Los Cenzontles | Provided Photo
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Free Outdoor Concert Honors Mexican Independence Day and Farmworkers
Watsonville Film Festival, Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy and the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts celebrate Mexican Independence Day and the region’s essential farmworkers with Celebrando la Cultura, a free outdoor concert in Watsonville City Plaza on Friday, September 17 at 6pm.
The concert features performances by Los Cenzontles, Los Originarios del Plan and the Watsonville-based Estrellas de Esperanza. A virtual showcase of Los Cenzontles’ films, including a screening of the award-winning documentary Linda and the Mockingbirds, is available from September 15 through 18 via the Watsonville Film Festival.
Celebrando la Cultura celebrates the creative impact of Mexican American music and dance in the region, as well as the essential labor of agricultural workers in the Pajaro Valley. The concert coincides with the weekly Watsonville farmers market and features traditional folk music and dance performances by Los Cenzontles, Los Originarios del Plan, and Estrellas de Esperanza youth folkloric dance group. Salud Para La Gente will provide a mobile vaccination clinic to attendees.
“We are thrilled to partner with Los Cenzontles and McEvoy Arts to present this beautiful program,” says Consuelo Alba, director and co-founder of the Watsonville Film Festival. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Mexican-American culture, honor our farmworkers for their essential work and build bridges between urban and rural communities.”
As part of the celebration, the Watsonville Film Festival will host a virtual showcase of documentary films featuring Los Cenzontles, (“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language). Screening September 15–18, Linda and The Mockingbirds (2020) pairs Linda Ronstadt with Jackson Browne and a busload of Cenzontles to journey to Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born. The film details Ronstadt’s long friendship with Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American and musician who founded Los Cenzontles thirty years prior. A Zoom panel discussion about Los Cenzontles’ extensive short film catalogue with Rodriguez and invited directors is scheduled for Thursday, September 16 at 6pm.
“Celebrando la Cultura and the Watsonville Film Festival program delivers the power of traditional Mexican folk music to stage and screen,” says Rodriguez. “The concert is Los Cenzontles’ first live appearance together in more than a year—we’re looking forward to sharing the dignity and beauty of this traditional music with families in Watsonville.”
Virtual Screening: Linda and the Mockingbirds
September 15–18, 2021 | www.watsonvillefilmfest.org
Zoom Panel: Los Cenzontles and Filmmakers in Conversation
Thursday, September 16, 2021 • 6pm | www.watsonvillefilmfest.org
Celebrando la Cultura: Los Cenzontles in Watsonville
Friday, September 17, 2021 • 6pm | City Plaza • 358 Main St, Watsonville, CA
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