It’s been 2 years since my husband and I performed together a live piano recital at the Oregon State University International Piano Series in Corvallis, OR.
Back then, my youngest son was just 5 months old. Traveling with him, plus my then 5 year old son, and my husband to perform was such an adventure!
Here’s a picture from our trip, including the sophisticated childcare arrangements we had going on backstage!
Now my husband and I have once again been invited to perform our musical program entitled A Piano Journey Through Latin America for the College of Charleston’s International Piano Series in February 2022. The last time we played at this series was back in 2010 when we played the Bach double-concerto in C Major.
We have an incredibly fond memory of Charleston, SC, since it is the first city where we arrived when we moved from Cuba, and we completed our Bachelors of Arts degrees there and got married shortly before moving to Texas to pursue our masters degrees in piano performance.
We are so excited to be able to return to Charleston, this time as a family of 4! That is what happens when both mom and dad have to perform on stage together, the kids have to come with us. Oh boy, it will be fun….?
The timing seems perfect as we prepare for our performance right as Hispanic Heritage month is taking place from September 15th – October 15th.
Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
I grew up in the United States and Bolivia and my husband in Cuba, so our program is quite diverse and features musical influences from all across South America, and the Caribbean.
It’s truly a journey, encompassing Bolivian Cuecas, Brazilian tangos, Cuban classical and jazz-inspired music, an original Latin jazz composition and a 4-hands piano arrangement of Piazzolla’s “Tango Suite.”
This program is not only a celebration of our passion as artists, but also as a couple! We’ve been together for more than twenty years. It’s an exploration of diverse cultural influences, historical context and musical reflection.
You can watch the brief trailer we created with the story behind our Piano Journey through Latin-America program.
Speaking of celebrating…would you like to join me as I celebrate Hispanic Heritage month?
Here are 5 simple ways to celebrate with me:
? Listen to classical music from Hispanic artists. Although there are too many talented artists to choose from, I recommend listening to the works of my former piano mentor, the great Cuban composer, Andres Alen (available on my Debut Album, and also on my husband’s Album, Cuban Memoirs), and the Vals Gayo by Teresa Carreño (available on my virtual lecture-recital on demand).
? Cook a traditional dish at home. My favorite is the bolivian dish called “salteñas,” while my husband enjoys typical Cuban roasted pork or “lechon asado.” While I can’t share our secret family recipes, here are some links to a version of these recipes you can try at home.
? Dedicate a movie night to some Spanish language films. One our favorites to watch at home are Vampiros en La Habana, featuring music performed by the great Cuban jazz trumpet player, Arturo Sandoval.
? Support a Hispanic or Latinx-owned business in your community. This could be as simple as visiting a local restaurant or artist’s studio. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 4.65 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S.
? Learn more about the history of Hispanic Americans in this short article.
It feels so energizing to be looking towards the future, while at the same time honoring every part of my journey as a Latin-American woman and artist.
Reply to this and let me know which idea you’re most eager to try!
Let’s Prosper Together,
P.S. This list wouldn’t be complete without the suggestions to take some time to try Latin dance! Salsa, Tango, Samba, Rumba…the list goes on and on ???