Mambo Kings,” Ray Santos. His musical and directorial credits include Tony Bennett, Julio Iglesias, Liza Minelli, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente and Dizzie Gillespie among others.

This year’s Multicultural Music Encounters is made possible with the support of the New York State Council for the Arts; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Puffin Foundation; The Bronx Arts Ensemble and the New York Council for the Humanities.

Seating is limited. To reserve your complimentary tickets, please email rsvp@multiculturalmusic.org. For more information surrounding Multiculutral Music Group, please log into www.multiculturalmusic.org.

Directions to Pregones Theatre, take IRT:
•  Trains 2, 4, 5, to 149th Street and Grand Concourse. Upon exiting the station, walk 1 short block west on 149th street to Walton Avenue. Turn right on Walton Avenue. Theater is on Walton Avenue between 149th & 150th Streets

•  Buses BX1 or BX19 to 149th Street and Grand Concourse. Walk 1 short block west on 149th street to Walton Avenue. Turn right on Walton Avenue. Theater is on Walton Avenue between 149th & 150th Streets

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