While in Oaxaca, México, we visited the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, and I had an opportunity to play a Zanfona (also known as a hurdy-gurdy)!
Builds and plays the Bajo Quinto guitar. An instrument of Baroque heritage that was once common in Tezoatlán de Segura y Luna, Oaxaca. Ruben’s hometown. He’s the conductor of the successful Pasatono Orchestra. A project dedicated to investigating, composing, playing and reviving the music from the Mixteca region of Oaxaca.Rubén and his orchestra have played at the Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., National Center for the Arts (CENART) in México City, Getty museum in Los Angeles CA and in several communities around the state of Oaxaca including El Jicaral, Coicoyán de las Flores and Yucuquimi de Ocampo.
Classically trained pianist and organist. He holds an administrative position at the “Instituto de Órganos Históricos de Oaxaca.” The non-profit organization in charge of restoring and promoting the outstanding collection of seventy-two baroque pipe organs spread thru out the state of Oaxaca. But Joel is not tied to desk duties, he is the person in charge of teaching the new generations how to play these church organs. “They are being restored so that the public can actually hear them and not simply to be on display like museum pieces. They are used for cultural and ecclesiastical events every week.”
Carlos César Hernández is a classically trained musician and members of the Oaxaca State Band. We recordis baritone sax at the impressive Macedonio Alcalá theater. He performed a smooth ten minute baritone sax improvisation over a track that includes Victor Bisetti on drums, Tony Newton on bass and Kathleen Blackwell on Fender Rhodes.
Felix Cuevas Crúz is a classically trained musicians and member of the Oaxaca State Band. We recorded him in the impressive Macedonio Alcalá theater, a place he has performed several times. There was thunder coming from Felix’s tuba fill up the space around us.
René Pérez López (Percussion) is a classically trained musician. We recorded his performance at the Macedonio Alcalá theater in the center of Oaxaca, Mexico. René improvising on snare and then added some rumble with a bass drum. His timing was very precise and his phrases added a dense latin rhythm to our tracks.
The majority of musicians all over Oaxaca either know of, have been taught by and/or have collaborated with the Maestro. A staple of Oaxaca’s current music and cultural scene. Music teacher at the School of Fine Arts of Oaxaca, director of the Oaxaca State Band since 1995. Studied at the National Music Conservatory of México. If he is not rehearsing with the state band he is at a piano somewhere, practicing for one or several solo or accompanied concerts that he has lined up. A true lover of music.
Teatro Macedonio Alcalá is a beautiful theater built between 1903 and 1909 in the elaborate French style that was fashionable during Porfirio Díaz’s 7 term presidency. Recently restored it is a venue for many cultural events on Oaxaca. From ballet, concerts and plays to art exhibits and movie nights.