Wayne Wallace (San Francisco) collaborating with La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley)
Award: $40,000 Performing Arts grant awarded in 2008
Premiered: June 12-13, 2010
For its 35th anniversary in 2010, La Peña Cultural Center collaborated with composer Wayne Wallace, librettist Aya de Leon, and other artists to create a two-hour multimedia performance suite. Blending traditional folkloric music from Latin America with jazz, Middle Eastern music, and hip-hop, the work chronicled the history of La Peña Cultural Center and the cultural and social movements that contributed to its community.
For the project, the collaborators created a La Peña International Orchestra of musicians from diverse cultures and musical forms. They included vocalists Lichi Fuentes and Valerie Troutt, percussionist Hector Lugo, drummer David Flores, bassist Ayla Davilla, DJ Wonway Posibul, and reed player Masura Koga. Also participating were guest artists. A community based Oral History Committee worked with the lead artists; Jose Corado, the videographer; and Wonway Posibul to select key archival video and audio footage to integrate into the performance.
Wayne Wallace, is a musician (trombone, keyboard, vocals), composer, arranger, educator, and record producer who is known for his prolific work with a broad range of artists. Aya de Leon is a writer, performer, hip hop theater artist and poetic activist who was director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley.
La Peña Cultural Center is vibrant community center with a national reputation and a global vision, It provides artists and audiences opportunities to cultivate artistic traditions, create and share work, and engage with progressive social movements.