Even Bigger Heatwave Coming Our Way

July 22nd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Weather, White Center Comments Off on Even Bigger Heatwave Coming Our Way

Perusing Cliff Mass weather blog and he points out this is the driest stretch that Washington state has experienced for this period in time.  But the kicker is that it’s going to get hotter – maybe into the mid-nineties by Monday and Tuesday of next week.

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Cambodian Restaurant, Queen’s Deli Reviewed by Seattle Weekly

July 21st, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Food, White Center Comments Off on Cambodian Restaurant, Queen’s Deli Reviewed by Seattle Weekly

Seattle Weekly Review of Queen's Deli

Seattle Weekly Review of Queen

One of our many eateries that does not receive the attention of other, higher profile restaurants, just got a glowing review in the Seattle Weekly.  Queen’s Deli is located at the corner of 14th Ave SW and 98th Ave. SW.  The deli’s clientele are heavily Cambodian and the lingua franca of the place is most definitely not English.  Speak slowly and be prepared to get something other than what you ordered.  But, hey, that’s half the fun.

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El Paisano Restaurant Reopens

July 20th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Economy, Food, Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center 1 Comment »

El Paisano's juicy chickens

El Paisano

GOOD NEWS! El Paisano Rosticeria Restaurant has re-opened.  We, who had loved the wonderful roast chickens and other wonderful foods from El Paisano, were aghast when it suddently closed up.  Rumours abounded that the business was not doing well, that internecine family battles had led to closure, that the place was being remodelled, that the mafia was asking for it’s investment back (ok that is not true).  But my colleague, Justin of Full Tilt Ice Cream and I were heartbroken.  We love this place.  We loved it so much we offered free coffees and ice creams to encourage people to patronize El Paisano.  To say, that we are happy, thrilled and completely elated that our favorite Rosticeria is mild understatement.  Chicken tacos, barbacoa and carne asada burritos for everyone.  And yes, we’ll take the Negra Modelos as well. Herein is a part of Full Tilt’s review of El Paisano:

El Paisano at 15th Ave. SW and Roxbury SW

El Paisano at 15th Ave. SW and Roxbury SW

The area I grew up in LA was predominantly Mexican, and poor. MY parents, and I swear this is true, would open up a paper when it was time for a new apartment, and just pick the cheapest place. We lived in Compton, Silver lake, Echo Park (before it was trendy), Santa Ana, even when we moved to Huntington Beach it was in the Hispanic area that was known as Slater Slums. In all those neighborhoods I became familiar with Rosticerias, even if it was an EL Pollo Loco. See, my parents are from the midwest, and if is anything they know well, it is their way around a yard bird and pork. We ate at all of the local chicken joints. Cesars on Atlantic and 65, Pablo’s on Alameda, Pollo Macho on  Wilshire, even Rosco’s ( which is not Mexican, but makes a mean fried chicken and waffle platter). When I first moved to Seattle, one of the things I missed most was Mexican food. I craved El Pollo Loco,  the bottom of the barrel in LA. Mama’s in Belltown, and Bimbo’s on the hill is crap food. Not just not authentic, just crap food. I was amazed when I found White Center. So much good food, in one little area, and the rest of Seattle had no idea it even existed. Rosticeria y Cocina El Paisano is the best in chicken. It is owned by the butcher shop two doors down. Sure, the carnitas is better at Del Rio. I can get an equal burrito at the bus for less. As far as chicken goes, Paisano is king.

Marinated in an adobe chili mix, and then flame roasted. Crsipy skin, and a juicy bird. The sides are simple, and plentiful. Rice, beans and a simple salad. Shining right next to that crispy bird is the house made salsas. Most Mexican places in Seattle seem to have a can opener as their main tool is salsa prep. Not these guys. I have become leery of Salsa Verde since moving to Seattle, but Paisano’s have nailed it. Flamed roasted tomatillos and just the right amount of chili heat from the peppers to compliment the food. They are now serving Breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, so the next time you venture out to eat, stop by this place.

LOCATION:  El Paisano is located at 9615 -15th Ave. SW, Seattle 98106  They are just off the intersection of 15th Ave. SW and Roxbury (across the street from Bartell Drugs).

