Camerata Campbell 2021

I have great news for fans of the Camerata Campbell and those of you craving excellent, live and in person classical music: Camerata Campbell is back this year for its tenth season! The pandemic has meant a change of venue for the Maestro and his musicians to the acoustically sweet and open air La Casona de la Machado.

It’s not only the venue that is new and exciting this year. The limitations imposed by the pandemic also dictate fewer musicians on stage. Maestro Campbell has used this as a point of inspiration and each concert with highlight one or two musicians, enabling the audience to fully appreciate the emblematic sound of each instrument. I am told that masks will be required, and there will be one and a half meters between parties with a maximum of 200 people attending. Programs will not be given out due to sanitary precautions, so I share links below so that you can review and print your own.

Camerata Campbell showcases the best of Sinaloan musicians. One of it’s trademarks is high quality music with a bit of education thrown in, and this season will include remarks both by the Maestro as well as from the performers themselves, explaining what inspires them about the pieces they have chosen.

Events will be every Sunday, January 10 through February 28, at 5pm. Tickets are 350 pesos each and can be purchased at the Panamá restaurant in front of the cathedral or in the Golden Zone, at Pedro y Lola on the Machado, or at La Casona on the day of the event.

Maestro Campbell, his wife Guianeya and son Alexander visited with us on Wednesday to treat you to our annual sneak preview of the season.

 

CONCERTS IN THE 2021 SEASON

January 10: Bach’s Partitas with violinist Alexander Gordon Campbell Vdovina

Alexander Campbell, violinist

The very talented Alexander Campbell, the Maestro’s son, will treat us to the Bach Partitas, which are absolutely perfect for our times—uplifting the spirit and building hope. The Ciaconna in particular is famous as a very challenging piece. Part of the second partita, it was composed in honor of Bach’s departed wife. Camerata Campbell presents it in honor of all those we have lost to COVID-19 and to inspire hope that we will soon be getting the better of this horrible plague.

The Bach Partitas are the ultimate trial for a violinist due to their technical difficulty and the spirituality that inspired them. This will be an opportunity for people who don’t know them to add them to their personal playlists. 
Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/partitas-de-bach

I was thrilled to have Alexander pull out his instrument and treat Greg and myself to a private concert on our back patio during our interview. I of course recorded that gift to share it with you:

 

January 17: Mexican Waltzes with pianist Aldo Tercero

Aldo Tercero, pianist

Get ready to sway and dance, as internationally known pianist and producer, Aldo Tercero, performs a program of the most famous Mexican waltzes. Even if you think you don’t know waltzes, I’ll bet you can identify the two most famous in the world. The first, of course, is Strauss’s “Blue Danube.” Most people think the second was also written in Vienna, but, interestingly, it was composed by a Mexican: self-taught composer and musician, Juventino Rosas. You may not recognize its title, “Over the Waves,” but I bet you will recognize the tune, which combines a European aesthetic sense with Mexican passion. Rosas was actually here in Mazatlán with diva Angela Peralta when she died, another interesting connection to the plague of our times.

Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/valses-mexicanos

 

January 24: Bach Suites for Cello with cellist Arian Castro Murillo

Arián Castro Murillo, cellist

If, like me, you are fascinated by the cello, here is your chance to meditate on some of the best cello music every written, the Bach Suites, which are Indispensable in the repertoire of any accomplished cellist. The pieces will be played by Arián Castro Murillo, principal cellist of the Sinfonietta Philomusica Juventus.

Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/suites-de-bach-para-cello 

 

January 31: Spanish Guitar with guitarist Rodolfo Berralleza

Rodolfo Pérez Berrelleza, guitarist

Recipient of a Latin Grammy in 2017, Rodolfo Pérez Berrelleza will delight us with music written for or inspired by Andrés Segovia, who elevated the guitar to a classical instrument. Rodolfo has performed professionally in six countries and appeared on television and radio. 

Full program: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/la-guitarra-española

 

February 7: Barroque Trumpet with Mauro Kuxy

Mauro Kuxyipijy Delgado Díaz, trumpeter

Originally from Oaxaca, Mauro has studied and performed in France, Germany, the USA and throughout México. He will play a thrilling program of baroque style music in which the notes of the trumpet go high into the stratosphere—the most spectacular pieces for the instrument. 

Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/trompeta-barroca

 

February 14: Beethoven’s Sonatas with pianist Aldo Tercero

Aldo Tercero, pianist

Aldo Tercero will return to help us finally celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary  with the composer’s most beloved piano sonatas. The audience will quickly understand why the real testament to Beethoven’s music are his 32 piano sonatas, even better than his symphonies. Listening to Aldo perform Moonlight Sonata it will be impossible not to feel the spirituality and to know why the piece is so beloved.

Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/sonatas-de-beethoven

 

February 21: Culiacán Brass Quintet

Culiacán Brass Quintet

The largest performing group this season, Culiacán Brass Quintet is composed of musicians of different nationalities who have come together to interpret characteristic as well as original music. For this performance they will play a very happy set of music ranging from baroque through jazz and Latin; some pieces are almost Dixieland. 

Full program and quintet profile: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/culiacan-brass

 

February 28: The Art of the Horn with Gordon Campbell

Gordon Campbell, hornist

Maestro Campbell himself is, of course, a horn player, and he will finish out this season by giving us a demonstration of five different instruments— a panorama of how the horn developed. Horns were used in hunting and as signals. They eventually made their way into the orchestra and gained valves. 

Full program and artist biography: https://www.cameratacampbell.com/el-arte-del-corno

SEASON RECAP

  • When: Sundays at 5pm, January 10-February 28, 2021
  • Where: The interior open-air patio of La Casona on the Plazuela Machado
  • Tickets cost 350 pesos and are for sale at Panamá in front of the cathedral or in the Golden Zone, Pedro y Lola on the Machado, and at La Casona the day of the event.
  • Each concert will last between 60 and 75 minutes

Enjoy this treasured annual series.

Awesome Opportunity for Nature Lovers!

Protecting Migratory Birds in Mazatlán: A Workshop for Birdwatchers is a new FREE OF CHARGE series of excursions for English-speaking residents of Mazatlán, designed to acquaint us with the incredible biodiversity of Monte Mojino and its upcoming designation as a National Protected Area, the largest by far in the state of Sinaloa at 200,000 hectares in area. It will increase Sinaloa’s protected nature areas by 300%!

Monte Mojino is located in the municipalities of Concordia and El Rosario and is home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including 310 species of native and migratory birds—at least 79 of which are in danger of extinction. Many new species have actually been discovered in the area.

This project, conducted by Conselva, our local award-winning conservation agency, with help from the Packard Foundation and US Fish and Wildlife, will involve five sessions, every other week, January through April 2021:

  • Four excursions:
    • January 28th
    • February 11th
    • February 25th
    • March 11th
  • There will be a final, closing event in April which will include a photography exhibit, when participants will share with the community of Mazatlán what they have learned.

For the four excursions participants will carpool in their own vehicles into Monte Mojino, where they will be guided by local experts and residents of the areas we’ll visit. Sandra Guido, director of Conselva, assures me the trips will be safe. Conselva has worked with the local communities for over twelve years and know the area and its residents very well. 

The goal of all of this is to build awareness of and respect for the natural areas of Sinaloa, as well as enthusiasm for conservation and ecotourism. It sounds like a lot of fun to me and something I don’t want to miss! To register for this terrific free workshop, fill out this form. If you’d like more information please send an email to mazatlanmigratorybirds@conselva.org.

Conselva also has a volunteer opportunity for you:

They will also be conducting a series of birdwatching sessions for youth (15 and up years old). These will be held on Saturdays beginning January 16th. They are looking for people to help engage the kids and help them find birds and wildlife to watch—no need to be an expert birdwatcher. Ability to hike around natural areas within the city limits and ideally some basic Spanish will be helpful. Send an email to mazatlanmigratorybirds@conselva.org if you are willing to volunteer. If you know of young people who would be interested in this, please share with them this link: https://www.conselva.org/aves-2020

My 60th Birthday Photo Safari

c6e6553c-6d3e-4031-a5f7-58555357393fWe all curse COVID every chance we get. That wretched virus has hurt so many in so many ways. I was one of the lucky ones: so far it has only robbed me of the 60th birthday African photo safari that I was so looking forward to. Greg and Danny, however, arranged an amazingly marvelous and surprise substitute.

