2019 Program and Gallery

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Monday, March 4th

Carnaval Opening Parade

Guest artist and alumnx Kirk Brundage and current student Emilia Desiré led the CalArts Brazilian Drumming Ensemble in a parade to celebrate the spectacular opening of LatinFest 2019, featuring fashion designs from Floración Fashion Show and costumes made by Peruvian student Maria Laura Sandoval.


Latin American Stringed Instrument Masterclass/Lecture

Guest artist José Roberto Hernandez led a masterclass/ lecture about the Latin American Song, its influences from the European troubadour aesthetics, and the local regional development in each Latin American country. In addition, he spoke about the introduction of the guitar to the Latin American popular song throughout Latin American history.

Hernandez is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, producer, musical educator, and ethnomusicologist. In the San Francisco Bay Area where he resides, he is one of the most respected exponents of folkloric music. Born in the city of Cardenas, Tabasco, México, his musical career begins in Tabasco and continues in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico City, and the United States. Surrounded by master folklorists, he roots his career in traditional music and discovers that this is his greatest passion. This transforms him into a collector and performer of native and traditional instruments, and, always thirsting to discover and learn about other cultures, he becomes an investigator of customs and traditions in dance and music. His devotion, creativity, and professionalism in the genre of traditional music have earned him the recognition of great musicians from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina.


Sounds of the Americas

This celebration of pan-American folkloric musics spans countries, cultures, and time itself. With music both traditional and experimental, instruments modern and ancient, and sounds familiar and abstract, this concert could reinvent how you think about the music of Latin America. Featuring guest artists Ramiro Duarte, Jose Roberto Hernandez, Christopher Garcia, Nadia CalmetGino Gamboa, and Kristin Olsen, as well as CalArts students Maya Paredes, Pablo Leñero, Diana Teixeira, Anthony Landers, and Chance Utter.


Tuesday, March 5th

Afro-Peruvian Dance Workshop

Guest artist Nadia Calmet presented Afro-Peruvian dances and rhythms.

Originally from Lima, Peru, Naida Calmet began her studies in folkloric dances in her hometown, specializing in Afro-Peruvian dances. She continued her studies in Yoruba Dances with the Conjunto Nacional Folklorico de Cuba in Havana, Cuba, and later studied Bomba y Plena dance with the iconic Ayala family in Loiza Aldea, Puerto Rico. Her training has allowed her to choreograph Afro-Diasporic pieces that traveled the world, especially when she toured with renowned singer Eva Ayllon. She is also a working actress and has premiered on several films and TV series in Latin America. She is the founder of Centro de Accion Cultural Afroperuano CEACA Peru, where she promotes Afro-Peruvian Culture.


Argentinian Film Night

‘El silencio es un cuerpo que cae’ (Silence is a Falling Body), dir. Agustina Comedi. 2018, 72 min.

‘El silencio es un cuerpo que cae’ is a reconstruction of the part of her father’s life that she did not get to share with him, a life guided by the conflict between political activism and desire.

‘Habeas Corpus,’ dir. Jorge Acha. 1986, 67 min.

‘Habeas Corpus’ is a poetic movement about a man in captivity during the coming of the Pope John Paul II to Argentina in 1982, and his memories of the man he loves.


Reception Concert: Carson Schafer Latin Jazz Ensemble

Dance the night away with this talented group of CalArts jazz and world music performers. With global influences and a deep love for Latin jazz, this twelve-piece band will keep you on your feet and in the rhythm.

With: Singers Mandy Hong, Susana Pineda, and Su Ozcan. Horn players Evan O’Brien (alto saxophone), Johnny Miguel (trombone), Eloy Neira (trumpet), and Rafael Luna (flute). Bassist Josh Turner. Pianist Will Kjeer. Percussionists Carson Schafer, Diana Teixeira, and Chance Utter.


Wednesday, March 6th

Harp Day
With guest harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz

Did you know that Latin America is the land of the harp? Did you know that the official national dances” of Venezuela, Paraguay, and Chile are harp music? Did you know that ‘La Bamba’ is harp music from 18th century Veracruz, Mexico? Learn more about this beautiful style of music from acclaimed harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.

Alfredo was born in Cuba. When he was eleven years old he immigrated with his family to Venezuela. Four years later he began studying the Venezuelan folk harp with his school friend Fernando Guerrero. A year later he became a pupil of Alberto Romero on the Paraguayan harp. Just two years after his first harp lesson, he began medical school at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia, began performing professionally, and recorded his first album. Music supported his medical studies until graduation. Five years later he moved to the United States to continue studies of music therapy. Two years later, he married Luz Marina Otero. For eight years from the time of his graduation from medical school, he worked in the medical field as well as a harpist and recording artist, until his wife became pregnant. In order to have time for his growing family, he then decided to dedicate his life only to them and to his first love: the harp.