Phone:  (206) 763-0368

Don’t take our opinion for it (although we are best qualified to judge R from West Texas and J from Southern Cali)

http://www.seattleweekly.com/locations/rosticeria-y-cocina-el-paisano-358083/

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/1/1421316/restaurant/West-Seattle/Rosticeria-y-Cocina-El-Paisano-Seattle

http://srs.mediawebconnect.com/Rosticeria%20y%20Cocina%20El%20Paisano/10453

Show them some love and you will happier for it.

El Paisano Rosticeria

El Paisano Rosticeria

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Correo Aereo to Perform at Cafe Rozella Friday, July 24th at 7 p.m.

July 20th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Fun, Music, West Seattle, White Center Comments Off on Correo Aereo to Perform at Cafe Rozella Friday, July 24th at 7 p.m.

At Cafe Rozella we have the opportunity to book some great acts.  Correo Aereo is, without hesitation, one of our favorite musical groups.  They will be peforming at Cafe Rozella this Friday, July 24th at 7 p.m. Admission is always free but we encourage you to bring a donation for the White Center Food Bank.

Correo Aereo Peforming

Correo Aereo Peforming

Correo Aereo, (Air Mail), are Austin Music Award winners now based in the NW. The Latin American/World music trio performs traditional and original music from Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and beyond, combining a stunning array of string and percussive instruments with silken vocal harmonies described as “…locked in carnal embrace.” by the Austin Chronicle. Hailed for exciting musical virtuosity and profoundly moving performances through unknown landscapes of Latin America, their music is both viscerally ancient and vibrantly contemporary. Abel Rocha plays Venezuelan and Mexican harp, guitar, cuatro, quinta huapanguera and vocals. Madeleine Sosin offers violins, maracas, bombo, jarana, quijada and vocals. They are joined by ‘young lion’ Evan Flory Barnes, on hot stand-up bass.

Their music is richly polyrhythmic and soulfully melodic – soaring, fiery, haunting and joyful…this is the universal language; world music at it’s finest. Perfect for all audiences and ages!

For those who want to learn more about the band: http://www.correoaereo.com/lofi/reviews.html

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Random Thoughts on Tacoma and White Center

July 19th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, cafe rozella, Crime, Development, Economy, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Greenbridge, People, White Center 3 Comments »

Two elderly ladies walk into Cafe Rozella gushing about the cafe.  Unprompted, one of them says, “we love White Center.  We tell people we live in West Seattle, because of White Center, not in spite of it.”  I relate this anecdote, because despite it’s ragged edges, White Center is a place of vibrancy and life.

Years ago, I used to have an office job in downtown Tacoma.  If we wanted to get something to eat, we would troop into our cars and head to Old Town or the Tacoma waterfront.  The downtown core was desolate.  As one of my colleagues used to say, “you can’t buy an Aspirin in downtown Tacoma.”  Sadly, he was right, there was nary a Bartells, Walgreeens or even a small Asian grocery store to buy anything essential.  Coffee shops were nonexistent and the hilltop area was still a war zone.  I relate this, not to knock Tacoma, after all, it has really improved, but it has improved in ways far different than White Center.

Most of Tacoma’s improvement has been the subject of heavy top-down government investment and tax incentives.  While the Greenbridge Project on the west side of White Center might be considered similarly, “top down,” it is but a small part of what makes the area a better place.  White Center has always had a community and a functioning business core.  Many White Center businesses, (Center Tool Rental, White Center Glass), have been there for decades.  Nonetheless, there was a time, not too long ago, when the walk on 16th Avenue SW, south of Roxbury, was undertaken with trepidation and certainly never after dark.   Today, White Center is a different place.

Immigrants from all parts of the world have opened businesses throughout the White Cener business core. This is organic growth, from the roots up.  Projects such as Greenbridge seek to encourage such growth.  As well, there are businesses opening from locals who want in on a dynamic area.  Cafe Rozella is but one, there is also Full Tilt Ice Cream, Proletarian Pizza and word of a couple of other new businesses.  These are businesses operated by young people who are dynamic and future-oriented.  Tolerant and educated, they are what social scientist, Richard Florida would call the creative class.  Rather than berate the lack of a McDonalds, we celebrate the Pho shops, the Salvadorean pupusas and the Guyamas Burritos amongst many other great eating establishments.

So next time you have friends visiting from out-of-town, do the Space Needle but bring them to White Center and invite them to take in the rich melting of cultures inherent in this corner of the world.  And, if by chance, one of your guest gets a headache and, if you want to buy an Aspirin there is the Super-Walgreens and the local Bartells.  But I suspect a custom ice cream cone from Full Tilt or an Americano from Cafe Rozella would work just as well.   Cheers!