On my birthday I received a gift-wrapped safari hat and binoculars. Hmm… Then I opened a box with a laminated ticket from the local arboretum (photo above). It was for an African Photo Safari on Saturday morning at 10. What in the world could it be? The arboretum doesn’t have animals, especially not African ones. Both of the men in my life were mum; it was to be a surprise.

e9913795-cd24-4fbf-9c77-f2a90df4c9aaOn Saturday morning I packed up my camera gear and put on my sunscreen, and we went to the park. Upon arriving we suddenly started hearing sounds from the savannah! What?! Turns out the sounds were coming from a wireless speaker in Greg’s backpack. Next, Danny’s phone dinged with a text message.

“Hello, Dianne, and welcome to our private safari tour. My name is Ubiyaongashalita and I will be your guide today.”

What? No group tour? This was all planned by my two incredible dudes???!!! That professional-looking laminated ticket was a fake?! Was there really a guide? Or was Danny making this all happen? How exciting! And confusing. I sure did feel loved. And a bit skeptical…

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Just like I imagine a real safari to be, the animals weren’t just waiting around like in a zoo; we needed to know their habits and habitats and search to find them. The guide instructed us via text how to locate each animal on our tour. How cool! The clues were very helpful, e.g.,

“The first animal we will look for is the monkey, a tricky animal that does not respect human laws and is always looking to steal their food.”

 

There was a nearby community garden, so I knew that monkey would be in there. But what was I looking for? A stuffed animal? My husband and son acting like monkeys? I had no clue. The first animal, therefore, was by far the most difficult to find. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

It turns out the animals I was looking for were those one-to-two inch tall kids’ toys—far from easy to spot in a huge park! More clues followed, such as:

  • “The alligator hides deep in the jungle where there are a great variety of plants, and it ‘bathes’ in lakes and lagoons.”
  • “Gorillas, being our cousins, can be very ‘handy’ using tools and making shelters.”
  • “I think now you are ready to meet the king of the jungle. He likes to rest in the shade of trees on the savannah.”
  • “The cheetah hides in bushes next to flat land. This way the cheetah can wait till an animal comes close, pouncing and sprinting after it.”
  • “Now let’s look for the brave rhino. His tusks are sharp as ‘steel,’ a ‘monument’ to strength. Rhinos can tip over cards with ease.”

To give you an idea, the alligator was in a birdbath in the middle of a flower garden; the gorilla was on a fence post in front of the tool shed; and the rhino was on a steel statue of something tipped-over. Some of the clues contained puns—that’s when I knew that Danny had written them: “Rhi-no you are loving this tour” or “The meerkat is so small we ‘meerly’ missed it!” It turns out Danny had visited the park the night before after work and placed the animals there. How did no one that morning pick up any of my treasures? I was amazed that they were all still right there, hidden in plain sight!

To get the shot I had to lay on the ground, kneel, stretch really tall, get dirty and sweaty… the photography bit was definitely realistic. Fortunately I did not have to run away from anything chasing me!

Another extremely cool aspect of the safari was that it included sightings of the Big Five: the leopard, lion, African buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros! All five in a single morning; can you imagine? Greg had very resourcefully purchased a coin for each of the Big Five animals. In the video below he presents me with the Rhino coin from Zambia.

The safari was a whole lot of fun. One of the biggest joys was watching the reaction of the people who were also enjoying the park. “What’s that sound?” “Did I hear an elephant?” The kids got so very excited! “Daddy, I hear a stampede!” Quite a few of the kids got jealous, though, which made me feel bad but was also pretty humorous: “Mom, I want a toy zebra like she just found. Let’s find some for us!”

The final animal on the safari was the elephant. The clue included these words: “In my village we commemorate the elephant with a dance, usually done in pairs. You and your husband should try it.” Of course the elephant was on the base of a statue of two dancers! Below is me doing the happy dance as I receive my final coin. Geek alert!!!  😉

After the safari we went to the only African restaurant that we could find in the Urbana-Champaign area. It was really good and the air conditioning was most welcome, too.

I still hope to make the trek to Africa and participate in a photo safari. In the meantime, however, I’ll be busy putting together a shadow box of my animals and coins! Bless you, men! I do love you dearly and am so very blessed that you are my family!