With a multicultural repertoire that covers folk, classical and popular music from many countries, as well as his original compositions, Alfredo has performed for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He has recorded many albums and is the winner of a gold record in South America. He has lectured on a variety of subjects at universities, colleges, and schools, is the author of several harp music books and articles, and his compositions have been performed and recorded by classical and folk harpists in many countries. His ‘Venezolana for Five Pedal Harps’ has become a favorite of harp ensembles around the world.

His acclaimed ‘South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra’ premiered March 3, 1996. Dr Ortiz was invited to perform his Suite at the World Harp Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1999, with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, having as audience over one thousand classical harpists from around the world. He has also performed his Suite in Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, Turkey, New Zealand, and Israel, and with several orchestras in the United States, among them the New Mexico Symphony, Corona Symphony Orchestra, and the El Paso Symphony.

On July 22, 2008, during the Tenth World Harp Congress in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, his composition Cumbia Verde, created for four harps or harp ensemble, was premiered by 232 harpists, the largest harp ensemble to date.


Paraguayan Harp Composition Workshop


Harp Masterclass

Alfredo will be exploring special effects for harp as well as new and useful techniques.


Injury Prevention for All Musicians

With his vast musical experience and medical background, Alfredo showed musicians on all instruments how to take care of their bodies while playing, using the harp as an example.


Pan-American Harp Performance

After all these workshops, Alfredo performed his and other works.


General Events
Manu Beker (acoustic)

A pop singer/songwriter with influences ranging from RnB to Bolero, the velvet-voiced Manu Beker presented an acoustic set of his music with a wide range of accompanying instruments. Beker is a young Mexican-born singer songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA, as well as Mexico City. At just the age of 22, Manu has already worked and collaborated with Grammy award-winning singers, musicians, and producers in order to compose, write, and perform his own material as well as other projects such as soundtracks and scores for film and TV. Also featuring Josh Buchignani, Mackynze Roten, Timothy Kontoff, Solomon Newbon, Emilia Desiré, and Noah Schwartz.


Erasing Borders (In An Emergency)
Lecture by Harry Gamboa, Jr., CalArts Faculty

Harry Gamboa, Jr. discussed and showed his photo-based performance work 1970’s – Present while contextualizing the role of borders, bridges, and the Los Angeles urbanscape. A dynamic CalArts faculty member of the photography and media program in the School of Art, Gamboa is an artist, writer, and educator, as well as the founder and director of the international performance troupe ‘Virtual Vérité’ (2005-2017). He is also a co-founder of ‘Asco (1972-1985), the Los Angeles-based performance group.


Afro-Peruvian Cajón Workshop

Guest artist Gino Gamboa and teaches all about the Afro-Peruvian cajón!

Born in Lima, Peru and living in the US since the mid-’90s, Gino Gamboa is a master percussionist, teacher, and instrument maker, and a prime exponent of Afro-Peruvian music. He has toured and recorded with Eva Ayllon, Peru Negro, Tolu, and Los Hijos del Sol. His special focus is on teaching and fabricating the Peruvian cajón. Founder of the groups Armonia Criolla and Contrapunto and an integral member of Sajama, Gino was also a member of a Peruvian delegation that participated in the opening ceremonies of the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. Since 2003 Gino has coordinated the annual ‘Concurso Internacional del Cajón.’ He continues to travel to different parts of the world offering clinics on cajón as well as presenting Peruvian music.


Room for Self: Sabina Aria’s Graduation Recital


Argentinian Film Night

‘Te quiero tanto que no se’ (I Love You So Much That I Just Don’t Know), dir. Lautaro García Candela. 2018, 72 min.

‘Te quiero tanto que no se’ happens during a night in which someone finally decides to go looking for something to the outside, and that outside reshapes his time and his search into something that turns out to be a musical of old protest songs and ballads, sung by the very young.

‘La civilización esta haciendo masa y no deja oir’ (The Civilization is Making Noise and Does Not Let Hear), dir. Julio Ludueña. 1974, 95 min.

‘La civilización está haciendo masa y no deja oír’ (Julio Ludueña, 1974) is a satire about a group of women who decide to rebel their pimps, a satire that comes in a time when it could be guessed that tragedy was already there.


Reception Concert: Banda do Cabelo

The dynamic Banda do Cabelo perform traditional and modern choro music, a Brazilian musical genre born in Rio de Janeiro in the mid 19th century. They bring that musical language to other compositions, exploring improvisation, syncopation, melodic interpretations, and counterpoint. The choro group performs compositions by Jacob Do Bandolim and Pixinguinha as well as original compositions. Featuring alumni and students Bradley Butterwoth (guitar), Emilia Desiré (percussion), Rafael Luna (flute), Lucas Longaresi (guitar), and special guest artist and alum Meltem Ege.


