El Taller Latino Americano 215 E. 99th Street, New York, NY 10029
(212) 665-9460

Past Events at El Taller: 2001


The Alligator Club is a gritty New York City-based quintet that is steadily moving up the ranks of the local blues scene.

Their music features a steaming gumbo of old time Delta moans, slick-lick Chicago wails, a hefty hunk of Jump and a thick pinch of boozey crooning. This band turns any venue into a swampy Juke Joint, playing sets made for hip-shaking and then crying in your beer.

Guitarist Greg "The Growl", William Friedson on keyboards, Alexei "AK-47" Kozlovski on bass, Dan Sieber on drums and Jeff Glickman, vocals, harp and Harmony banjo make up this heavy-loaded unit. Alex, Jeff and Greg also play unplugged as "The Acoustigators", with a roots-oriented repertoire that draws on diverse aspects of American folk-blues.

If you want to feel the blues done right, you don't have to sell your soul to the devil. Just listen to these guys.


During a 3-hour+ performance, Movimiento Rockero will delight us with their original compositions and interpretations!

GARY Z (Acoustic Guitar with Vocals)
LOISAIDA (Jibaro, Latin Rock)
SANTIAGO (Rock, Latin Rock)
PUPA, RAFFY, JEFF (Experimental Rock)


Directors: Eterio Ortega and Jose Pedro Estepa (Spain), USA 2000, 61 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

A conversation between a taxi driver and his passenger set the stage for a discussion about the experiences and histories within the Latino community in New York City. Musician and actor Ruben Blades, politicians Guillermo Linares and Fernando Ferrer, actresses Melanie Rey and Josefina Báez, and journalists Rosana Rosado and Verónica Chambers are some of the personalities that make up part of the Hispanic population in this great city.

La mayor parte del documental fue filmado y producido en El Taller Latino-Americano.


Kaufmann Theater, first floor. American Museum of Natural History.

This musical evening looks into the diverse musical heritage across "las Américas". A repertoire of traditional favorites and original pieces includes Argentinean tangos, South American jazz, Andean folk music, the Caribbean beat, and more. Bernardo Palombo punctuates the program with commentaries on the musicals styles and traditions. Palombo is the creative director of El Taller Latino-Americano, a composer, and a consultant on Latin music.


Fernando Otero's music is unmistakably bonded to the expressive roots of the language of Buenos Aires. These elements are the Tango and its predecessors, the Milonga, either in its southern style, slow and melancholic, or in its agile urban dance form, as well as the Murga, With all of these influences, he has created a very personal style and unique language initially outlined in his first solo album entitled "X-TANGO" (1990), and later developed in works like "REVISION", "ESCENAS", and "SIDERATA".

Fernando Otero's music is well received by audiences and critics alike both in Europe and the USA. He has written music for films and theater, with premieres in the U.S., Europe, and South America. He has performed in more than thirty countries, some of the venues that he has played include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto), and Teatro de la Villa de Madrid.


La Cumbiamba plays folkloric and popular music from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Colombia. Rhythms include cumbia, porro, gaita, puya, currulao, and abosao. The group features drums, gaitas (indigenous flutes), and woodwinds.
The members are:
Ihán Betancourt (alegre, harmonica, coros & musical director)
Wolfgang Barros (tambora, alegre, guache & coros)
Sergio Borrero (llamador, clarinet & coros)
Richard Córdoba (saxes & coros)
Sebastián Cruz (gaita macho, maracas & tambora)
Andreas Guarín (lead voice)
Martín Vejarano (gaita hembra, tambora & coros)


  Gyil Music of West Africa

GYIL (pronounced JEEL or JEE lee), is the national instrument of the Dagara and Lobi nations of West Africa. It is one of the grandmothers of the mallet keyboard family and is made from fourteen wooden slats that are suspended on a frame, over calabash gourds. Nearly every man in the community can play at least a tune or two, yet the gyil master (an instrument maker as well as player) studies the instrument for much of his life before he is considered worthy to represent the community at sacred events.

Gyil masters hold a respectworthy post in their rural villages. It is well recognized that their extraordinary abilities take many years to attain, and that their role as both the gate to the spirit world in the sacred ceremony, and the world of joy and laughter in a simple moonlight dance is important in maintaining the health of each individual and in the bonding of the community.

KAKRABA LOBI is considered to be the gyil's spokesperson - one of the only living virtuosi to have mastered the instrument's vast and difficult repertoire, and to have gained international acclaim as a concert soloist. Here he is joined by two of his greatest champions, world percussionist Valerie Dee Naranjo (Saturday Night Live, The Lion King, Tori Amos) and jazz and world music great Barry Olsen (Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Hector LaVoe, Paul Simon).


