New York – February 28, 2022 – Pregones/PRTT’s March Is Music (MIM) series returns with a lineup of nine classical, jazz, folk, and fusion concerts featuring locally and internationally acclaimed artists in the Bronx, a.k.a. “El Condado de la música” (The Borough of Music”). MIM 2022’s first concert—Viva La Música—kicks off a two-year collaboration between The Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries and Pregones/PRTT Musical Director Desmar Guevara, who also serves as chief curator along with Alvan Colón Lespier, Associate Artistic Director of Pregones/PRTT. The monthlong series is dedicated in loving memory of Héctor “Tito” Matos (1968-2022), a giant of Puerto Rican plena percussion and culture.
Performances run Fridays through Sunday from March 4-27 live at Pregones Theater. FREE and low-cost tickets ranging from $5-$15 are available at www.pregonesprtt.org. The complete concert schedule and event description are below.
March Is Music builds on a commitment to present artists of the highest caliber in The Bronx. This multi-genre series showcases the range and vitality of today’s varied musical cultures. Curated by seasoned Latinx artists, series concerts and dialogues draw links between Music, dance, and popular culture, highlight ruptures and continuities in form and content and make room for intercultural fusion and exchange. Bronx Piano Sundays, taking place during March, this subseries shines a spotlight on one of Pregones/PRTT’s prized possessions: a Steinway & Sons grand piano. Stellar pianists are invited to perform works of all styles and eras on this magnificent concert hall instrument. Showtime is 4 pm, and admission is always FREE.
In part, MIM 2022 is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. For a complete list of funders, please visit www.pregonesprtt.org.
Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is an award-winning acting and music ensemble, multidiscipline arts presenter, and owner/steward of bilingual arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Our mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creating and performing original plays and musicals, exchanging and partnering with other artists of merit, and engaging diverse audiences. Our year-round programs offer attractive and affordable opportunities for arts access and participation to NYC residents and visitors alike.
MIM 2022 CALENDAR AND PROGRAM DETAILS
Friday, March 4, 8PM – VIVA LA MÚSICA (International Jazz & Fusión)
A live celebration kicking off a two-year international collaboration between The Rolling Stones’ saxophonist Tim Ries, pianist and Pregones/PRTT’s Musical Director Desmar Guevara, and high-octane NYC-based artists including vocalist and violinist Jasia Ries, guitarist Rez Abbasi, bassist Álvaro Benavides, drummer Jerome Jennings, percussionist Anthony Carrillo, and Flamenco masters Sonia Olla and Ismael Fernández. The ensemble will jam and preview works in development inspired by real and imagined travels and adventures. Realized in association with Netherlands-based producer Arno Brouwer, this is an exclusive and intimate first look at a spectacular new creative exchange!
Sunday, March 6, 4 pm – NELSON OJEDA + FRIENDS (Classical | Bronx Piano Sundays)
Nelson Ojeda Valdés is a celebrated pianist who has been a soloist with the Pacific Symphony, Southeast Symphony, California State University Fullerton Wind Ensemble, and Lloyd Rodgers’ Diverse Instrument Ensemble. For this special concert titled Women of Romanticism, Nelson will be joined on stage by fellow pianist Christopher Bradshaw, soprano Stefanie Izzo, and cellist Kate Dillingham. The program highlights historically underrepresented musical works by Clara Wieck Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Josephine Lang, and Ethel Smyth.
Saturday, March 12, 8 pm – ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN + BRONX ARTS ENSEMBLE (New Music)
Creator of the massive and triumphant Chorus of the Forest installation for the New York Botanical Garden, and winner of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize, composer, and multi-instrumentalist performer Angélica Negrón joins the also formidable Bronx Arts Ensemble in a much-awaited concert program featuring Marejada for string quartet and other original works. This MIM concert was first announced in spring 2020, proving that good things come to those who wait! “Wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR Q2). “Mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music).
