Community Music Center’s World Premier of “El Son de la Misión,” Celebrates Rich Mission Culture as District Faces Rapid Change
For Immediate Release
HPA Strategic Communications
• “El Son de la Misión,” an original work commissioned by Community Music Center, examines the rich history of the Mission District through music, featuring original songs that reflect pivotal social and artistic movements in the neighborhood’s past and present.
• “El Son de la Misión” will be performed on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 20, at 7 p.m. at the Brava Theater Center in the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 16, 2016 – Community Music Center today announced its upcoming March world premier of “El Son de la Misión,” an original work commissioned to celebrate the rich history of the Mission District through original songs that reflect pivotal social and artistic movements in the neighborhood’s past, performed by artists of the present. As part of the CMC’s 95th anniversary, “El Son” is a celebration of the neighborhood where the Center has offered music lessons to all people, regardless of financial means, since 1921.
Drawing on fifty years of changing musical styles and created by renowned local musician John Calloway in concert with fellow Mission artists, including iconic storyteller Carlos Barón, “El Son” celebrates all the Mission has given to San Francisco at the very moment the district’s future stands at a crossroads.
“Creating ‘El Son de la Misión’ has been like coming home,” said John Calloway. “Working with fellow Mission artists and cultural leaders has been inspiring, and has reminded us all of what makes the Mission such a powerful community and potent artistic voice. “El Son” is a living homage to our community.”
“El Son” brings together four generations of Mission District artists and organizers, sharing memories and creative vision as a way to both pass on traditions and create new possibilities together. John Calloway grew up musically with the Afro Cuban and salsa music groups of the late 1970s and early 1980s. As an educator in the San Francisco School District, at San Francisco State University, director of the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, and long time collaborator with CMC’s Mission District Young Musicians Program, Calloway has played an integral role in training and shaping young musicians’ lives.
“El Son” includes current and former students of CMC’s Mission District Young Musicians Program and those of other Mission district arts groups such as Loco Bloco. Other leading Mission artists such as Fogo Na Roupa, Roberto Hernandez and new generation ensembles Bayonics and Soltron will perform in “El Son”. Visual artist Carlos “Kookie” Gonzalez created artwork for the piece to visually represent the neighborhood.
This backdrop makes “El Son” not only a creative project that will result in a world premiere of a new musical work but also an important thread in preserving and passing on to new generations neighborhood history and culture.
“The Mission district has a rich and compelling history of arts and cultural activism,” said Christopher Borg, Executive Director, Community Music Center. “Today, the Mission district is at a critical juncture, with rapid change happening all around us. Preserving neighborhood history and the cultures which make our district so rich is vital, and we are proud to work with John and our community’s artistic leaders to record our district’s unique voices and powerful living history.”
“El Son de la Misión” will be performed on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 20, at 7 p.m. at the Brava Theater Center in the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. General admission is $12, with a door price of $15. To buy tickets, please visit www.brava.org or contact www.sfcmc.org for more information.
“El Son” is supported by the Creative Work Fund. Community partners include Acción Latina/El Tecolote, Brava Theater Center, Mission High School Bear Society, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Machete Records, The Mexican Museum and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
About San Francisco’s Community Music Center: Founded in 1921, San Francisco’s Community Music Center (CMC), a Bay Area nonprofit, is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast making high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial means. CMC, based in the Mission District, was established to “be a provider of music that is not art for art’s sake, but art for life’s sake.” CMC serves more than 23,000 people each year, including more than 2,400 students of all ages, ethnicities and income levels who enjoy music lessons, programs and concerts at no or low cost. Learn more about CMC at www.sfcmc.org and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.