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Children of the Revolution Trio Perform Cafe Rozella – Friday (June 26th) at 7 p.m.

June 23rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Fun, Music, White Center Comments Off on Children of the Revolution Trio Perform Cafe Rozella – Friday (June 26th) at 7 p.m.

Children of the Revolution Trio

Children of the Revolution Trio

Expect a full house and lots of energy when the group Children of the Revolution perform at Cafe Rozella.

Performance starts at 7 p.m., Friday June 26th at Cafe Rozella

“When you go to a Children of the Revolution show, you might as well leave your preconceptions about world music at the door” wrote Tina Potterf of the Seattle Times. Fans will usually say something like, “That was the best live show Ive ever been to; I don’t quite know how to describe it.” From Bozeman Montana to the caves of Granada, Spain, from Istanbul to Taiwan, COTR make life-long fans wherever they go.

They can loosely be compared to such breakaway and high-energy world music artists such as Ozomatli, Gipsy Kings, Santana, Manu Chau and the Afro Celt Sound System, but all similarities stop there. Made up of virtuoso musicians, singers and dancers from around the world, COTR blend their Flamenco, Greek, and Rock roots creating, a lush and melodic sound driven by infectious Latin and Middle-Eastern grooves.

The group is fronted by lead singer Vassili, who grew up on the Greek Islands, and former metal head turned flamenco guitarist Eric Jaeger. Sharing the spotlight is Barcelona-born flamenco dancer Encarnación. Their electrifying and sexy concerts showcase outstanding musicianship and songwriting with world-class dance performances. Both world music aficionados and those new to the genre agree – COTR puts on one of the most unifying and entertaining shows in the world.

Cafe Rozella
9434 Delridge Way SW
Seattle, WA  98106
(206) 763-5805
guarnero@caferozella.com

http://twitter.com/caferozella

www.caferozella.com

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Music at Cafe Rozella – Friday, June 19th at 7 p.m.

June 17th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, White Center Comments Off on Music at Cafe Rozella – Friday, June 19th at 7 p.m.

Trio Lucero And Special Guests

June19th, 2009

7pm

Café Rozella

9434 Delridge Way SW

Seattle, WA 98106

(206) 763-5805

Son Huasteco, Huapango, Sones de Costumbre and Canciones de la Huasteca, Mexico.

Trío Lucero del Norte plays traditional/regional Mexican music from the Huasteca Hidalguense (the State of Hidalgo in the plains along the Gulf Coast) sung in Spanish and Nahuatl (an Indigenous language spoken in Mexico).

Café Rozella kicks off its 2009 Friday night concert/dance series with Regional Dance Music from the Huasteca. Come dance huapango. Trio Lucero del Norte’s hot violin and pounding rhythm executed on jarana huasteca and quinta huapanguera (two variants of local rhythm guitars) will make you want to dance.

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Full Tilt Turns 1 and how you can help White Center.

June 16th, 2009 FullTilt Posted in Food, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Fun, White Center, White Center Food Bank 1 Comment »

Full Tilt is turning 1 year old Saturday the 20th of June. To celebrate, we are going to give a gift certificate for a cone to the White Center Food Bank, for every cone that is purchased that day. Rick Jump from the food bank is going to try and be on hand for part of the day. COme down and meet him.

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Photos of Seattle: A photo-exhibit by the New Futurees Youth Program – Friday, June 12th 6 p.m.

June 10th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Music, White Center 1 Comment »

PHOTOS OF SEATTLE a photo-exhbit by the New Futures Program will be held on Friday June 12th at 6 p.m.

Information on New Futures can be found at http://www.newfutures.us/

The Exhibit will be followed by a performance by acclaimed Brazilian artist, Eduardo Mendonca.

Cafe Rozella is located at 9434 Delridge Way SW

Phone: (206) 763-5805 – www.caferozella.com

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Brazilian Eduardo Mendonca Plays Cafe Rozella – Friday June 12th 7 pm

June 8th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Music, White Center 1 Comment »

Eduardo Mendonca

Eduardo Mendonca

The always captivating, Eduardo Mendonca will bring his energetic Brazilian music to Cafe Rozella this Friday at 7 p.m.  As always the performance is al fresco and FREE.

