ARATANI WORLD SERIES presents
Caminos y Canciones roads & songs of the Gonzalez Family
Sat May 28. 7pm
Aratani Theatre. 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles CA 90012
Tickets $15-35.Group discount $25. Student $15
T:213-680-3700/ firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com
Siblings Claudia, Martha and Gabriel Gonzalez are each established in the LA music scene, however, they seldom perform together. For Caminos y Canciones they are preparing a concert that features the classic songs they grew up with – with roots going into the history of popular Mexican music- this concert is sure to move and delight you- it is not to be missed.
Born to Mexican immigrants from Guadalajara Jalisco, the Familia Gonzalez is held in highest esteem in the Los Angeles communiy. Their Mexican and Chicano sounds cross over multiple music scenes. Gabriel is an acclaimed vocalist in the thriving L.A Salsa scene, and longtime collaborator of QUETZAL. Martha is the lead vocalist, songwriter and percussionist for East LA activist band QUETZAL. In 2013, QUETZAL won a Grammy (Latin Rock) for their groundbreaking album Imaginaries. The bold, fearless, and feminist voice of sister Claudia is acclaimed for her songwriting and powerful group CAVA. Considered an institution in East L.A. the Gonzalez siblings share inspiring lyrics, gorgeous, expert musicianship and a multi-genre musical journey that is an evolving synthesis of Mexican son jarocho, boleros, rock and blues. Curated by Betto Arcos
On May 28, 2016 Martha, Cava and Gabriel invite us to relive their childhood through song in Caminos y Canciones of the Gonzalez Family. Out of many possibilities, the siblings selected pieces that hold a special memories. To tie the pieces together CAVA has developed a narration that recounts some specifics of this journey. While curated for personal reasons, audiences will hear the music of a great era of Mexican music. Martha believes these years were a time when the sentimento of Mexican music spoke to the diversity of regional music in Mexico. Before the domination of big business, poets and songwriters worked independently and were inspired by the ethos of various regions, places and times. Caminos y Canciones of the Gonzalez Family is a reunion concert of three remarkable artists. While their musical paths have diverged, they will share with us the magic that era of innocence, when music was their life and Mexico felt so much closer to the United States.
Martha Gonzalez “As children we were not aware that we were in the midst of Mexico’s greatest mariachi, vocal and theatrical stars and we did not realize that the songs we sang and listened to were some of the greatest Mexican music ever written. Performing was who we were and when the lights went on we were all business. At the same time the Million Dollar Theater and all the theaters we performed in were also places to explore, run around and play”
Martha Gonzalez is the middle child and during her elementary school years was the singing partner to younger sister CAVA and older brother Gabriel. Her childhood was filled with Mexican language, music and culture. Spanish was spoken in the home and every summer they traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico. She remembers her father teaching them Mexican songs and harmonies on those long drives to visit their grandmother in Mexico. The only times they were aware they were Americans was when their cousins in Mexico would ask about what life was like in America.
Like her siblings, Martha’s earliest memories are as a performer within the Mexican music scene in California. Featured on the stage alongside some of Mexico’s greatest bands and vocalists she performed on a touring circuit hitting towns such as San Diego, Stockton, Modesto, Pico Rivera, etc. Martha considers these formative years as a foundation for future careers as songwriter and lead vocal for Quetzal, her work as an activist, her B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and her eventual doctorate in Feminism from the University of Washington, Seattle. From a child star to academic, today Martha is an Assistant Professor at Scripps College, Pomona.
While most children were beginning school, Gabriel was a part of the 1970’s Mexican “Caravanas” featuring Rancheras, Mariachi, Conjunto and Grupera bands. Little Gabriel Gonzalez performed on these 20-30 city tours that were produced by Arnulfo Delgado. These ambitious concert tours were designed especially for West Coast Mexican immigrants, indeed Caravanas were the only professional live music entertainment available at the time. Considered a musical prodigy with uncanny charisma Gabriel shared the bill with as many as 10-15 of Mexico’s top singers and musicians- the likes of the great Antonio Aguilar “El Charro de Mexico”, Aida Cuevas “the Queen of Ranchera Music”, the iconic band Los Bukis (from Michoacán), and the celebrated comedian Resortes, to name a few. By age 8 Gabriel not only recorded his first album, he starred in the hit Mexican film Mojado de nacimiento (1981) portraying a child left behind in Mexico as his father went to seek work in the USA- never to return. Among other credits in 1993 he was in the iconic film La Vida Loca.
