Los Cenzontles in the News: Billboard Magazine, NBC Bay Area, and More…

Our recent socially-distant collaboration with David Hidalgo (El Colas music video) caught the attention of Billboard Magazine, who interviewed Eugene and some of our students! You can read the article here.

And, in case you missed it, our Founder and Director, Eugene, appeared on two local stations last week discussing El Colas and the work of Los Cenzontles. You can watch Eugene on our local Fox affiliate KTVU by clicking here (forward to 37:00).

Eugene also appeared on the NBC Bay Area English-language version of the long-running Communidad Del Valle, as well as Telemundo’s Spanish language version. Here is the full interview with Eugene on NBC.

Bay Area News Group Publishes Article on The Front Porch Sessions

Our Front Porch Sessions are the subject of a great article that appears in print and online in the Bay Area News Groups’ papers The East Bay Times and The Mercury News. Click on the following link to read it!

Los Cenzontles shines virtual spotlight on young performers

NEW VIDEO SERIES: The Front Porch Sessions

A central part of Los Cenzontles Academy’s mission over the past 30-years has been to expand the range of possibilities and expectations—historically kept stagnant by most public institutions—for youth and families living in a largely Mexican-American community. Cultivating inner strength and resilience in young students has always been a chief aim of the methods employed by our teachers.  Weeks ago, we moved our Academy classes online, and provided virtual instruction at no cost to students and their families and avoiding discontinuity in our instruction has provided critical reassurance and stability to youth and parents alike.

The Front Porch Sessions occupy a place in this larger effort to address the impacts of the current public health threat and restrictions on social gathering on a community that is particularly vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of Covid-19. Los Cenzontles has long worked hand in hand with families to support youth, and along with the move to virtual instruction, Los Cenzontles shifted its teaching focus toward building and training family bands.

With the aim of demonstrating how sharing culture and art can strengthen connections within families, even during this time of great anxiety and disorientation, Los Cenzontles Founder and Executive Director Eugene Rodriguez, along with several of the Academy’s teachers, ventured out with the film crew—donning face masks and observing social distancing—and filmed the families singing, playing, and dancing together in front of their homes. The Front Porch Sessions turned that sacred place between their private and public lives into a performance arena to demonstrate their skills, cultural expression, joy and resilience.

You can watch a trailer for the Front Porch Series by clicking here. And to watch each of the seven videos, visit Los Cenzontles Academy’s Facebook page.

From the Mercury News: “Los Cenzontles drops new video on iconic California history chapter”

Andrew Gilbert has written a fantastic article on our recently released “El Corrido de Anza” video. You can read the article here. Here’s an excerpt from the article…

“El Corrido de Anza” is a striking 10-minute music video that details the 1,200-mile journey in song while capturing the succession of gorgeous landscapes encountered by the travelers (the piece was expertly shot and edited by Los Angeles-based Salvadoran-American filmmaker Armando Aparicio).

If you haven’t seen the video, click here to check it out!

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48Hills: “Los Cenzontles’ ‘El Corrido de Anza’ takes listeners on historic journey from Mexico to the Presidio”

48Hills, a popular, independent source for news and culture in the Bay Area has published a nice article on our new music video El Corrido de Anza.

You can read the article by clicking here.

And you can watch El Corrido de Anza here.

From the article:

“El Corrido de Anza” is a 10-minute journey-song that explores the mission on which Juan Bautista de Anza took the 300 New Spain colonialists who would eventually found San Francisco in the Presidio in 1776. Los Cenzontles teamed with the National Parks Service which, led by superintendent Naomi Torres, was looking for innovative ways to engage Latinos in park history. Los Cenzontles board member and UC Davis history professor Lorena Oropeza, along with her graduate student (and now professor herself) Jessica Ordaz, helped with the necessary historical research to bring the project to life.

To interpret the journey, Los Cenzontles tapped songwriter Gilberto Gutiérrez Silva in addition to Lucina Rodríguez and Trujillo to sing the 45 four line stanzas that follow the expedition. An accompanying music video shows the vocalists progressing down the same paths as Anza and his crew, from the snow fields of the San Sebastián mountains to the wild flowers of the San José Valley via the 1200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.