Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love TOUR

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RAQUEL Z. RIVERA & OJOS DE SOFÍA

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love:

From Medieval Poetry to 21st Century Feminist Anthems

Bi-coastal U.S. Tour Featuring Concerts, Workshops and Artist Presentations:

September 22 – October 4

The over 500 year-old Ibero-Afro-American poetic and musical traditions that nourish Puerto Rican jíbaro music, the Dominican Republic’s bachata, and Latin American boleros take an innovative, feminist twist at the hands of Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, author and scholar, Raquel Z. Rivera and her band Ojos de Sofía. During a two-week bi-coastal U.S. tour titled Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love, the group will present Raquel’s original compositions, written in the time-honored décima poetic format and arranged by Puerto Rican guitarist/cuatrista Bryan Vargas and Dominican guitarist Yasser Tejeda. The band will also play classic Latin American boleros featuring the extraordinarily soulful voice of Anabellie Rivera while also offering workshops and artist talks focused on the history, contemporary relevance and future potential of décima-related poetry and music. The tour will cover various nightspots, colleges and community centers in New York City, Southern California, Boston, and Maine.

The tour’s first New York City musical performance will take place on Friday September 26, 9:00 pm at noted live music venue Terraza 7, in Elmhurst, Queens. The second will be on Saturday October 4, 8:00 pm at one of New York City’s premier world music venues, Barbès, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Southern California leg of the tour will take place between September 22 – 23 and it is a collaboration between Pomona College, SCRIPPS College and other local organizations. The group will later travel to Boston for performances, talks and workshops at Northeastern University, Tufts University and Make Shift Boston. In Brunswick, Maine, they will offer an afternoon workshop and a nighttime concert at Bowdoin College.

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love debuted last winter before an enthusiastic crowd at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery iconic performance space in New York City’s East Village. The upcoming performances are only the second time that the band presents these original and classic songs of love that celebrate tradition while also subverting it. Through creative arrangements and quirky lyrics Ojos de Sofía playfully acknowledge as they challenge folkloric and popular music’s often sexist and clichéd approaches to love and loss. Raquel Z. Rivera’s lyrics are written from a humorous feminist perspective that promotes feminine solidarity while refusing to resort to the rote battle of the sexes approach. Meanwhile, Anabellie Rivera gives new meanings to classic boleros while drawing from a well of inspiration and feeling that seems to be several lifetimes deep. A song series developed in part with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York Cultural Innovation Fund and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love is an exploration of the contemporary relevance and potential of décimas—a tradition dating back to medieval times in the Iberian Peninsula and structured around stanzas of ten octosyllabic lines which rhyme ABBAACCDDC. The song series also celebrates the connections between Puerto Rican jíbaro music (renowned for its use of décimas), Dominican bachata and palos (which also draw from décimas), and Latin American boleros, since these are all deeply interconnected genres whose historical overlaps have become obscured by the widely different fate each has had within the music industry.

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love represent another cutting-edge balancing act between tradition and innovation by Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía as an independent band that has managed to get featured in NPR’s Alt.Latino, Europe’s World Music Charts Top 20, Radio France International, the NY Daily News, and Latin Beat Magazine, while receiving accolades by folklorists at the Journal of New York Folklore and Claridad, among other venues.

Raquel is generally available for interviews by phone or in person (solo or with Ojos de Sofía).

Video:

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía, “Mi Condena” (Live)

Audio (Streaming and Download):

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofia “Nuestra Señora de Lexington”

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía, featuring Anabellie Rivera, “Madrigal”

Digital Press Kit:

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía Press Kit

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía

Tour de Las Décimas del Amargue

September 22 | Time TBD

Artist talk and décimas writing workshop

Pomona College

333 N College Way, Claremont, CA

Free

September 23 | 7:00 pm

SCRIPPS College

1030 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

Free

September 25 | 7:00 pm

Rutgers University

Gathering Lounge, Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854

Free

Friday, September 26 | 9:00 pm

Terraza 7

40-19 Gleane St, Elmhurst, Queens, NY

$7

Monday, September 29 | 1:30 pm

Artist talk and musical demonstration

Northeastern University

342 Huntington Ave, Blackman Auditorium, Boston, MA 02115

Free

Monday, September 29 | 8:00 pm

Makeshift Boston

549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Suggested donation $10

Tuesday, September 30 | 12 noon

Artist talk and musical demonstration

Tufts University
419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155‎

Free

Wednesday, October 1st | Times TBD

Bowdoin College
3725 College St, Brunswick, ME 04011

Free

Saturday, October 4 | 8:00 pm

Barbès,

376 9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Suggested donation $10

For the most up-to-date venue, time, and other details of these concerts and presentations, please contact 646.266.7182 or ojosdesofia@gmail.com.

For further general information please contact Tom Frouge @ Avokado Artists (505.771.3166 / tom@avokado.net) or Raquel Z. Rivera (646.266.7182 / raquelzrivera@gmail.com).

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