My newly discovered favorite group from “the island,” Mijo de la Palma, will be hosting an outdoor event on January 7, 2010, at 7:30pm. “Hecho en Puerto Rico: 2do Bembé Culinario y Colaito Musical” will take place at the central plaza, Plaza Colón, in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
In an effort to support local artists and cultural initiatives, Latidos Entre Voces, Estudio Casa Bohemia, Editorial Preámbulo, and several businesses from western Puerto Rico have gotten together “to offer culinary and gastronomical delights” in a specially designed space celebrating the island’s cultural and artistic background. Mijo de la Palma will provide their original musical repertoire. Guest artists will be Sebastián Paz y Enrrique Cárdenas (opening act), Karen Joglar (poet), and Manuel Colón-Amador (graphic artist).
Mijo de la Palma’s compositions, often called fusión jíbara, combine traditional Puerto Rican music, nueva trova, and flamenco, with evocative strands of acoustic rock and blues. Country-side lyrics [lírica de campo], poetry, and painting are also integral elements of their songs. Singer Melvin López Rivera’s mellifluous voice reveals deep jíbaro roots and an unruffled political stance. He is joined by the flamenco guitar of José Juan Poyatos Joyanes, Sonja Mongar on the harmonica and bass, and the poetry of René Pérez Martínez. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States and Cuba, this group embodies “a melting pot of hues, styles, and influences, permeating the atmosphere” of their concerts with vibrant artistry, poetry, music, and candlelight.
[Most heartfelt thanks to Andrea Solange Torres-Wiscovitch and Fei for introducing me to this marvelous group. My favorite is “Puerto Rico en Cuatro Velas!”]
To hear some of Mijo de la Palma’s songs, go to http://www.myspace.com/fusionjibara
To listen to the group performing “La promesa” at my alma mater, UPR- Mayagüez, at