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Los Cuatro Vientos Jam

Sat, Sep 15, 2012, 3–5 pm

Bring your guitarrón, accordion or just yourself for this interactive talk and jam with Los Cuatro Vientos, Tucson’s best-known mariachi quartet. Kicking off the jam, Los Cuatro Vientos are playing original compositions and favorite standards, as heard for more than 150 years, but in their distinctive Tucson-inflected style.

Los Cuatro Vientos is a quartet of violins, guitar, and folk harp composed of highly trained musicians of the mariachi form. Formed in 2008, they have expanded their repertoire by integrating songs that have become standards in today’s Mexican folkóric form with original work with hip hop, blues, and other genres.

The MCA Stage presents Los Cuatro Vientos performing original songs and the work of DJ/composer Cristóbal Martinez as part of Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta by John Jota Leaños (Sep 14–16). The bilingual, new media opera fuses documentary animation with Mariachi music, and neo-folkórico dance choreographed by Chicago-based choreographer Joel Valentin-Martinez, in a contemporary interpretation of the Mexican and Chicana/o tradition of the Days of the Dead. Leaños involved dozens of artists, writers, and community members for this reimagining of historical and “true” events.

Leaños has received the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts, the United States Artist Fellowship (2011), which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s greatest living artists, and the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Artist Award (2012). His social art practice is closely identified with Xicanismo, the updated voice for Chicano/a culture, and has been shown at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, SF Moma, MOCA LA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is increasingly experienced virally as Internet videos, podcasts on mobile devices, and community concerts in unexpected public spaces in the Bay Area.