Viva Quetzal: Jazz, rock and multi-cultural rhythms will bring Mahoosuc season to an end

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BETHEL – The World Music at its finest will hit the stage with Viva Quetzal at Bingham Auditorium at  7 p.m.,  April 8, for the last performance of the Mahoosuc Arts Council Gould Performing Arts Series season.

The music of this exuberant group reflects the rhythms and melodies of the Andean region of Bolivia, Venezuelan Golpe Tucuyano and Ecuadorian Sanjuanito beats. Elements of jazz and rock are also infused in their multi-cultural music that has been crucially acclaimed by Rafael Charres of Cashbox Magazine as “A sampling of all the diverse musical traditions that exist in the Americas and beyond —  melodious rhythms with an exuberant, nonstop level of energy — more than eclectic or rhythmic, it’s spiritual, it’s all cultures existing as one.”

Viva Quetzal’s mission is to increase multi-cultural awareness and promote harmony through the exploration and coupling of traditional South American instrumentation and folk rhythms with North American musical genres like jazz.

The consummate musicians of this group play over 30 instruments, most of them exotic, native instruments from cultures throughout the Americas. This instrumental palette builds unique textures and tonalities as diverse as the cultures from which the instruments originate. Many of the instruments the products of native aboriginal musical craft traditions and include the quena, zampoña, ocarina, charango, cuatro and cajón Peruano.

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The band is comprised of seven members — about half of them originate from Chile and Peru with the other half from the United States — who each contribute the richness of lengthy and impressive histories as professional recording artists, international touring performers and teachers.

The band includes: Roberto Clavijo who sings and plays a variety of ethnic instruments including Quenas, zampoñas, charango, Venezuelan cuatro; Jon Weeks plays Flute, saxophones, wind synth, quena, congas, and small percussion; Joe Belmont plays Electric and Spanish guitar; Wes Brown is on bass with Jeff Nissenbaum on drums; lead vocalist Abraham Sanchez also plays piano and keyboards and Fabio Mateus is on Quena, Guitar, vocals and Saxophone.

This performance will be repeated on 10:25 a.m. and 1 p.m. , April 9, for the students of the Telstar Regional Middle and High School. Area home-schooled children are welcome to attend for free. Please call the arts council for more information.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12. FMI: 824-3575 or www.mahoosucarts.org.

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