Chilean singer instrumentalist (cello, cajón, cuatro venezolano, charango).

Currently Mochi Parra's work is based upon the music of the Peruvian an Chilean coast. Directed by Maestro Carlos Hayre, her repertoire is composed of rhythms such as: festejo, lando, marinera limeña, samacueca, tondero, and valses which incorporate instruments such as the guitar, cajón, quijada, cajita, and voice.


Given a chance, most sounds---from the clatter of children playing in the streets of Indonesia to the rev of an old Chevy truck and the thunderous bellow of ice cracking below a frozen lake---are subject to sparking musical inspiration for Enstéreo. Jaime Holguin, who plays the role of producer, composer and arranger in this project, stirs up a mixture of noodlings that meander through pop, folk, Latin and electronic distortion. The debut EP "Escuchenos ... En Serio!", a low-fi collection of compositions crudely recorded and mixed on a laptop computer, is a venture into "found sound" technology--organic sound of cross-cultural origins gathered and electronically manipulated to create a juxtaposition of traditional and cutting-edge. Each song feels distinctly warm, infectious and sincere. His latest single, "¿Que tal si tu y yo?", is every bit as charming.


   Flamenco vocals and flute.

Born and raised in Seville, the hearttland of Flamenco music. Alfonso absorbed the Flamenco ambiance from an early age. As a child, his mother would often sing to him the traditional styles from Triana, a gypsy enclave of Seville, where she was born.

Alfonso enrolled at the Seville Conservatory in 1990 to study flute and music theory. For the following 5 years he received a calssical training. His interest in Flamenco gave him the incentive to join one of the most significant Flamenco clubs in Andalusia; the Peña Flamenca Torres-Macarena 1987. He continued this affiliation until he left Seville in 1996.

Alfonso is founder member of Al Baño Maria. Resident group of Peña Flamenca Torres Macarena in Sevilla. Also, he has been worked in many theatres en New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.


Milady Merette-Polanco, Dominican singer, winner of an "Independent Music Award" in the category of Best Latin for her song "Hábitos Pasados" with arrangements by James Hershman.

During her studies at Columbia University, Milady sang in the University Choir and was the second voice in various performances with groups and soloists in New York. She recorded "Donde Estarás" with the South American group Cumbre, and with Raices al Viento, she recorded the duet "Rumba Gitana". In her most recent work as a soloist, she has recorded five powerful and emotional ballads, with latin, pop and jazz rhythms.

Milady also participated in El Taller Latinoamericano's musical production "Recuerda Boricua". On this CD, she sang the bolero "Amor Impreso" and a vallenato, "Busca Olvido".

Milady's voice has a very special tone, a nuance and sonority that was compared, not without reason, to the sound of a shell in El Diario-La Prensa's article "Milady: Princesa con voz de caracola" (09-29-00).


Come and celebrate Christmas in Peruvian style! With great figures of South American folklore: Carlos Hayre, David Pala, Elvira Torres, Carlos Chavez and a special presentation by Pilar Villavicencio. All in the same evening to celebrate Christmas and greet the new year with joy and music!

Venga a celebrar las fiestas navideñas al mejor estilo peruano. Guitarra, Voz, Cajón y Danzas del Perú con grandes figuras del folklore suramericano: Carlos Hayre, David Pala, Elvira Torres, Carlos Chavez y la presentación especial de Pilar Villavicencio. Todos en una misma noche para celebrar la navidad y dar la bienvenida al año nuevo con alegría y música.

La Bohemia

El Taller Latino Americano is proud to present an evening with La Bohemia, three guitarists who represent contemporary songwriting of Mexico. David Haro, Marcial Alejandro and Rafael Mendoza create a party from their songs by singing alone and with each other. You will hear the tradition of the Mexican songs and the multiple contemporary musical and poetic influences these songs possess.

These three composers share the stage as they establish a conversation through their songs. The live performance becomes a meeting of friends, new and old, and a musical experience that is creative, spontaneous, interactive and shared by all.

David Haro was born in Jaltipan, Veracruz. His compositions have a strong influence of the music from his native land and in particular, from the coast. International awards he has received include the International Spring Festival from Trujillo, Peru and the Mexican Association of Radio and Television Producers award, "Azteca de Oro". He is also a recording artist and has been invited to the Cervantino International Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico. He has also participated in other festivals and venues including Ibero-American Festival, the National Theatre and Covarrubias Hall in Havana, Cuba, the International Festival of Human Rights in Guatemala and many other festivals throughout the world. He is currently promoting a new CD entitled "Ariles"..

