Nochebuena En Casa
Hosted by Dan Guerrero
Featuring Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar
Direct from Mexico, Aida Cuevas
With Special Guests Suzanna Guzmán, José “Pepe” Martínez Jr. and Susie García
Produced by Champion City and The Soraya
Online performance no longer available
In what has become a popular Mexican holiday tradition at The Soraya, the lively Nochebuena celebration returns this year as Nochebuena En Casa, an online presentation available to audiences beginning Friday, December 18, 2020 at 5PM. This year’s extraordinary line-up – all of whom are returning artists and part of The Soraya family – includes “The Queen of Ranchera” Aida Cuevas along with Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles, Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar, Suzanna Guzmán, plus José “Pepe” Martínez Jr. and Susie García.
Nochebuena En Casa is being hosted by Dan Guerrero, an award-winning producer of diverse programming for network and cable television and of live arts and culture concert events.
Click the images for more information about the artists.
Dan Guerrero, Host
Dan Guerrero began his multi-faceted career in New York where he moved from East Los Angeles at age twenty to pursue studies in musical theater. He performed off-Broadway, in regional theatre, summer stock and in musical revues at Manhattan’s most fabled cabarets including the Bon Soir in Greenwich Village. He later became a successful theatrical agent with clients in the original casts of countless Broadway musicals in the years from A Chorus Line to Cats, representing Tony Award winners and future Hollywood stars. He returned home to Los Angeles for an equally successful time as a casting director for stage and television before turning his talents to producing and directing.
Television producing credits include the PBS Concert of the Americas co-produced with Quincy Jones, the NBC Vida Awards, a ground-breaking bilingual talk show for comic Paul Rodriguez that aired internationally on Univision, the HBO Latino stand-up comedy series Loco Slam and Navidad en las Americas, a bilingual Christmas special for Buena Vista International that included a best-selling CD release with Ricky Martin, Jose Feliciano and Placido Domingo among the international artists. Directing and staging live arts and culture events include multiple productions at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World in the Opera House, the AmericArtes Gala in the Concert Hall, ¡Viva Cesar Viva Kennedy! in the Eisenhower, Pablo Neruda: A Centenary Celebration in the Terrace Theatre, and Japan! Culture + Hyper Culture in the Rooftop Gallery.
Other live non-broadcast events; the world premiere of Concierto para Mendez for the Los Angeles Opera; the San Jose Mariachi & Mexican Heritage Festival for artistic director Linda Ronstadt, the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, The Maravilla Concert to inaugurate the Roy E. Disney Performing Arts Center at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Placido Domingo Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a Dia de Los Muertos Celebration at Davies Hall with the mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan and the San Francisco Youth Symphony, and the Concerte Chicano et Tex Mex at the Cite de la Musique in Paris, France.
Guerrero also produced Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano, an award-winning documentary on his late father, Chicano music legend Lalo Guerrero. The film aired nationally on PBS stations in the Voces series hosted by Edward James Olmos and included a DVD/CD release. It continues to screen at national and international Film Festivals including the Turks & Caicos International Film Festival where the film garnered awards for Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Song. The Spanish-language subtitled version has screened in Latin America including record attendance in a nine-week run at Cineteca Nacional Mexico in Mexico City.
At the same time, the Renaissance man has crossed the country with his critically acclaimed solo show ¡Gaytino! following the 2006 world premiere run in Los Angeles produced by the Center Theatre Group. He has performed the autobiographical play with music at commercial venues that include the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, New York’s Zipper Theatre, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the historic Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe where his performance was introduced by Governor Bill Richardson. ¡Gaytino! is also a favorite on the university circuit, playing on campuses from Northwestern to North Dakota State, the University of Maryland, and at UCLA www.gaytino.com
Guerrero is an influential activist, speaking out in print, television and radio interviews in English and Spanish on both Latino/Chicano and LGBTQ issues. He is a popular figure on the speaking circuit and has addressed groups and organizations including the National Council of La Raza in Washington, DC, the Southern Arizona LULAC Youth Leadership Conference in Tucson, the California Teachers Association Conference in Palm Springs and the National Education Association conference in Washington, DC among many others.
His presentation, Activism & the Arts: A Life Journey has been hailed for its portrayal of the intersection of the Chicano and LGBTQ social and political movements and the interconnected lives of artists and activists who fueled the civil rights struggles of the past several decades. The talk has been presented at UCSB, UCLA, UT Austin, Cal State Northridge, the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix and at a LULAC conference in Dallas among others. The Smithsonian Latino Center and the Human Rights Campaign also brought it to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC for a special presentation.
And he’s taken his activist voice to the airwaves by hosting a bi-weekly radio broadcast on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. The Gaytino Report interviews on the long-running IMRU program features prominent LGBTQ Latino authors, educators, visual and performing artists, politicians and activists from all walks of life.
The Dan Guerrero Collection on Latino Entertainment and the Arts has been established in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and The Dan Guerrero Research Collection is housed at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center that includes his oral history recorded for their LGBT and Mujeres Initiative project. Most recently, the Dan Guerrero Gaytino collection became part of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.