Thursday, March 7th

Studio Visits by Carolina Caycedo and Laura Molina

Visiting artists Carolina Caycedo and Laura Molina visited the studios of current CalArts students. This event was not open to the public.


Laroye Aña, Afro-Cuban Dancer

Indira Leneman, known as Laroye Aña, was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She has studied genres including ballet, modern,  contemporary, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, flamenco, Afro-Brazilian, and Haitian.  She has also performed in companies including Compañia de Teatro y Danza Tony  Menendez, Compañia de Danza Moderna Comtemporanea y Folklor Narciso Medina, as well as in several Cuban TV programs. From 2010 until she left Cuba in 2017, she was a dancer for Compañia de Ballet y Espectaculos Tropicana (also known as Cabaret Tropicana). Since moving to Los Angeles, she joined the Viver Brasil dance company and performed in the 2017 and 2018 “¡Viva Navidad!” shows at Disneyland. As an instructor, she taught Cuban salsa and Afro-Cuban dances in the annual dance and music festival ‘Baila en Cuba’ 2012 through 2016, and has been teaching private and weekly studio classes in these genres. In 2018, she taught several dance classes at California State University Fullerton. Batá Drums players include guest artist Kristin Olsen and CalArts students Chance Utter, Anthony Landers, and Diana Teixeira.


DIF/Ability Dance Workshop

Part of the ArtChangeUs series of dance workshops and roundtable discussions with artists who navigate the art world as disabled creators, award-winning Deaf producer/choreographer/dancer/Deaf advocate Antoine Hunter presented a dance and choreography workshop followed by a series of artist presentations and roundtable discussions on art, accessibility, and equity with Hunter, comedian Danielle Perez, and visual artist Jaklin Romine, moderated by actor Diana Elizabeth Jordan. These artists  shared processes in their practices and experiences as people holding intersectional marginal identities. They will expand on the ways their identities influence their art and engagement with their respective fields.

A Bay Area native, Hunter is an award-winning African-American Deaf producer, choreographer, film/theater actor, dancer, dance instructor, model, poet, speaker, mentor, and Deaf advocate. Hunter received his training in dance and acting at Skyline High School in Oakland, CA, CalArts, and the Paul Taylor Dance School in New York City. The founder and artistic director of Urban Jazz Dance, Hunter has performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company, Nuba Dance Theater, Alayo Dance Company, Robert Moses’ KIN, Man Dance, Sins Invalid, Amara Tabor-Smith, Kim Epifano, Push Dance Company, Fly Away Productions, Joanna Haigood, OET theater, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. He has performed throughout the Bay Area and the world including Cuba, Rome, Hawaii, Peru and London. Hunter is a faculty member at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Shawl-Anderson, Youth in Arts and Dance-A-Vision. He is the founder of Iron Tri-Angel Urban Ballet in Richmond, was an instructor and rehearsal director for the Ross Dance Company, dance captain for Expedia.com commercials and was head Choreographer director for an Philippines’s Musical “Amerikana-The Musical”. while he love doing short films and long films plus music videos, he was Head Choreographer for D-PAN: Deaf Professional Arts Network ASL Music Video: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.


DIF/Ability Round Table

With ArtChangeUS guest artist Antoine Hunter, Jaklin Romine, and Danielle Perez. Moderated by Diana Elizabeth Jordan.


Carolina Caycedo, Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture

Carolina Caycedo (1978, lives in Los Angeles) was born in the UK to Colombian parents. She transcends institutional spaces to work in the social realm, where she participates in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right. Carolina’s artistic practice has a collective dimension to it in which performances, drawings, photographs and videos are not just an end result, but rather part of the artist’s process of research and acting. Through work that investigates relationships of movement, assimilation and resistance, representation and control, she addresses contexts, groups, and communities that are affected by developmental projects, like the constructions of dams, the privatisation of water, and their consequences on riverside communities.

This lecture is a co-production of LatinFest and the Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series.


