Thursday, December 20, 2012
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005
Admission: Free (but tickets are required)
FLAMART and FMM make their debut at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with Navidad Latina. Unlike holiday celebrations in the United States, which are indoors and somewhat intimate, Latin and Spanish holiday celebrations are outdoors; filled with high-energy, rhythm-infused, danceable music – a reflection of the rich amalgamation of heritages found in these cultures. This well could be the first program of its kind presented in Houston, where music and traditions from different Latin American countries and Spain are presented in the same program. Popular among us are the Pastorelas, which are very popular in Mexico’s holiday celebrations, but very little is known or presented locally on the other traditions and music from the rest of the Latin American continent and Spain.
Villancicos, (as the Holiday music is called in Spain), are popular songs with a brief refrain that started as secular music and became popular when they began to be used in Holiday and special religious celebrations. Shortly after they were sung in temples and churches, the first ones dating to the XV century, they soon become synonymous with the Holiday Season. The name is derived from the people who sang them: the inhabitants of the rural villas. So this long cultural and musical tradition continues to grow and evolve in Latin American genres such as aguinaldos, gaitas, parrandas and others, derived from the fusion of this and other traditions, many of which not widely known in the United States.
The international ensemble for this performance includes artists from Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, United States and Panama among them the renowned Solero Flamenco with Irma ‘La Paloma’ (cante – the word used to describe singers in flamenco ensembles), Jeremías ‘El Valiente’ (toque - the word used to describe guitarist in flamenco ensembles), Salomon García and Andrés Lauricica (cajón – percussion); the internationally renowned percussionist Jorge Orta ‘Cro-Cro’; respected pianist Paul Boyd (keyboard); the distinguished local flamenco dancers Solangel ‘Lali’ Cálix and Edith Niño; and baritone and dancer Raul Orlando Edwards.