Who are we? Who are you and who am I? What language do you dream in? How did our music come to sound like it does? Those are questions we’ve all asked at one time or another. This summer, Casa Azul’s In-Fusion Series* motivated us to think through those questions together.

Exploring Latin Rhythms

Exploring Latin Rhythms on June 23rd was a fantastic gathering of over 150 people from all different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. People brought children, friends, food, and pets along to LeBauer park for a performance by percussionist Fernando Martínez-López and musician Cesar Oviedo. Fernando and Cesar took time to explain the role of music in their home countries of Cuba and Nicaragua and how Latin American music came to be as it is.  The audience enjoyed the music, the conversation and of course the dancing.

Modern day Latin music was born from the melting two or more distinct cultures meeting and melding such as Spanish, African, Arab, and indigenous cultures.  Whether it’s Cuban, El Salvadoran, or Argentinian down the long historical road people met new neighbors, got to know them and their music changed into something marvelous.

 

From Appalachia to the Andes: A Conversation About Art, Fusion, and Identity

July 20th, 65 people gathered into Scuppernong books to share friendship, meet new people, and to discuss how identity changes over time as we move from place to place. The group also explored how those changes in identity are seen in the art that we as individuals and groups produce. From Appalachian bluegrass music in Argentina to wall murals of Greensboro and what that means to the local economy, artists spoke with the audience about their experiences and views.

See excerpts from the discussion here.

Thank you to Hector Gomez and Javier Mendoza for their work producing this video.

 

Che Apalache Amazes at Triad Stage

Che Apalache (loosely translated to my Appalachian homeboy), performed in concert on July 21, 2017 at Triad Stage. The audience was wowed with Latin Grass music, a fusion of Appalachian bluegrass and traditional Latin American sounds. Joe Troop, a North Carolina native, and his band members entertained with music and humor while audiences heard music that was familiar and some that was like nothing they’d heard before. What a fantastic night!

Special thanks to Triad Stage for their support of this event. It would not have been possible without them.

 

*The In-Fusion Series was made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Portions of the In-Fusion project were also made possible with the support of the Weaver Foundation of Greensboro, Hispanics in Philanthropy and Triad Stage.