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Sunday, September 27, 2009
Brownsville Heritage Complex- Lydia Mendoza
Brownsville Historical Association
The Brownsville Heritage Complex hosts 1st Sunday Music and Merienda Series: Remembering Lydia Mendoza
BROWNSVILLE, August 2009-The Brownsville Heritage Complex, in historic downtown Brownsville, invites the public to 1st Sunday Music and Merienda Series, a musical lecture program presented by Joe and Rosa Perez of Rumbo al'Anacua on Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 2 p.m. The event is free for BHA members and $2 for non-members. The event is sponsored in part by Texas Commission on the Arts.
The Music and Merienda series is a monthly music lecture incorporating stories, poems, and socio-historic commentary with vintage Mexican roots music performed in the rustic ranchero duet style. Topics will vary each month. The Sunday music presentation coincides with the hour of "la merienda," an afternoon gathering for coffee and pastry that is a long time South Texas tradition.
October's series is called "Remembering Lydia Mendoza" A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of the Arts, Lydia Mendoza was the first Mexican-American woman to have her music recorded in the United States. She became an idol among working class audiences who called her "La Cancionera de los Pobres" (The Songstress of the Poor).
Natives of Premont , Texas , Joe and Rosa currently reside in Olmito on the outskirts of Brownsville . They have lived in the Rio Grande Valley since 1980, relocating from Austin to accept teaching jobs in the border area, first in McAllen and then in Brownsville.
Joe and Rosa perform as a duet they have named Rumbo al' Anacua in honor of godparents who loved music and always found time to relax under an old anacua tree in their backyard in Kingsville , Texas . The duet performs old música ranchera along with blues and folk music that include original compositions.
Pieces of original poetry are woven throughout the presentation. With its interpretations of música ranchera, Rumbo al' Anacua evokes a rustic style that speaks of musical heritage as it has been preserved among people living north of the Rio Grande .
A former drafting and English teacher, Joe works as a technical writer, and volunteers at the Narciso Martínez Cultural Arts Center . Rosa taught English and Mexican-American Studies at Hanna High School in Brownsville from 1984 until her retirement in 2001. She is a former Board Member of the Narciso Martínez Cultural Arts Center , and is still an active volunteer. Both were also volunteers at Casa de Cultura Carlotta Petrina in Brownsville during its initial stages of operation.
The Brownsville Heritage Complex is located at 1325 E. Washington Street and is managed by the Brownsville Historical Association. For more information on BHA programs and exhibits please call 956-541-5560
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