FACULTY


Silvestre Martinez was born in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico. He grew up in a large family of musicians, who played Afro-Mexican music from the coast. At the age of 10, Silvestre began performing and recording with his Uncle’s band. At 15, he moved to Oaxaca City to study percussion. Steeped in the rhythms of Latin jazz, he developed an excellent reputation in Oaxaca, and success in Mexico led to opportunities to perform around the world. Silvestre’s ultimate dream was to play percussion in the United States. That dream was realized when he moved to the Bay Area in 2002, performing with legendary Latin jazz musicians such as Louie Romero, Karl Perazzo, Orestes Vilato, Jorge Santana, as well as Los Cenzontles.

 

 

 

Sandra Poindexter was born and raised in Oakland, where she studied violin from early childhood. Her musical experience expands from classical to jazz, Cuban, mariachi, and flamenco. Sandy toured for 15 years with alto sax player John Handy’s group, touring the world and performing at the great jazz venues and festivals. She currently plays with Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion, Avotcja and Modupue, and Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids. She is the recipient of the Premerio Artistico all Violinista award for the 2017 Novara Jazz Festival in Novara, Italy, as well as the Bay Area’s Jazz Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

Lucina Rodriguez is a music and dance instructor at Los Cenzontles. She has been teaching for over 25 years and she specializes in many traditional Mexican folk music styles: rancheras, son abajeño from Jalisco, son abajeño from Michoacan, son jarocho from Veracruz, as well as pirecuas sung in the indigenous language of P’urepecha, and more. She has studied with master folk artists from Mexico such as Julian Gonzalez from Jalisco, Atilano Lopez Patricio from Michoacan, Gilberto Gutierrez from Veracruz. Lucina plays a variety of instruments such as guitar, jarana, vihuela, as well as percussion instruments, such as the quijada de burro (donkey’s jawbone) and pandero. She incorporates a wide variety of music and dance styles into her lessons.

 

 

 

Marie Astrid Do-Rodriguez was born and raised in France. Since 1979, she has been a resident of the United States. Marie-Astrid works with a variety of visual art forms; including design, drawings, painting, collage, jewelry making, papel picado, and sculpture. She has taught visual art classes to our students since 2001, and her costume design and production have been a celebrated part of our live shows since the 90s–including a fashion show co-hosted by Linda Ronstadt in 2011. Her training is eclectic and includes studies at CCSF, the Fort Mason Center, Precita Eyes Mural Center, La RAZA graphics, and the De Young Museum. In France, she received the Certificat Elementaire in pastry baking from the Paris Ecole du Cordon Bleu. Marie-Astrid’s training in early childhood education was through Sonoma State University’s Montessori program, CCSF, and the UC Berkeley Extension program and her skill in introducing children to the arts began with teaching art at San Francisco’s Trevor Martin Montessori school.

 

 

Eugene Rodriguez received a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance from the SanFrancisco Conservatory of Music in 1987. In 1989, Eugene formed Los Cenzontles and he incorporated Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center in 1994 as a cultural response to urgent social problems in the community. Eugene has performed with his students nationwide and internationally, including a tour in 2019 with 22 members of Los Cenzontles, accompanying Linda Ronstadt to the Mexican pueblo of her grandfather. In 2016 Eugene brought students on a tour of Cuba, the subject of the PBS-distributed film Conexiones, A Cuban Mexican Connection. The Los Cenzontles Touring Group has recorded over 30 albums. His work with Los Cenzontles has been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the California Watch, and NPR.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Rosales is a classically trained bassoonist from the school of music of Guanajuato University, Mexico. He has over 18 years of experience teaching music theory and practice with students of all ages. He has been with Los Cenzontles since March 2017 teaching guitar, piano, and voice. In addition to teaching and playing Mexican folk music, he enjoys playing with the San Francisco State University Orchestra and with chamber groups around the Bay Area.

 

 

 

 

Nesta Tello

 

 

 

 

 

Fabiola Trujillo immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when she was seven and began studying at Los Cenzontles when she was just 15. Throughout her career, she has researched and studied region-specific Mexican musical genres. Fabiola is the Academy Manager and she leads the teen mentorship program and parent volunteer group and coordinates all community events. As a member of the Los Cenzontles Touring Group, Fabiola creates a new bicultural sound by mixing her exceptional ability to sing in the style of traditional Mexican ranch music with Country and Blues. She teaches a variety of traditional Mexican singing styles.