Indigenous Sonorities and the Sacred Landscape
Lecture by Veronica Pacheco, CalArts Faculty

The Nahua Indigenous people of Chicontepec, Veracruz, Mexico perform longstanding religious celebrations that attempt to control the weather and secure their subsistence in the area. The sound of string instruments, rattles, bells, and whistles call for the congregation to engage in their duties and invite deities that inhabit the natural landscape to share a meal. This presentation considers Indigenous knowledge and, in particular, music, sound and mythical stories as mediators of the principles that govern social relationships and further people’s interactions with the sacred landscape that include mountains, springs, and caves. In the 21st century, Chicontepec is well connected to the global world through Tv and the Internet. It also has a large percentage of the population migrating to cities in Mexico and the U.S. Still, Indigenous knowledge functions to protect and sustain life in the area, which further represents a mechanism against assimilation with the mainstream society where foreign economic models dictate a way of living

Professor at both UCLA and CalArts, Veronica Pacheco specializes in ritual music of the indigenous people in Mexico and the relevance of culture for sustainable development. She has published on the historical narratives and participatory aspects of musical performances. Her interests have led her to conduct research on Bedouin women’s music in Israel, Chilean emigrants in Canada, and Huaves, Nahua and Chontal communities in Mexico. She is an active member of the Jaranero community of Southern California.


Laura Molina, Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture

Laura Molina’s distinct style is very much influenced by art associated with the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, Mexican culture, especially Frida Kahlo, 20th century Mexican Calendar artist Jesus Helguera, and the British Pre-Raphaelites.

Her projects have included the Naked Dave series of paintings and a self-published comic book, ‘Cihualyaomiquiz, The Jaguar. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Self Help Graphics & Art from 1993 through 1995 and participated in the Screen Print Atelier in 2003 and 2006. “She was a woman with great artistic talent”, says Barney Dino. In 2006 Molina founded Chicano Art Magazine and served as its first Editor-in-Chief. She has been quoted as saying on her art: “I will use my activism and creativity to end racism, sexism, and patriarchy at both a social and interpersonal level. I do not accept a hierarchy of genders because there is no justifiable basis for it and it does not serve me as a woman.”

This lecture is a co-production of LatinFest and the Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series.


Short Films by Latinx Students and Faculty

Faculty Documentaries:

‘Finding Shelter’ dir. Marisa Chibas. Followed by Q&A.

‘¿Por qué el recuerdo?’ dir. Juan Pablo Gonzales.

‘Las Nubes’ dir. Juan Pablo Gonzales.

Student Films & Animations:

‘How to make a Ghost,’ dir. Gabriela Escovar

‘And I,’ dir. Gabriela Escovar

‘MachisNo,’ dir. Mia Hernandez

‘Pal Carajo,’ dir. Mia Hernandez

‘(un)MUTE,’ dir. Leonardo Pirondi

‘Miau,’ dir. Ursula Echeverria

‘What Really Matters,’ dir. Ursula Echeverria

‘Gotitas,’ dir. Daniela Montaño

‘Momo el Mimo,’ dir. Daniela Montaño

‘El Cuco’, dir. Lucia Cordero


Experimental Music Performances

Featuring CalArts students and alumni Rafael Luna, Solomon Newbon, Emmy Jones, and Martin Velez.


Gallery Night Performances

Floración Fashion Show

Featuring original designs inspired by the flora of Latin America with music by Gui Spina, mixing Brazilian-urban sounds and electronic music.

CalArts Salsa Band

Led by pianist and jazz program chair David Roitstein, it’s impossible not to move to this 11-piece salsa band and there’s no better way to celebrate the last party of LatinFest. Their sound will fill the room and your heart. You’ll be in love by dawn.

‘Latin Brown Boy of the Bourgeoisie’, by Ivan Brizuela.

Puro Parti!!! with DJ Ruben Rubio.


Friday, March 8th

Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles

The world’s first and only LGBTQ+ mariachi band led by director Carlos Samaniego, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is proud to have the first transgender woman, Natalia Melendez, in the history of mariachi as one of its members. Natalia has been featured in a two-part special for Univision news, which depicts her life and struggles as a transgender woman in the mariachi world. As a result of this two-part special, in its short existence, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles has been invited to perform for three different morning news shows on Univision, which includes the ‘Lanzate’ program. During each one of these presentations, the mariachi was highlighted because of its special nature in representing the LGBTQ+ community. Due to the history that Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles is making, a recorded interview from NPR of this groundbreaking ensemble has been archived in the US Library of Congress.


‘Roma,’ dir. Alfonso Cuarón

2018, 135 min. Experience the award-winning and critically acclaimed film for yourself on the big screen.


Closing Concert: Susana Pineda and Rafael Amarante

A Latin, world, fusion, voice, and guitar duo combining two cultures, two backgrounds, and two languages, creating one. This exciting project is a collaboration between Colombian jazz singer Susana Pineda and Brazilian guitar player Rafael Amarante in which they explore the frontiers of folk, rock, Latin grooves, and the many vibrant colors of jazz. The repertoire consists of original music and original arrangements of jazz standards and Latin American songs.