Dan Guerrero, Host
The “Queen of Ranchera Music,” Aida Cuevas, returns to The Soraya for her third visit celebrating 45 years of performing. Cuevas shows off her stunning vocals in a tribute concert to Linda Ronstadt.
With 39 albums to her credit in a career spanning more than four decades, Cuevas is an iconic figure in Mexico, esteemed for her unswerving devotion to mariachi music and her mastery of its demanding, near-operatic vocal styles. In 2018, she became the first female singer in the traditional mariachi genre to win a Grammy Award.
Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles
Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles was founded in 2011 by Kareli Montoya. The dance company has distinguished itself as the nation’s premier Mexican folk dance company. They have performed in world-class venues such as the Nokia Theater, Greek Theater, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and the Staples Center. The dance company has accompanied Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, world-famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and Mariachi Divas. Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles has shared the stage with Lila Downs, Beatriz Adriana, Paquita la del Barrio, and Armenian pop star Lilit Hovhannisyan. This amazing dance troop is the first folklórico company in the country to accompany symphonies: such as the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra and the Marina del Rey Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by Frank Fetta.
Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles
Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar
Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar
Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar has delighted audiences with dynamic musicianship and live stage presence for the past twenty years. Founded in 1994 by Cuellar, Mariachi Garibaldi began as a privately-run community youth organization. Over the years, Mariachi Garibaldi has evolved into one of California’s premier mariachi ensembles, led by Jimmy “El Pollo” Cuellar, son of Jaime Cuéllar. Composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, El Pollo is a three-time Grammy Award-nominated and three-time Grammy Award Winner Garibaldi has accompanied Yolanda del Rio, Pablo Montero, Mercedes Castro, Humberto Herrera, Beatriz Adriana, Alejandro Fernandez, and Juan Gabriel, among many others. They have shared the stage with Mariachi Los Camperos de Jesus Guzmán, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, and Mariachi Imperial de Mexico.
Suzanna Guzmán has appeared on the stages of many of America’s leading opera companies during the past two decades, including The Metropolitan Opera (Maddalena in Rigoletto and Flora in La Traviata), Los Angeles Opera (39 productions), San Diego Opera (seven productions), Washington National Opera (six productions), Houston Grand Opera (five productions), The Dallas Opera (five productions). Other companies with whom she has appeared include Opera Montpellier, Opera Geneva, Opera de Nice, the Edinburgh Festival, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Orlando's opera companies. She has recently returned to the Spoleto, U.S.A. Festival for Michael Nyman’s Facing Goya, which she repeated in Singapore and sang Madame Rocher in Dead Man Walking for Townsend Opera Players. She sang Candelas in El Amor Brujo for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and recently appeared with Opera Santa Barbara as Donna Rosa in Il Postino.
She is also no stranger to the world of musical theater, appearing in leading and character roles in equity productions throughout the U.S.A. of works such as The King and I, Man of La Mancha, South Pacific, Blood Wedding, Show Boat, Dioa Inanztin, and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Ms. Guzmán has also been a noted host on television and radio in New York. Her programs include KCET’s “Open Call,” K-Mozart, “Sunday Evening Opera,” and LA Opera Live as Producer and Writer. Her television credits include “CSI: New York,” and she has also appeared in several feature films.
José “Pepe” Martínez Jr. and Susie García
Suzanne Garcia is better known as "Susie" to all her fans, friends, and family, If you are not laughing, crying, smiling, or dancing when she is on stage, then she doesn't think she has done her job. With a keen ear for music, she began playing the violin as a child. In 1991, Susie made her first appearance at the Hollywood Bowl for a "Tribute to Women in Mariachi.' She would return to the Hollywood Bowl three more times as a member of Mariachi Las Adelitas (1997) as well as Mariachi Las Alondras(1998, 1999). In 1999, Susie helped pioneer one of the first modern all-female run and directed mariachi bands in Los Angeles by the name of Mariachi Divas. During her 9-year stint with the Divas, Susie performed at countless concerts and music festivals and received her first American Grammy award for “Best Regional Mexican Album” in 2008. She started Las Colibri in 2009 and has since led the group to become one of the premiere female mariachi ensembles in Los Angeles. Susie is a musician at heart, but is equally proud of her work in the field of educational publishing and pursuing her education goals with a B.A. in Spanish from UCLA and a Master's in Counseling from Chapman University. Since 2012 she has produced eight successful shows at the John Anson Ford Theatre, has consulted on various other productions, and most recently is enjoying her growing family and performing alongside her husband Pepe Martinez Jr.
For more than 30 years, Jose “Pepe” Martinez Junior has lived on-stage inspired by the gift of music introduced to him as a young boy. His biggest teacher and mentor was his own father, most affectionately known as “Don Pepe,' who institutionalized Mariachi Music and led Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán to international stardom over his 40 years of musical direction. Pepe Jr. has been trained by the best, has performed alongside countless world-class artists, and has the most prestigious venues around the globe. With over 25 years as a leading member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, he is now setting his sights on new horizons as the director of Mariachi Ángeles and using his talents and passion to ensure that the next generation of mariachi musicians receive authentic instruction and are inspired to keep the tradition alive!
José “Pepe” Martínez Jr. and Susie García
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