Marcial Alejandro was born in Mexico City in 1955 and started to compose songs at the age of 15. He entered the National School of Music in 1973. He began to earn a living by playing the contrabass and eventually joined "La Nopalera". In 1977, he started a solo career of original compositions. He recorded "El Corrido" by Renato Leduc. In 1983, he recorded his own material on Pentagrama Records entitled "Marcial Alejandro". He has participated in the festival People Song for Peace in the Dominican Republic and at the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico and the OTI International Festival in Mexico and Spain. It was at the OTI Festival that he received a first place prize for his song "El Fandango Aqui". He has composed music for television, radio and film and his songs have been recorded by many singers such as Margie Bermejo, Eugenia Leon, Maru Enriquez and Japanese singer, Nobuyo Yagi, who performed in Spanish with the Japanese group Havatampa.

Born in Mexico City, Rafael Mendoza formed the duet "Mendoza y Macondo". He has participated in the Cervantino Festival and the International Festival of Mexico City. For more than 20 years, he has traveled throughout the country, participating in institutional cultural programs, independent artistic forums and on radio and television. He incorporates many musical influences into his music including bolero, blues, bossa nova, Mexican "son" and Caribbean "son". He has recorded three albums and participates in collective efforts with other musicians. Among the singers who have performed his compositions are Oscar Chavez, Amparo Ochoa, Salvador "El Negro" Ojeda, Betsy Pecanins, Eugenia Leon, among others.


CESAR ISELLA, the Argentine singer and songwriter who composed THE LATIN-AMERICAN ANTHEM, "CANCION CON TODOS" ("Todas las Voces, Todas"), is playing for the first time live in New York City.
Well known as a songwriter of the South-American popular music, he was the songwriter and producer for Mercedes Sosa, Silvio Rodriguez, Chavela Vargas, Joan Manuel Serrat, Daniela Mercury, Soledad, Emilio Stefan, among others. He composed the music to poems by Pablo Neruda, Julio Cortazar, Nicolas Guillen, Armando Tejada Gomez, Enesto Cardenal, and Nicomedes Santa Cruz, among others. Cesar Isella was part of the South-American folk revolution in the 60', with the group "Los Fronterizos", singing the first version of the world-wide known master piece "La Misa Criolla". He's playing in New York with his son, Fer Isella, and his group that has been playing in NYC for a year now, "Makanudos".

Bridge to You.

A special evening featuring a unique connection of classical music, jazz,
flamenco, rumba and bossa nova with poetry and dance. Bridge to you is a celebration of human understanding and worldwide connection, as manifested through unpolished and unprepared musical interaction with artists in foreign countries who have never known, seen and heard each other, and yet their artistic reaction on music material received, is spontaneous and purely intuitive.


Disidentes de la Madrugada "Regresan al Taller los sonidos que se cuelan de entre guitarras mientras el día se precipita en silencio. Esta vez traen una serie de historias llamadas "la leyenda de los callejones". Los disidentes de la madrugada, un esemble de rock antiglobalización. No se lo pierda, sábado 9 de junio a partir de las 9pm."


Alfonso Cid, singer and flautist, a native of Andalusia, gives a performance that encapsulates the many elements of Flamenco tradition. He offers his audience traditional cante flamenco using his own lyrics, the poetry of Miguel Hernandez and his translations of sephardic poetry of the 11th Century. With Guitarist Arturo Martinez, Alfonso explores the new wave of flamenco, fusing the traditional styles with jazz riffs and world music. Adding the talents of guitarist Cristian Puig and bassist/percussionist Sean Kupisz, Alfonso creates a diverse and refreshing program of an art form that is still rapidly evolving from its deep roots.


Formed three years ago in Otavalo, Ecuador, we are a group of traditional music and dance dedicated to the research of Andean tradition. The Quechua word "RI" means to go, "RICH" we go up, down and in all directions of the cosmos; we go disseminating our Art. Our work is essentially in the realm of ritual; through ritual we promote cultural exchange between peoples.


RECUERDA BORICUA..a night of Puerto Rican composers. The songs of Rafael Hernández, Pedro Flores, Canario, Silvia Rexach, El Topo and the presentation of: "El Alma Rebelde de Victor Hernández. A CD with the songs of this Puerto Rican composer who resides in NYC and recreates with his songs the "classic" sound of the 30's and the 40's at "la isla del encanto".


Theater for Children

IATI proudly presents this play for children and general audiences in Spanish.

¡ A contar cuentos..! is based on short stories by José Martí, adapted by Pablo Garcia-Gamez, and directed by Hector Santiago. El Camaron Encantado, Meñique, Los Dos Ruiseñores and Los Zapaticos de Rosa are tales that celebrate Latin-American Heritage. These stories entertain with puppets, dance, music and acting. They also educate children about different issues such as greed, learning and nature.
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