Sunday, March 13, 4 pm – CHANTAL BALESTRA (Classical Bronx Piano Sundays)
Praised for her “confidence and sound technique” (South Florida Classical Review), Italian/ Swiss pianist Chantal Balestri is a versatile musician performing worldwide at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wiener Saal (Austria), Sala Piatti (Italy), Harbin Concert Hall (China), and Kaisersaal der Historisches Kaufhaus (Germany). She will perform compositions by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Liszt.
Friday, March 18, 8PM – PLENA SENTADA FOR TITO MATOS (Afro Puerto Rican)
Para cantarle a un Plenero – For one night only, Pregones Theater transforms into a gathering space for practitioners of the traditional Puerto Rican musical forms Bomba y Plena. They come together to celebrate, shine a light, and honor Héctor René “Tito” Matos Otero (1968-2022), Master percussionist, teacher, and honor the life, legacy, and influential voice composer, and cultural activist. During his time here, he forever changed the course of NuyoRican Music. Members of renowned ensembles Los Pleneros de la 21, Alma Moyó, and Los Hijo ‘e Plena play their panderos and barriles to sing songs and raise memory from Plena Lamento to soul purifying Bomba, in reverence of Tito Matos… cherished Plenero, gone before his time. This memorial event is Livestream Only. There will be no in-person audience — please join the musicians via FREE broadcast.
Saturday, March 19, 8 pm – RICARDO PONS (Latin Jazz)
A soulful reed player known for his skilled mastery of the saxophone and the flute, Ricardo Pons is also a gifted arranger, composer, and teacher, musical director of contemporary Bomba y Plena sensation Viento de Agua (with Tito Matos), and former musical director of Pregones Theater. He has worked with legends like Chick Corea, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Mario Bauzá, Willie Colón, and Celia Cruz. He has played many of the great Jazz and Folk festivals worldwide, from Sydney to Chicago to New York. Now based in Puerto Rico, Pons travels to his former creative home in The Bronx to perform new and recent compositions for Latin Jazz ensemble.
Sunday, March 20, 4 pm – GABRIELLE CHOU (Classical Bronx Piano Sundays)
Gabrielle Chou is an NYC-based pianist and violinist seeking to defy genres and break barriers in performance. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she has been a soloist with orchestras in the US, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Taiwan. She has performed in David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, and the Taipei National Theater and Concert Hall. She will perform works from Tchaikovsky, Rzewski, and Bolcom for this concert.
Saturday, March 26, 8 pm – JARANA BEAT (Afro Amerindian Folk)
Jarana Beat is a 10-piece band known for its dynamic cross-cultural sound and energized performance style. Their work blends Mexican folk and Afro-Amerindian musical traditions with the percussive footwork of dancers in traditional costumes. Led by composer Sinuhé Padilla-Isunza, the band gathers performers from Mexico and worldwide, drawing on elements from styles such as Son Jarocho, Son Guerrerense, Son Huasteco, Salsa, Cumbia, Samba, and Rumba. Time Out New York says, “[this] Mexico-via-Brooklyn combo weaves intricate rhythms, and delicate plucks with rich, yearning vocals to gorgeous and surprisingly jolly effect. Great stuff!”
Sunday, March 27, 4 pm – ENRIQUETA SOMARRIBA (Classical | Bronx Piano Sundays)
Praised by the New York Concert Review for her “aplomb” and “natural, individual interpretation,” Spanish pianist Enriqueta Somarriba develops her career in the US and Europe as a soloist chamber musician and educator. Her MIM concert program, titled Nature, religion, and myth—Musical Impressions of Ribeira Sacra, will feature works by Isidro Maiztegui, Claude Debussy, Luciano Berio, Henry Cowell, Ricardo Lorenz, and Franz Liszt.
- DATES: March 4-27, 2022 (Sundays 4 pm, Fridays/Saturdays 8 pm)
- LOCATION: Pregones Theater, 575 Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10451
- TICKETS: $15 for In-Person Concerts – $5 for Digital Livestreams
- Bronx Piano Sundays and Tito Matos Tribute are FREE.
- All concerts in the series require a ticket or digital token.
- Online at PregonesPRTT.org or by phone at 718-585-1202
- REQUIREMENTS: Proof of Full Vaccination, Valid Photo ID, Face Masks