Behind the Chamber: Hot Jazz

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Member of the group, “Hot Jazz”

Hey baby! Is jazz your bag? Ready to get down to some 18 karat grooves? Then jitterbug your way over to the Angela Peralta barrelhouse this Sunday March 1st at noon, where you’ll be able to groove to the sounds of ragtime, Dixieland, New Orleans, swing, and blues.

Closing out this year’s Camerata Gordon Campbell series will be the group “Hot Jazz,” which includes seven very talented musicians from Mexico, the USA, Poland and Spain:

  • Maciej Bosak on licorice stick (clarinet)
  • Jose Ramon Sanchez, a sraw boss on the popsicle stick (saxophone)
  • Robby McCabe, who’s wild on the trumpet
  • Hector Company Albert on the sackbut (trombone)
  • Polo Carillo, a finger zinger on the jazz box (guitar)
  • Oscar Corral, who Bose bounces the bass, and
  • Edmundo Langner Romero, who will be pounding the tubs (drums).

Below is the Maestro and his wife’s Behind-the-Chamber preview of the upcoming concert:

Tickets are 200 pesos for this concert and can be purchased at the TAP box office or online.

You may be wondering where this Boogie Woman’s sudden turn of jazz phrasing comes from? I’d like to credit All About Jazz’s “Jazz Slang.

Social Services’ (DIF) Annual Report

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Sylvia Treviño de Felton giving her first “State of DIF Mazatlán” report in the Angela Peralta Theater

This morning the Presidenta del Systema DIF de Mazatlán, Sylvia Treviño de Felton, gave her first annual report to a full house in our gorgeous Angela Peralta Theater. I attended with a group of girlfriends, and walked out of today’s event amazed at the amount of work Ms. Treviño and her team have been able to achieve. Congratulations and thank you to all!

I’ve long been fascinated with the incredible work done by Mexico’s DIF, the national system for the Development of the Family (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia). DIF’s services target children, women, the handicapped, and families in need. Its broad range of services includes, among many more:
  • Healthcare, including basic services, eye care and physical therapy
  • Education to prevent teenage pregnancy and domestic violence, and on topics such as human rights
  • Occupational training
  • Free breakfasts for school children
  • Food, blankets, and coats for the needy
  • Scholarships
  • Early childhood education and eldercare
  • Drug rehab
  • Community centers
  • Dances, balls, sports events, and parties
  • Help for unwed mothers
  • The improvement of parks and public spaces

DIF’s is a much different system than those I’m familiar with from my previous residences: the USA, where the Department of Health and Human Services seems to me far removed from daily life, and churches, non-profits and other civic organizations play a major role in feeding the homeless or aiding victims of domestic violence; or in Japan, where government-provided social services seem primarily to involve health care and pensions.

When I’ve been disappointed by municipal administrations, somehow our local DIF still shines through. How much better, then, under a first couple who seem to truly and honestly care about the welfare of our people and the city?

This morning’s event kicked off with two songs sung by a selection of adorable girls from the local DIF chorus, and a dance performance done in silhouette and demonstrating some of the various services provided by DIF.

Instead of the usual long and detailed verbal report, Ms. Treviño instead showed us a ten-minute video summarizing DIF Mazatlán’s major activities during the first year of the Felton administration. It was much more impactful to see photos and watch video as the facts and figures were shared.

Sylvia followed the video with a short and heartfelt presentation, and shared copies of the official 2014 printed report with the Mayor and the Director of DIF Mazatlán.

If you regularly read this blog, you know that I am frequently disappointed by government officials who so frequently grab the limelight and the credit away from staff and volunteers who do the day-to-day heavy lifting. Such was not the case today. Ms. Treviño de Felton showed a second video, one she had created especially to thank DIF staff—the team that helps realize all the good work on behalf of children, women, the elderly, the handicapped, and families in need in our municipality. It was a wonderful feeling to be amongst the cheering, hooting and hollering coming from the DIF staff and volunteers present in the theater, as they saw photos of their favorite colleagues appear on screen.

