Andy Averbuch and Mireya Ramos

Andy Averbuch and Mireya Ramos. (Image via Americas Society video.)

Music of the Americas: La Frontera

A week of music by U.S.-based artists from Latin America, curated by Alex Rodas-Neira. 

This week of En Casa (At Home) is curated by Alexandra Rodas-Neira, an artist manager and consultant who has worked with companies like Sony Music and Marc Anthony Productions. She currently manages Latin Grammy Award-winners Jorge Glem and Samuel Torres, as well as singer-songwriter Gregorio Uribe and composer and arranger Alex Alvear. Rodas-Neira has worked with Latin Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated C4 Trio, Latin Grammy-winners Flor de Toloache, and the late jazz vocalist and composer Mili Bermejo, among others. She is the founder of CieloMar Entertainment, an artist management and consulting firm based in New York City that represents artists across all genres with a focus on Latinx and world music markets.

Her selections for the week include Ecuadoran singer and songwriter Gerson Eguiguren, alongside four Latina musicians from the United States and Mexico.

Recuerdos (Memories) will be back next week. 

Gerson Eguiguren

Monday, March 1, 10 a.m.

Gerson Eguiguren is an Ecuadorian singer and violinist. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music and has shared stage with important artists like Susana Baca, Joyce Moreno, Milton Nascimento, Pablo Ziegler, Jacob Collier, Beyoncé’s First Band, Tigran Hamasyan, Toninho Horta, Peter Eldridge, Paquito D’Rivera, Richard Clayderman, and Jorge Drexler, among others. He represented Ecuador in several international festivals and competitions.

His most recent project, called AWANA, gathers 40 musicians from more than 27 countries playing Ecuadoran popular and traditional music with new colors and modern arrangements.

From home in Boston, he sent us a version of Augusto Polo Campos’s “Cuando llora mi guitarra” with Andrés Echeverry. 

Gerson Eguiguren and Andrés Echeverry, “Cuando llora mi guitarra”

Renee Goust

Tuesday, March 2, 10 a.m.

Neo-folklore artist Renee Goust, who grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border, writes songs about gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ experience, immigration, and other social justice issues. She seeks to be a proud voice for women, gender non-conforming folks, and queer communities typically underrepresented in Latin American music genres. Her songs “La Cumbia Feminazi” and “Querida Muerte (No Nos Maten)” are used as agents for social change in feminist marches across Latin America. Goust was awarded the NY Foundation of the Art’s Women’s Grant in 2020 and is currently working on her first full-length album, titled Resister.

From Brooklyn, Goust sent us “Diosa,” which she describes as “a bolero love song dedicated to the self. It is an affirmation and a mantra that celebrates feminine divinity and our connection to godliness through nature. In a patriarchal system dominated by norms that aim to constrict women to fit a mold, ‘Diosa’ aims to let every woman know that they are beautiful, divine, valid, and their own personal goddess.”

Renee Goust, “Diosa”

Sonia De Los Santos

Wednesday, March 3, 10 a.m.

Sonia De Los Santos was born with a smile on her face (that's what her mom says) in Monterrey, Mexico, and in 2007 started touring the world, singing in English and Spanish, playing guitar and jarana and lighting up the stage with Grammy Award-winning group Dan Zanes and Friends. In 2015 she released her first solo family music album, titled Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island (Parents' Choice Foundation Gold Award Winner), a collection of songs that reflects her experiences growing up in Mexico, moving to another country, learning about other cultures, and in the process, feeling closer to her own heritage.

De Los Santos was nominated in 2019 for a Latin Grammy for her second family music album, titled ¡Alegría! and has been hailed by Billboard as “one of the Latin children’s music artists you should know” and “Best Latin Children's Music.” She has been featured on NBC’s Visiones, Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live and WXPN’s Kids Corner, among others. She has also made numerous appearances as a singer and guitarist on TV shows like ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, and Sprout’s The Sunny Side Up Show, and has performed with her band in renowned venues and festivals such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, The Getty Museum, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and many more.

She sent us a solo version of her song “La golondrina.”

Sandra De Los Santos, “La golondrina”

Diana Gameros

Thursday, March 4, 10 a.m.

Diana Gameros is a singer, songwriter, composer, and educator from Ciudad Juarez, living In the Bay Area since 2008. Gameros creates music at the borderlands between cultures, languages, and genres. As a formerly undocumented immigrant, Gameros’ music often tells stories of family, migration, and home, and has led her to perform with other prominent performers such as Joan Baez, Taylor Mac, Natalia Lafourcade, and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2017, Gameros wrote a love letter to her homeland with standout renditions of classic Mexican songs on Arrullo, which she released independently.

Gameros writes about Simón Díaz's "El loco Juan Carabina," which she recorded at home in Berkeley:
"I lost my father in 2020. This is a song I sang by his hospital bed to distract him and bring him comfort. My father's favorite pastime was to walk around his hometown plaza, sparking conversations with lovely strangers. He loved music and lyrics that spoke of romance. His eyes would light up and his mouth, though dry from the difficulty of breathing, would draw a gentle smile when I sang "...esperando se la pasa, que como una novia fiel venga la Luna a la plaza para conversar con él..." (he goes about his day waiting for the moment when the moon would come, as a faithful girlfriend, to the plaza to talk to him).

Diana Gameros, "El loco Juan Carabina"

Mireya Ramos and Andy Averbuch

Friday, March 5, 10 a.m.

Mireya Ramos, founder of Flor de Toloache—New York’s only all women mariachi—is a multi-Latin Grammy-nominated and -winning vocalist, violinist, guitarrón player, composer, arranger, and producer. Ramos is known for her entrepreneurial spirit and original ideas. Her versatility, natural improvisational skills and beautiful tone have made her one of the top Latin artists in New York City. Apart from touring with her band, she is involved in She Is the Music, Governor of the Recording Academy NY Chapter, and a SAG-Aftra member. As a singer and violinist, she has appeared at some of the most exciting venues, TV shows, and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Coachella, Bonaroo, Dominican Jazz Festival, Heineken Jazz Fest (Puerto Rico), Vive Latino, Tropicalia, Colombia al Parque, Grand Ole Opry, Kennedy Honors, Sundance Film Festival, Jools Holland Show, The View, Harry Connick Jr., Stephen Colbert, and more.

With her ability to play a variety of genres she has collaborated with world renowned musicians and DJs including John Legend, Miguel, Chris Rock, Dan Auerbach, John Prine, Chrissie Hynde, Lee Fields, Daptone Records, Gaby Moreno, Camilo Lara, Chicano Batman, Sara Bareilles, Alex Cuba, Chucho Valdez, Eddie Palmieri, Making Movies, Victoria La Mala, Robert Glasper, Natalia Lafourcade, Thalia, Lila Downs, Café Tacvba, DJ Louie Vega, DJ Velcro, DJ Bobbito, DJ Tony Touch, Rich Medina, The Beatnuts, and more.

Ramos can be heard on Sara Bareilles' series Little Voice, on her upcoming solo album, and on Flor de Toloache's four releases. Ramos was a member of Coro de Niños de San Juan, Oratoria Acting competitions, and educational projects México Beyond Mariachi and Mariachi Academy NY. She continues to share her experience and knowledge through workshops and educational performances.

From New Zealand, where she has been riding out the pandemic with her partner Andy Averbuch, she sent us a duo version of her song “Regresa ya.”

Mireya Ramos and Andy Averbuch, “Regresa ya”

Funders

The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor MetLife Foundation.

The Spring 2021 Music program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.