João Luiz (Roey Yohai Studios)

João Luiz (Roey Yohai Studios)


Music of the Americas: En Casa and Recuerdos

By Sebastián Zubieta

Music of the Americas presents two new online series: En Casa and Recuerdos.

With musicians and audience members staying indoors,  Music of the Americas  presents two new online series to bring our performances into homes across the world:  En Casa (At Home), featuring original performances from musicians from around the Americas who frequently perform with us, and Recuerdos (Memories), weekly releases of memorable past performances at the Americas Society, some for the first time.

Follow Music of the Americas on  Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter  to watch and receive notifications of all the performances. We will also be publishing weekly calendars here on our website, including all the videos, so you can catch up on any performances you might have missed.

April 6–9: João Luiz

New York-based Brazilian guitarist João Luiz has been a good friend of Music of the Americas since his debut on our stage with the Brasil Guitar Duo in 2007.

He has been on our stage many times as a soloist and with other artists, and he never fails to delight our audience with his musicality. We are happy that he is the first artist in our new series with four pieces he recently recorded at home, including works by J.S. Bach, Egberto Gismonti, and other guitar favorites.

Brasil Guitar Duo perform Marco Pereira's Bate-Coxa

April 9: Early Music

The GEMAS series, which Americas Society has been presenting in collaboration with Gotham Early Music Scene since 2012, is dedicated to early music from the hemisphere, and to the musicians from the region that bring this repertoire to life. Uruguayan-American soprano Nell Snaidas (my musical sister from the Eastern shore of the River Plate; Arriba la Celeste!) joins me in curating it, and we both occasionally perform in the series. During the 18th century, the Jesuits developed a web of towns (called Reducciones) in the Bolivian lowlands. As it was customary, religious arts, and music in particular, were greatly developed in these unique communities. The Jesuits were expelled from the region in 1767, but the towns persisted, and a lot of the music that was used in them survived to our days.

The first piece in this week's Recuerdos video is the lovely Zuipaqui Santa María which comes from this musical collection, one of the largest gathering of baroque music in the hemisphere. In addition to its beauty, this piece, in the local chiquitano language, illustrates the musical miscegenation that took place in the Missions, which mixed European and local elements. 

The video continues with a track by the Spanish duo of soprano Rocío de Frutos and harpist Manuel Vilas, who performed a recital of Peruvian baroque music, some of in Quechua, that was composed as part of the Spanish push to evangelize the population around Cusco during colonial times. The final track is a short Portuguese piece that was part of Ars Longa de La Habana's debut concert a few years ago at Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, which we presented in collaboration with Music Before 1800. 

April 10: J.P. Jofre

J.P. Jofre is a virtuoso bandoneonist and composer (and neighbor in Harlem) from San Juan, Argentina. His last appearance at Music of the Americas was in the concert we organized a year ago with the Gregorio Uribe Big Band during Carnegie Hall's Migrations festival. The piece he played for us, To Fred, is dedicated to the memory of his good friend, composer, and aurranger Fred Sturm.