A peña is a casual and participatory social event centered around live music that celebrates community through music, poetry, prose, and culture. This event features musicians Adolfo Romero (Chile), Elisa García (Uruguay), Leo Corona (México), and Francisco Marques (Brazil), and poet María Ferndanda Iwasaki (Perú/Spain).
Adolfo Romero is a Chilean visual artist, songwriter, poet and cultural arts project developer. Currently residing in Denver, he is active in the local art and music community, and he is the music director of Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center. As a musician, Romero has performed on many stages using his songs and Latin American roots to support social justice and immigrant struggles. Romero and his partner Erin McCarley have prepared a special set of songs for this Peña as a tribute to the "Nueva Trova.
Erin McCarley is an independent photographer and filmmaker living in the foothills of Colorado. With a passion for human rights and social justice, McCarley’s media projects focus on indigenous rights and environmental justice issues. Her photography, videos and writing have been published internationally. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she has worked and traveled extensively in Latin America, where she has also developed a passion for Latin America folk music.
Peñas have a rich and varied history, and can be quite different from one country to another. In Spain, peñas often celebrate and promote Flamenco culture, while in Perú they tend to focus on what is known as Música Criolla--an array of sub-genres created from the fusion of Spanish, Andean and African cultures, such as huayno, festejo, and marinera. In Chile and Argentina, countries that underwent civic unrest in the 1960s and 1970s, peñas involve music known as Nueva Canción - a genre with roots in Cuba’s revolutionary Nueva Trova.
Many countries, such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay have also celebrated peñas clandestinely to protest torture and repression by the military government in charge. The songs found at peñas give voice to social and political issues and the human condition. They provide social commentary and critique, addressing issues of poverty, anti-imperialism and a Latin American identity that reclaims its Indigenous and African roots. As in the words of Chilean-American author Isabel Allende, “Roots are not in landscape or a country, or a people, they are inside you.”
Please join us and share in what is inside us all.
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