Thousands of area music lovers have enjoyed the popular FIRST FRIDAY @ GALERIA WEST Music Series concerts, presented by TEATRO Si at the intimate Galeria West Art & Music Gallery, located at 111 Quimby Street in downtown Westfield, NJ. This once a month live concert event continues to bring to you a unique opportunity to enjoy a diversity of music genres as performed by a select series of international artists. The popular monthly concert event continues on Friday, October 5, 2012 at 7:00pm with an evening of the diverse music and dance culture of our neighbors to the south with the Mexico Beyond Mariachi ensemble in concert.
Each region of this diverse land has its own rituals, myths, celebrations and costumes. The audience is treated to a spectacle that reminds one of a Mexican mercado or market, filled with colors, flavors, sights and sounds the viewer perhaps has never experienced before. From the mysterious drums, flutes, conch shells and dancing musicians of the pre-Hispanic era, to the fascinating fusion of rhythms and harmonies that possess roots extending to Spain and Africa come travel with us into a circle of cultural expedition as we are taken on a journey that begins with the conquest and leads us to the present day. Come join founder and artistic director Alda Reuter and the cast of “Mexico Beyond Mariachi” as this special group of professional performers and teaching artists share their love for Mexican art and expression in this fascinating artistic concert.
Alda Reuter comes from a family of artists who celebrate the culture and traditions of Latin America. Her grandfather, Walter Reuter is an internationally recognized photographer. Her father Dr. Jas Reuter was a pioneer in the field of ethnomusicology, having published numerous books. Being exposed to different cultures at an early age, she developed a lasting interest in the performing arts. Her professional career has included the styles of Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Flamenco and Mexican Folkloric Dance. Also trained in music, Alda is an accomplished percussionist and has appeared with major artists in Mexico, Central America and the U.S. She is always exploring the close relationship between music and dance. Upon her arrival in NYC she became part of the renowned female Afro Caribbean dance and percussion ensemble Retumba. As co-founder of Ballet Fiesta Mexicana Ybarra and Fiesta Flamenca she performs in and produces major cultural festivals and events. She is also currently the associate producer on a documentary about the music and dance of Veracruz, Mexico. As a dance educator she works with different Arts Organizations such as Young Audiences New York, Arts Connection, Community works and Yaffa Productions. Alda is the artistic director of Mexico beyond Mariachi and also founder of Rhythm of the Arts LLC, an organization that brings an appreciation of folklore, culture and traditions through music and dance to thousands of young students and audiences of all ages.
Percussionist Peter Basil Bogdanos is the executive director of Rhythm of the Arts LLC and Mexico Beyond Mariachi. As a professional percussionist for the past 20 years, he has performed on stages all over the world.
Guitarist and singer Juan Lucero is originally from Puebla, Mexico and from a very early age was exposed to his native music and dance. As a teen he started playing string instruments such as guitar, vihuelas, jaranas and ‘bajo sexto’ (a type of Mexican bass). As a dancer he has worked with several dance companies in the NYC and NJ area.
Sinhue Padilla is the leader of the Latin fusion band, Jarana Beat and Los Autentics de Manhatitlan in NYC. He earned his BA in Contemporary Dance at Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura in Mexico. Earlier, he studied music at Casa de Cultura and Nahuatl sacred music and rituals under music master Kuauhtlinxan. He taught dance-theater and music at the Centro de Actividades Culturales at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. He studied Arab/Andalusian roots of Latin American music at Amor de Dios and Conservatorio Flamenco in Spain and he investigated the roots of Afro-Amerindian music in South America, where he has performed and toured extensively.
We invite you to join us often during the year to celebrate the arts in a unique setting. We recommend that you consider enjoying a fine meal before or after the concert at one of the fine eateries in quaint downtown Westfield and the surrounding area. Most are located within a short walk from the gallery. FIRST FRIDAY @ GALERIA WEST concert tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $10 for children. Advance tickets and information are available online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com (enter First Friday @ Galeria West for event search) or for reservations and more information call the TEATRO Si box office at 908-301-9496. Event proceeds benefit theatrical programming efforts at TEATRO Si, a 501(c) 3 New Jersey not for profit corporation.