Gabriel is an internationally known and accomplished actor, singer, songwriter, arranger and has toured with Cubanismo, Aerosmith, Lila Downs, Kid Rock, Taj Majal , Run DMC, Los Lobos, Ozamatli, Ziggy Marley, Julieta Venegas, Jaguares, Blind Boys From Alabama just to name a few. He is also quite versatile when it comes to musical styles. He can produce, write and perform in all of the following genres: pop, salsa, ranchero, cumbia, bolero, guapango, Son, bachcata, plena, merengue, rock and fusion. His appeal crosses age and cultural boundaries and his witty stage presence has brought audiences to their feet across the world. He is joined by his talented sisters Martha and Claudia for a musical retrospective of their early years in music-adding to the depth of implications, they will be joined on stage by their children.
CAVA- Growing up Mexican in LA Cava says her story is not just a Mexican story, it is the story of LA, roots that over time broadened into the cultural mix and diversity that is Los Angeles.
Claudia Gonzalez-Miranda (aka Cava) grew up with Mexican arts all around her. From the age of six she sang classic Rancheras with her older sister and brother on the Million Dollar Theater for adoring crowds. Worshiping her charismatic older brother Gabriel as he held the spotlight and singing along side Martha-her older sister, Cava felt sheltered and protected. While coached in Mexican music by their father Carlos, Cava remembers being taught harmonies by older sister Martha. After years of touring to small and large towns in California with the Mexican circuit called Caravanas and appearing on Mexican television talent shows, the Gonzalez children credit their next stage of arts education to LA Unified public schools.
With the constant support of their mother, Martha Romero Hernandez, the children were first taken under the wings of Mrs Stringos-Arias of Lorena Street Elementary School in Boyle Heights . In these formative years Mrs. Stringos engaged the Gonzalez children in a series of school musicals and theater productions. She gave them training, encouragement, sought opportunities for them to develop skills that complemented their singing. Mrs. Stringos sought and secured agents that would lead to professional and commercial contracts. By the time Claudia was ten she was cast as Anna Maria Del Gato alongside sister Martha (who played Susana Del Gato) in “a.k.a. Pablo.” Produced by Norman Lear, this Mexican-American sticom starred Paul Rodriguez. The ambition was to stand alongside Lear’s other block busters such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford and Son, etc. Claudia went on to be bused to Bancroft Middle School Arts Magnet in Hollywood to study modern and jazz dance with Miss Van Minnen and theater with Mr Barry Bialik. Claudia went on as a dance major at the LA County HS for the arts. LAUSD provided exceptional training for Cava and her siblings.
Cava may have been the youngest and most reticent of the siblings but today she fully embraces her calling in the arts. In 2006 she formed her own band (also named Cava) and is a powerful charismatic performing artist. Her music is not confined to any single genre and the band has a list of tags that include-latin/afro-cuban/ska/soul/funk/salsa/rock/cumbia/taiko. On May 28th at 7pm Cava joins her sister and brother to tell their story in music Caminos y Canciones of the Gonzalez Family-Roads & Songs of the Gonzalez family. Their journey was bitter and sweet, the songs they sang were from Mexico, yet they were young American children whose roots were established and confidence built at a very early age. It may be a story of a Mexican family with music from Mexico, yet Cava believes that the struggles, the joys, the confusion, and the determination that marked her youth is a universal story that can be transcribed to countless other youth. Caminos y Canciones of the Gonzalez Family will artistically make the point that everyone is transformed by time and experience and in the end, we share and celebrate this space, this city, called Los Angeles.