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Community School Auction this Saturday, June 6 6:30 p.m.

June 4th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Education, Fun, Schools, White Center Comments Off on Community School Auction this Saturday, June 6 6:30 p.m.

Boogie Wonderland

Put on those dancing shoes
Come one, come all
to the
Community School of West Seattle auction

Bid on a no-host stay in an English house,
a flight to Friday Harbor,
a song written just for you by a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter,
mountain getaways, kids’ amusements, theater, yoga, dance, baby sitting, beach outings, adopt-a-wolf, art from local artists and students.

Disco attire is encouraged.
Free food.
Cold drinks.
English auctioneer.
Bring a nice bottle of wine for the “wine cellar” we will be auctioning off.

Love is in the air!

for complete catalog see: http://www.landkammer.net/csws_auction

Saturday, June 6 6:30 p.m.
Community School of West Seattle
9450 22nd Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

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White Center is in the Weekly

June 2nd, 2009 FullTilt Posted in Beverages, Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center 5 Comments »

The Seattle weekly has a photo series of an afternoon in White Center.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/slideshow/view/14941289

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The Origins of the “Son de los Diablos” Dance

May 28th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, White Center Comments Off on The Origins of the “Son de los Diablos” Dance

‘Son de los Diablos,’ originated in the Corpus Christi celebrations in Lima during the Colonial Period. As the ruling elite in colonial Peru framed it, blacks represented evil forces in a religious drama. However, by the time of slavery’s abolition in 1854, Afro-Peruvians had appropriated this dance as a symbol of cultural resistance and practiced it especially during carnival in the barrios where these were relocated. The Son was banned from the streets 1940s when President Manuel Prado prohibited carnival celebrations in Lima. In the 1980’s the Movimiento Negro Francisco Congo, a collective dedicated to the recovery and revalorization of Afro-Peruvian traditions, approached Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani to recuperate the tradition of this street dance and to perform it on the streets once again. The group of Francisco Congo would teach the dance, and Yuyachkani would contribute their maskwork. Yuyachkani considered this dance a master dance for young actors because it includes codification of the body, maskwork, dancing, and an active and playful relationship with the audience. Peru’s most important theatre collective, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (www.yuyachkani.org) has been working since 1971 at the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. ‘Yuyachkani’ is a Quechua word that means ‘I am thinking, I am remembering’; under this name, the theatre group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. The group is comprised of seven actors (Augusto Casafranca, Amiel Cayo, Ana Correa, Débora Correa, Rebeca Ralli, Teresa Ralli, and Julián Vargas), a technical designer (Fidel Melquíades), and an artistic director (Miguel Rubio), who have made a commitment to collective creation as a mode of theatrical production and to group theater as a life style. Their work has been among the most important in Latin America’s so called ‘New Popular Theater,’ with a strong commitment to grass-roots community issues, mobilization, and advocacy. Yuyachkani won Peru’s National Human Rights Award in 2000. Known for its creative embrace of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight into Peruvian and Latin American theatre, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics.

May 29th, (Friday) 6pm
Devil’s Dance Parade in White Center

followed by concert at Café Rozella
7pm   9434 Delridge Way SW
Seattle, WA 98106 (206) 763-5805

Cafe Rozella brings the hottest Latin music to Seattle:
Afro-Peruvian Dance and Music:
El Son De Los Diablos

Parade Route: Parade starts at El Paisano, on the corner of 15th Ave. SW and Roxbury, proceeds to La Fondita at SW 98th St., and then to Full Tilt Ice Cream at 9629 16th Ave SW and then to triangle at Roxbury and Delridge and from there to Café Rozella at 9434 Delridge Way SW.

NPR States, “Afro-Peruvian music has complex, sensual rhythms. Its instrumentation is spare, originally just nylon-string guitar, bass and a wooden box called cajon. When it started getting outside attention in the mid-’90s, it felt new. The music’s lean architecture and introspective mood differentiated it from the likes of salsa and merengue.”
“The people of the so-called Black Pacific were so far removed from their African origins that the creators of Afro-Peruvian music couldn’t rely much on cultural memory. So they created instruments, rhythms and a compelling musical aesthetic that was largely a product of their imaginations. The pride of Afro-Peruvian music is the lando, an elegant dance with intertwined rhythms and a seductive undertow.”
Admission is FREE!
Presented by The AFrican ConeXion Project and Café Rozella.
Funding by 4 Culture Site Specific Grant
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Public Safety Meeting Tonight at St. James 6 p.m.