If you are not familiar with the activities in which DIF Mazatlán is engaged, I urge you to watch the video below, subtitled in English. Unfortunately the video that was shown this morning, summarizing the first year, does not yet appear on DIF Mazatlán’s YouTube channel. I’m confident it will in a few days, so if you’re interested, be sure to check the link.

Behind the Chamber: Do You Know the Origin of Stereo Music?

 

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A few of the inner balconies in St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

Do you know the origin of stereo music? Although “stereo” most commonly refers to a method of music reproduction, and the word “stereophonic” was coined by the Western Electric company in 1927, the origins of stereophonic sounds go way back to the Renaissance.

The first stereophonic music was performed  in the 1500s in St. Mark’s Basilica, when groups of musicians would sing and play from the multiple balconies inside the basilica.

stereophonic derives from the Greek “στερεός” (stereos), “firm, solid” + “φωνή” (phōnē), “sound, tone, voice”

We here in Mazatlán will be privileged to experience such live stereophonic sound inside our own Angela Peralta Theater, as part of the Camerata Gordon Campbell.

Renaissance Stereophonic will take place at noon this next Sunday, January 25, 2015. Below you can hear Maestro Gordon Campbell and his wife and collaborator, Guianeya Román, giving us a Behind-the-Chamber glimpse into this weekend’s event.

Tickets to this event are being sold at the unbelievable price of 200 pesos, at the TAP box office or online. Can you imagine how great our Angela Peralta will sound, filled with music from the balconies, in a surround-sound effect?

 

Behind the Chamber: Mozart and His Women

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Angelica Aragón

Sounds sexy, right? Intriguing? This performance, the second in the Camerata Gordon Campbell series this year, sounds absolutely fabulous to me. It will take place on Sunday, January 11, at noon in the Angela Peralta Theater.

We all love art—listening to music or looking at paintings. What is even better to me, however, is when curators use music or visual art to tell us a story, to give us a glimpse into the lives of the artists—to take us with them into their lives. I love an exhibition that showcases the work of two friends who were painters, for example, comparing and contrasting their viewpoints, experiences, personalities and techniques. It’s so much more enriching than simply looking at the paintings and enjoying them. Such an approach accesses more of our senses simultaneously.

“Mozart and His Women” takes such an approach. It is musical tour de force, performed by the Chamber Orchestra, and it will be accompanied by readings from private letters between Mozart and his family and friends. So, we will hear the concerto that Mozart composed for his brother, Frederick, on the latter’s birthday, while we listen to the letter that Wolfgang wrote to him on that very occasion. Sound awesome?

The video below shows Gordon Campbell, Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes and of the Camerata Gordon Campbell, and Guianeya Román, his collaborator and wife, as they talk about the genesis of this performance. Be sure to listen for what Mozart called one of his best friends—he may have been Mazatleco after all!

Joining the Chamber for this concert will be the wonderful Angelica Aragón. I know her as an actress in movies and telenovelas, the daughter of my beloved Ferrusquilla. So my first question to Gordon and his wife was, “Does she sing?” No, in “Mozart and His Women,” Angelica will be performing the roles of Mozart’s mother, sister and wife, as she reads from the letters. We may even see a cameo by Gordon himself, in a white powdered wig.

Be sure to get your season tickets for only 150 pesos each, or your ticket to this event only at the unbelievable price of 200 pesos. Tickets at the TAP box office or online (though, personally, I can never get the online payment to work). We are so very truly blessed here in Mazatlán!

I am doing this series on the Camerata, not because we want to start reporting here on this blog, but because we so often find out about events after the fact. Sure, we see the announcements ahead of time, but often we don’t really know what the various performances are about. And we are blessed with a plethora of terrific options here in Mazatlán! It is my hope that this “Behind the Chamber” series can help you to discern what the performances will involve—they are so exciting this year! Many thanks to the Maestro and his wife for spending time with us to give us some background details and build our excitement.