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¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! Offering New Season of Free Concerts

Five weekends of family events begin Sept. 16-18 and run through April 20-22

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is gearing up for its new season will five weekends of free family events.

The lineup will include Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños del Son, Valente Pastor, Los Soneros del Tesechoacán, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano and the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company.

Performances will begin at 7 p.m. Fridays at Isla Vista School, 6875 El Colegio Road in Goleta (805.893.4979); at 7:30 Saturdays in the auditorium at Guadalupe City Hall, 918 Obispo St. in Guadalupe (805.343.2939); and at 7 p.m. Sundays in the Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High School, 721 E. Cota St. in Santa Barbara (805.884.4087x7).

Guests will be invited to talk to the artists and take photos at receptions after each concert. Doors will open a half-hour before the shows start.

» Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños del Son, Los Angeles’ hottest salsa big band, will open the season with free concerts Sept. 16-18. Originally from Costa Rica, Chino was the lead singer in L.A.‘s well-known salsa band Son Mayor for many years. Supported by Dimelo Records, he formed Los Dueños del Son with his brother Cesar, master timbalero, and the band leader. Trombones and flute add heat and spice to the great percussion and vocals on their Dimelo releases, “Pura Vida” and “Maria,” which have launched the band into the busiest schedule on the L.A. salsa scene.

» Valente Pastor will perform traditional ranchera in concerts Oct. 21-23 backed by a quartet of violin, reqinto, vihuela and guitarron. He began his career as a soloist with a women’s mariachi ensemble in the Mexican state of Jalisco. He moved to television at the invitation of comedian Eduardo Manzano, later becoming a regular on popular shows such as Siempre en Domingo, México Mágico, Hoy mismo, Pacatelas, Ándale en vivo, Animal Nocturno, Bohemios and many others. His film credits include performances with Yolanda del Río, Mario Almada, Lina Santos Irma Dorantes, Carlos Ignacio el Cuervo and many others. He has recorded for RCA Victor, Golden and Continental, including 15 albums as one of the Three Mexican Tenors with Alberto Ángel “El Cuervo” and Humberto Cravioto.

» Composed of three generations of musicians, singers and dancers, Los Soneros del Tesechoacán will perform traditional son jarocho from the region of the Tesechoacán River, which marks the border between the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. The group was the subject of the 2007 documentary The Sound of the River directed by Inti Cordera. Los Soneros del Tesechoacán’s Jan. 20-22, 2012, visit will be a unique occasion for Santa Barbara audiences to experience performance and share the culture of these masters who rarely visit the United States.

» For more than 50 years Los Camperos de Nati Cano has performed worldwide featuring the finest mariachi musicians from Mexico and the United States. A traditionalist and a visionary, Cano has both mirrored and shaped the history of mariachi music. His career took him first to Guadalajara, Mexico, and then to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, he and Los Camperos emerged as a major driving force of mariachi music in the United States. In 1989, Cano received the National Heritage Fellowship of the National Endowment for the Arts. Show dates will be March 23-25, 2012.

» Los Angeles’ premiere Mexican folk dance company, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, was founded by Jose Vences in September 2003 with the intention of advancing the field of Mexican folk ballet and building the public’s appreciation for the diversity and depth of Mexican culture by presenting high-quality dance productions. ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! previously hosted Grandeza Mexicana in February 2008. See them again April 20-22, 2012.

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is a consortium of the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Isla Vista School and UCSB Arts & Lectures. The program brings free music and dance representing important traditions to neighborhood venues, schools and community organizations throughout Santa Barbara County. It is funded by the James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Incredible Children’s Art Network, the UCSB Office of Education Partnerships, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, the Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund and several business sponsors.

— Cathy Oliverson is the manager of performing arts and educational outreach for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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