¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! Announces New Season of Free Music and Dance

· Five groups from diverse Latino origins and traditions: Ballet Hispanico (New York), Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Los Angeles), Yolotecuani (Tixtla, Guerrero, México), Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México), and Cimarrón (San Martín, Meta, Colombia)
· Free family concerts in intimate, accessible neighborhood venues September 2016 through April 2017
· Fridays at 7:00 pm, Isla Vista School, 6875 El Colegio Road, Isla Vista, Information (805) 893-5037
· Saturdays at 7:00 pm, Guadalupe City Hall, 918 Obispo Street, Guadalupe, Information (805) 343-2455
· Sundays at 7:00 pm, The Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High, Santa Barbara (805) 884-4087 x7
· Carry on the traditions in music and dance workshops at various locations throughout the year
· Meet the artists at post-show receptions
· Like ¡Viva el Arte de Sánta Barbara! on facebook for updates

From cowboy traditions of Colombia and Venezuela, to the Latin dance scene of New York, and many rich cultural traditions between, ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! announces its twelfth season of free family performances in neighborhood venues throughout Santa Barbara County. With a commitment to artistic excellence and education ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! connects people across generations, geography and origins in exciting concerts, participatory workshops and outreach programs in schools and accessible venues, September 2016 through April 2017. The season line-up features first-time visits by Cimarrón, Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán, and Yolotecuani; and local favorites Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano and Ballet Hispanico, coming back by popular demand.

Cimarrón, from the cattle rearing Llanos Orientales region of Colombia, perform the dance music of joropo, a virtuosic display of rippling melodies and powerful rhythms combining Andalusian, Indigenous Indian and African roots. Led by Carlos Rojas, the musical fireworks created by harp, bandola, cuatro, bass, percussive dance and high- pitched voices are simply breathtaking. The most accomplished llanera group in Colombia, Cimarrón’s Smithsonian album Si Soy Llanero was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 and their last album !Cimarrón! Joropo Music from the Plains of Colombia won the Best Latin Album Category of the Independent Music Awards 2012. Cimarrón offer workshops, perform in schools and public concerts in Isla Vista, Guadalupe and Santa Barbara, September 15 – 18, 2016.

From Tixtla, Guerrero, Mexico, an area rich in traditions, public celebrations and fiestas, comes Yolotecuani. With a 30-year career sharing the traditional music and dance of the region, this quintet has traveled the length and breadth of Mexico performing on harp, vihuela, bass, cajon and percussive dance on the tarima. Their music is richly connected to the traditions of the arrieros, who maintained transport systems of produce and goods by mule train and oxen, across verdant mountains and lush valleys in southern areas of pre-revolutionary Mexico. Yolotecuani also perform traditions from Tierra Caliente and Costa Chica. Led by David Peñaloza, Yolotecuani have appeared in countless festivals, and with “Capella Real de Cataluña” and the Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall, with Lila Downs and Horacio Franco. Yolotecuani come to Santa Barbara County October 20 – 23.

Santa Barbara favorites, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano continue to lead the field in mariachi, performing in festivals around the globe and establishing their newly restored La Fonda restaurant, as a center for the mariachi scene in Los Angeles. Last year’s Smithsonian release, Tradición, Arte y Pasión, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Regional Mexican album. Los Camperos open the new year with schools visits, free family performances, and a reprise of their popular participatory mariachi workshop for young musicians, January 5 – 8, 2017.

Energetic, entertaining and always surprising, fusing the finest modern ballet with a fantastic Latino flair, New York’s Ballet Hispanico returns for a week-long residence in Santa Barbara February 6 – 12. The Company holds a rich and diverse repertory of over 100 works by the foremost choreographers and emerging artists of our time, which explore the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. The Company has performed for an audience of nearly three million, throughout eleven countries, and on three continents. In a recent rebranding of the 45-year-old company, Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director since 2009, noted, “Given the ever-increasing influence of Latinos on the cultural landscape of this country, it felt like the right time to re-introduce Ballet Hispanico as the new expression of American contemporary dance…we now push every day to challenge, through our work, people’s notions of what it means to be Latino in 2016 and beyond.” Ballet Hispanico’s importance and influence in the world of Latino culture is underscored by The New York Times, “The Latin-American experience at last has a voice.” Ballet Hispanico’s visit featuring free public dance concerts, school visits and popular Latin Social Dance classes is supported through the special generosity of Jody and John Arnhold.

In just ten years Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitán from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, have established their reputation as one of the world’s best, sharing stages with Vicente Fernandez, Mark Anthony, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and Joan Sebastian among others. The group was founded by the Angel Martinez, director of Mariachi Neuvo Tecalitlán who visited Santa Barbara with Viva in 2013. Under the direction of Lupita Martinez, these eleven young women have performed in festivals throughout Mexico and the United States, even travelling to London in 2010. Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán’s visit features workshops, school assemblies and free family performances April 27-30.

Based on the belief that everyone deserves access to cultural events and education, ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! was founded in 2006 as a collaborative project to bring free performances of Latino music and dance traditions to schools and families in accessible neighborhood venues. Having served nearly 150,000 in workshops, assemblies and family performances, Viva is a collaboration between Isla Vista School, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, The Marjorie Luke Theatre and UCSB Arts & Lectures.

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is sponsored by SAGE Publications, Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Roddick Foundation, the California Arts Council, Anonymous, UCSB Office of Education Partnerships, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Community Arts Grant Program, with funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. Additional support comes from The Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund. The program is supported in part by the Santa Barbara Independent, the Santa Maria SUN, El Latino CC, Radio Bronco, Univision, the Best Western South Coast Inn, the Hampton Inn, Pacifica Suites, and Ramada Limited. Viva is co-presented by The Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center and UCSB Arts and Lectures, in partnership with the Isla Vista School After School Grant.

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