Mazatlán Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund

What first attracted you to Mazatlán? What do you love about living here? My guess is that music is part of it. Yes, our gorgeous natural environment, the warmth of its people, and the joy and variety of its music! Whether classical, jazz, cumbia, bolero, rock and roll, metal, reggae, romantic ballads, pop, folk, country, norteña, banda or tambora, we are fortunate in that Mazatlán offers up every type of music. We are blessed to enjoy live music while we dine, walk the beach, at parties we attend, in bars and theaters. What would our beloved Mazatlán be without that music? We do not want our live musicians going extinct!

Help make sure that we will have music to enjoy once COVID-19 is history! While the whole world is hurting, there are thousands of talented musicians here in Mazatlán who lost their jobs overnight and now have no way to feed their families. They went to bed planning to play the wedding or quinceañera party and their standard weekly gigs, and next thing they knew all concerts and events were shut down, restaurants and hotels closed. Most Canadian and US American residents disappeared suddenly, as have national and international tourists. Locals are confined to home.

Our musicians are desperate. They generally receive no social benefits and have no insurance. Their emloyers have not floated them loans or paid them in advance; they are generally just SOL. The average musician here, as the average artist or worker, lives paycheck to paycheck.

The non-profit (registered tax-deductible in Mexico, Canada and the USA) Sociedad de la Guitarra Mazatlán, in partnership with UMATEM (Unión de Músicos, Artistas y Técnicos de Mazatlán) and other musicians’ unions has set up a the Mazatlán Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund. You have from now till May 5th—Cinco de Mayo, Giving Tuesday—to contribute what you can to ensure that our local musicians can feed their families and keep playing for us. Please donate now, so you don’t forget and because the need is pressing. To receive your receipt for tax purposes, please email donar@guitarramazatlan.org after making your donation.

100% of the funds received will be paid directly to musicians in need, up to a maximum of 6000 pesos. Your donation via PayPal goes into a fund with INBURSA certified by a public accountant. As is required by law, bookkeeping will be transparent, and records of disbursements and receipts published.

Any working musician is eligible to apply; preference will be given to working musicians over 60 and those who are disabled. Recipients will be limited to musicians who don’t have a secondary source of income—statements will be verified with SAT (the Mexican taxation administration). Musicians needing help will fill out an application and be asked to share copies of contracts that were cancelled or have their union, or an employer vouch for them.

I am proud that the Sociedad de la Guitarra Mazatlán has stepped up to lead the community in this way. They are modeling their effort on a similar program underway in Seattle. Founded in 2013, the non-profit association has done a load of good work here in town in its first seven years. They hold an annual “classical guitar season” of six concerts that is the only one of its kind in Mexico. For every concert they do a second, identical show that’s free-of-charge as outreach to those who wouldn’t otherwise get to hear such music—performances at a local school, aged care facility or public plaza. The association is also starting a youth guitar orchestra—the Núcleo Infantíl de Guitarristas—which will meet every Saturday once the current pandemic is behind us.

I know there are many pulls on our resources right now. Our systems are overloaded. If you are able, if you enjoy the wealth and variety of music that Mazatlán offers, please reach into your heart and into your pocketbooks to help these artists!

Stay home, stay healthy, help your neighbors. I hope to see you again soon.

 

 

Truck Lovers

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The first Semana de la Troca hit Mazatlán this week and over 500 pickups—from classic and beater to custom and modern—hit the Avenida de la Bahía facing the new Central Park this weekend. Participants arrived Friday for a parade last evening followed by a concert (we live streamed it on Facebook), and are partying again this evening. The event will finish tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

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We met truck lovers from several states, lots of families, members of truck clubs, Mazatlecos now living outside the city and coming home for a visit. The car show, rally and musical event is sponsored by Mzt Trucks and the Asociación Trokera Nacional. We experienced a whole lot of excitement and bonding, and big hopes for making this an annual tradition. I guess Mazatlán is becoming the motorized vehicle capital of the area?

I am recovering from major surgery, so hobbling around with a cane. I was excited to get outside, if even for an hour, so put on my fisheye lens and had a bit of fun with what we saw. I trust you’ll enjoy the pics! Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.