May 28th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Crime, Safety, White Center 2 Comments »

The monthly public safety meeting will be held tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m.  If you want to learn what is being done to make this community safer or have concerns regarding same, attend and make your voice heard.  I for one would like to see more action to rid the White Center business district of creeps like these, drinking malt liquor on the side of a grocery store, happy as pigs in sh*t.

Chronic alcoholics and other miscreants

Chronic alcoholics and other miscreants

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New Pizza Place Coming to White Center

May 27th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Development, Economy, Food, White Center 10 Comments »

The heart of White Center will host a new pizza parlor. In keeping with our Commie-working class theme, the pizza place will be named Proletariat Pizza. The location is the old Elisa’s Bakery site, just across the street from Full Tilt Ice Cream. Great News for White Center!

Future Site of Proletarian Pizza

Future Site of Proletariat Pizza

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Thee Emergency

May 27th, 2009 FullTilt Posted in Arts, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Fun, Music, White Center 1 Comment »

This is going to be an amazing show. Thee Emergency are bringing some special guests that can not be named. It is going to be a fun, but packed show, so get here early. You are going to be kicking yourself Sunday morning if you miss this one.

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Weather Will be Great for Afro-Peruvian Dance Troupe – Friday 6 pm

May 26th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Fun, Music, White Center Comments Off on Weather Will be Great for Afro-Peruvian Dance Troupe – Friday 6 pm

Son de los Diablos

Son de los Diablos

Weather should be summery and perfect for the Afro-Peruvian Dance Troupe on Friday (May 29th) at 6 pm.

May 29th, (Friday) 6pm
Devil’s Dance Parade in White Center followed by concert at Café Rozella
7pm   9434 Delridge Way SW
Seattle, WA 98106 (206) 763-5805

AFrican ConeXion Project, Café Rozella and 4Culture Specific Site.

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The Great Markets of White Center: Hung Long Sieu Th! (White Center Supermarket)

May 23rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Economy, Food, Sustainability, White Center 8 Comments »

Hung Long (White Center Supermarket)
9828 15th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 768-8087
Hung Long's Veggies - some familiar some not

Hung Long

Of all the great Asian markets in White Center, Hung Long Sieu Th! is almost certainly my favorite.  It is distinguished by being directly across from the White Center State Liquor Store.  Some would see this as a convenience and others as a liability.  That aside, this is almost certainly the most well-stocked Vietnamese market.  This is a market in the truest sense of the word: stocking within its tightly knit quarters, all manner of fish and meat as well as a very nice selection of fruits and vegetables, some familiar, some not.  The aisles are packed with sauces, spices and all the accoutrements for fine Asian (or in my case, Mexican) meal.  Indeed, many of the patrons shopping at Hung Long are Latin American, although the overwhelming majority are Asian, attesting to the market’s authenticity.  Most times, I am the only non-Asian at the check-out line, as Vietnamese is thrown around as the lingua franca.

Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish

My advice for any gringos wishing to venture to Hung Long is to explore and if confused, just ask, the staff are very friendly and more than willing to assist.  Did I mention that the prices are incredibly modest.  You could pack a bag of fruit for under $10.00.  And the fruit would certainly be much nicer than the industrial brand you find at Safeway and other corporate stores.

Fresh meats and vegggies in a typically clean aisle

Fresh meats and vegggies in a typically clean aisle

The seafood is invariably fresh.  No need to trek to Pike Place Market to pick up some fresh crab or halibut.  And you can get some nice black bean sauce to dress the dinner meal.

Fresh Crab

Fresh Crab

If you feel like noshing while shopping, Hung Long has a small Hong Kong style deli where you can pick up ribs, roast duck, hum bows or other tasty stews and barbeques.

Roast Duck

Roast Duck

Fried Fish

Fried Fish

My favorite quality of Hung Long is its authenticity.  When I step into Hung Long, I am immediately transported to the wonderful markets of Chinatown in New York City or Hong Kong.  This is the real deal, venture forth gastronomes and lovers of food.   An awesome market, Hung Long.

Asian Drinks

Asian Drinks

Hong Kong Style Deli

Hong Kong Style Deli

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Announced: Parade Route for Devil’s Dance Parade in White Center – May 29th – 6 p.m.

