The origin story of my work with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center and be found on the page: Kotohajime 2016. As this year (2016) has progressed, I have been fortunate enough to work with the JACCC during their Aratani World Series: a collection of performing arts events aimed to showcase varied musical and dance talents from around the world.
This particular evening was the show, Caminos Y Canciones which featured the musical talents of the long time Los Angeles based Gonzalez Family. I'm getting better at learning new stories and this whole blogging thing but here is the description of the event via the JACCC:
As child performers Gabriel, Martha and Claudia-Miranda Gonzalez fearlessly took the stage accompanied by some of Mexico’s finest Mariachi groups at the historic Million Dollar Theatre in Los Angeles. For these prodigies, music education began at home, with the family and on this grand landmark stage. Today Gabriel, Martha and Claudia Gonzalez have received individual national and international acclaim. Curated by Betto Arcos, “Caminos y Canciones” is a call out to the music that shaped their personal journey- a song list that contains Mexican boleros and rancheras that still touch us today- songs that are family, cultural, and artistic legacies.
Born to Mexican immigrants from Guadalajara Jalisco, the Familia Gonzalez is held in highest esteem in the Los Angeles community. Their Mexican and Chicano sounds cross over multiple music scenes. Gabriel (seen on film and TV) is an acclaimed vocalist in the thriving L.A Salsa scene, a Grammy award-winning singer and longtime collaborator of QUETZAL. Martha is the lead vocalist, songwriter and percussionist for East LA activist rock band QUETZAL. In 2013, QUETZAL won a Grammy (Latin Rock) for their groundbreaking album Imaginaries. The bold, fearless, and feminist voice of sister Claudia is acclaimed for her songwriting and powerful group CAVA.
I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to photograph the evening and take in the lively atmosphere. As always, JACCC events begin with warm embraces and welcomes between friends and family:
After a few remarks from Alison De La Cruz, Director of Performing Arts and Community Engagement, and the JACCC board, Master of Ceremony, Sal Lopez, opened the show.
[Side note: there was so much passion and so much love in this performance. When I'm photographing a great performance I have a problem of becoming enraptured and in awe. That's great aside from the fact I have to catch myself sometimes, "hey you're at work! You still have to capture the best moments. Shoot! Shoot! It's a good problem to have and it certainly came up during this performance.
Caminos y Canciones...
Master of Ceremony, Sal Lopez:
Martha (left) and Gabriel (right) Gonazlez:
I did not get the names of the children, but the young members of the family really brought the love and passion:
Sal Lopez even showing off some of his dancing skills:
Singer, Annie Gonzalez:
The performance ended with a touching lei ceremony in honor of the evening's performers:
As always, there was a lively reception after the performance with more and more love. R&B singer, Aloe Blacc, was in attendance with a few friends and seemed to have a great time.