Emilia Borlone and Emma Platais.

Emilia Borlone and Emma Platais. (Image via Americas Society video)

Music of the Americas: A New Year of En Casa

We start the year with videos recorded in New York, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City and release the video of Caña Dulce y Caña Brava in our hall.

En Casa starts 2024 with videos by Ecuadoran bassist Carlos Mena, Mexican/Brazilian singer-songwriter Emma Platais, and Russian/Argentine violinist and singer Alex Musatvo. We close the week with the video of Caña Dulce y Caña Brava's concert on our series in October 2023. 

En Casa: Carlos Mena and Cyrus von Hochstetter

Monday, January 22

Born in Quito, Ecuadoran bassist and composer Carlos Mena comes from a family of professional musicians. He began playing music professionally as a percussionist when he was 7 years old with acclaimed folk musicians from South America and soon discovered his passion for the bass. As a teenager, he received a scholarship to study in Switzerland at the Zürich University of the Arts, where he earned his bachelor of arts in music and pedagogy. He continued his studies in New York City, where he received his master of arts in music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Carlos is a multi-instrumentalist who plays electric bass, acoustic bass, guitar, piano, and small percussion. He is an accomplished soloist, arranger, music director, and composer and has become a highly sought-after performer, playing alongside many renowned musicians in New York City and abroad. 

From New York, and accompanied by pianist Cyrus von Hochstetter, Mena sent us this chamber music version of "Brisa de Montaña," an original song combining the albazo, a traditional Ecuadoran rhythm, with jazz harmonies, and featuring lyrics that speak of the desire to thrive in the face of adversity.

En Casa: Emma Platais and Emilia Borlone

Tuesday, January 23, 10 am

Emma Platais is an intuitive singer-songwriter who creates sweet and sensual melodies straight from the heart. Shaped by her multicultural experiences around the world, Emma discovered the power of her voice while reciting vedic mantras during her yoga training and subsequently started recording her original compositions.

From Mexico City, she sent us this version of "Winter Waters," with Emilia Borlone on guitar, which appears in her latest release.

En Casa: Alex Musatov

Wednesday, January 24, 10 am

Russian violinist, singer, and composer Alex Musatov has been based in Buenos Aires since 2011, working with artists working in a variety of styles, including tango (la Fernández Fierro, Noelia Sinkunas, Astillero), rock (David Lebon), and folk music (Tremor, Luzmila Carpio, Julieta Laso), among many others. His anti-academic way of playing the violin is rooted in his need to explore the many facets of the instrument and he has created a repertoire of songs for violin and voice. His first solo album, Canciones del otro mundo, was released in 2019, and he recently premiered the EP "Passages Vol.4" on the Shika Shika label.

From Buenos Aires, Musatov sent us "Despedida," a song written by Alfredo Rubin, a leading voice in contemporary tango. This solo version is based on the Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro's 2008 recording. Shortly after arriving in Buenos Aires, Musatov attended a show by the orchestra that started with "Despedida" and told himself that he wanted to be on stage with that band playing that song, which would happen a few years later. 


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

The Spring 2024 Music program is also supported, in part, by the Howard Gilman Foundation, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, by the MexAm Cultural Foundation, by the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and by The Augustine Foundation. 

New York Council on the Arts             Howard Gilman Foundation