May 19th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, cafe rozella, Development, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Fun, Music, White Center 3 Comments »

Son de los Diablos Parade

Son de los Diablos Parade

The Parade Route for the Devil’s Dance has been announced: The Parade starts at El Paisano, on the corner of 15th Ave. SW and Roxbury, proceeds to La Fondita at SW 98th St., and then to Full Tilt Ice Cream at 9629 16th Avenue SW then to the Triangle at Roxbury/16th Ave. SW/Delridge and then from there to Cafe Rozella for a Muscial Performance. (Choreography by Monica Rojas, Ph.D.)

Diablo Dancing to Afro-Peruvian Rythms.

Diablo Dancing to Afro-Peruvian Rythms.

Afro-Peruvian Dance and Music:  El Son De Los Diablos
NPR States, “Afro-Peruvian music has complex, sensual rhythms. Its instrumentation is spare, originally just nylon-string guitar, bass and a wooden box called cajon. When it started getting outside attention in the mid-’90s, it felt new. The music’s lean architecture and introspective mood differentiated it from the likes of salsa and merengue.”
“The people of the so-called Black Pacific were so far removed from their African origins that the creators of Afro-Peruvian music couldn’t rely much on cultural memory. So they created instruments, rhythms and a compelling musical aesthetic that was largely a product of their imaginations. The pride of Afro-Peruvian music is the lando, an elegant dance with intertwined rhythms and a seductive undertow.”
El Son De Los Diablos will feature the musicians behind Grammy Award Winner Susana Baca.  Truly a unique experience of a hot new trend in Latin American Music.
Admission is FREE

Diablos do choreagraphed dance movements

Diablos do choreagraphed dance movements

AFRO PERUVIAN PERCUSSION; The Cajon

African slaves were brought over to the Spanish colony of Peru in the 16th century to work mainly in the gold and silver mines of the high Andes. However their physique was not suited to the high altitude and they died by the hundreds. Their Spanish or Creole (descendants of European settlers in Latin America) masters sent them to work in the milder climate of the desert coast, where they laboured in the large haciendas; private farms. It was in their small huts, on the packed dirt floors of the courtyards overrun with animals and in the fields of cane and sugar cane that Afro-Peruvian music, song and dance were born.

The beginnings of slavery in Peru were different from the rest of the Americas. Although in Brazil or Central and North American countries it was common to import large groups of slaves from the same African tribe, only small and geographically dispersed ethnic groups were brought to Peru. This was meant to discourage rebel movements around the tribal chiefs, and as such, made almost impossible the preservation of communal traditions. Without a common language or tribal authority to remind them of their roots, Peruvian slaves were progressively integrated into the culture and language of their new country. As a result Afro-Peruvian music is a unique blend of Spanish, Andean and African traditions.

Centuries old, this music started to gain recognition in Peru about 40 years ago and it has became popular in the last 25 years. It was born in the coastal barrios (suburbs) and towns and was reconstructed and resurrected thanks to the work of a few artists and historians. Because the Africans were forbidden from playing their own instruments, percussion instruments developed out of the simplest household appliances; spoons, kitchen chairs, table tops, boxes, handclaps, until it reached this century with the creation of the cajon as a specific instrument to play music.

The cajon which is a wooden-box in which the player sits on to play, is thought to have originated in Peru.  The cajon is made out of hardwood with the front cover being of a very fine layer of plywood. The cajon has an open circle cut at the back of the instrument. The player sits and plays two main strokes as well as a few other variations. The main two consist of: the tone of the box which is played with the full palm in the middle of the “head” (this stroke is usually a bass or palm sound on a variety of African derived hand drums found around the world) and the slap which is played on the edge of the “head” of the instrument (this sound also part of the technique used in many hand drums around the world).

Cotito - El cajon

Cotito - El cajon

(A big thank you to Latino Cultural Magazine for the photographs.)

May 23rd, (Saturday), 7:30pm,  Afro-Peruvian percussionist Juan Medrano Cotito releases his new CD “La Voz Del Cajon” at  Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
$20 including CD.

These events are sponsored by AFrican ConeXion Project, 4Culture and Cafe Rozella.

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White Center for the Arts Gallery Review has Great Night

May 17th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Arts, White Center Comments Off on White Center for the Arts Gallery Review has Great Night

Carlos Espinoza sculpting at Gallery night

Carlos Espinoza sculpting at Gallery night

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