Caritas Concerts: Mexamorphosis

November 7, 2024 | 7:30pm | WALLACE HALL

Tickets go on sale July 1st!

Founded and led by Mexican Mezzo-Soprano and Artistic Director Guadalupe Peraza, Mexamorphosis is a celebration of musical diversity from different centuries and cultures. Since its first season in 2016, Mexamorphosis has presented cross-cultural programs that question the boundaries drawn between “folk music” and “classical music”, street and concert hall, old world and new world, showcasing connections between contemporary regional Mexican styles and European early music, drawing out influences from Iberia and West Africa. Mexamorphosis is a unique project that incorporates traditional musical styles and diverse instrumentation from various cultures. It encompasses elements such as improvisation, re-interpretation of old works, original arrangements and compositions. Additionally, whenever possible, dance and visual arts are also integrated, creating a multi-disciplinary experience.

With a rotating cast of artists specialized in diverse musical practices, Mexamorphosis presents intercultural programs that highlight shared roots, timeless collective narratives, and forms of expression that, although seemingly distant, share common ground. Its mission is to establish cultural bridges by fostering a participatory community where artists and audiences alike feel a sense of belonging. Mexamorphosis makes room for each artist to speak their tradition freely, to see themselves through their colleagues, and to discover new modes of expression.

Living Up, a Mexican arts and culture magazine, wrote, “This daring, extravagant, and unique show bridges origins and traditions to showcase cultural coexistence, aiming to break stereotypes that distance the audience from classical music…”

Previous performances have brought together musicians, dancers and visual artists from traditions such as Son Jarocho from Veracruz, Irish traditional music, early western music, West African Griot Music, North Indian and Turkish music. Performances have been presented at intimate venues and metropolitan theaters in Mexico and the USA.

Our most recent collaborations at Musica Viva NY in 2023, led by Artistic Director Alejandro Hernández-Valdez, featured soloists from Musica Viva NY along with our Mexamorphosis performers. At the Americas Society in NYC as part of the Festival Celebrate Mexico Now led by Claudia Norman in 2022, we brought together artists from Mali, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, Finland, the USA, North India, and Spain, among others. These included renowned Mexican music representatives Sinuhe Padilla and Victor Murillo; “bravely original'' (The Guardian) top Hindustani Sarangi player and vocalist Suhail Yusuf Khan; and Michael K. Harrist, who brought Eastern European styles to the Turkish Yaylı Tanbur. Griot music collaborators from West Africa included master Kora player and singer Yacouba Sissoko, known for his “magnificent complex fingerwork” (Afropop Worldwide) and “lacework arpeggios'' (The New York Times), and Baba Moussa Traore on the talking drum.

Mexamorphosis had its first recording project in collaboration with Belongó Afro Latin Jazz Alliance of NY in May 2024, produced by Alberto Miranda. This project featured jazz artists David Bixler on the saxophone and Tripp Dudley on the congas, tabla, and kanjira, in addition to previous collaborators soprano Katie McCreary (Musica Viva NY), Mike K. Harrist, Suhail Yusuf Khan, Baba Moussa Traore, Sinuhe Padilla, and Guadalupe Peraza.

Previous Mexamorphosis collaborators include Arnie Tanimoto (Viola da Gamba), James Kennerley (Organ), Sarah Stone (Baroque Cello), Sebastian Zubieta (Harpsichord), and Hsin-Mei Tracy Chang (Soprano). Mexican Son Jarocho specialists from Veracruz include “clear tenor voice” (The Wall Street Journal) of singer and jarana master Zenen Zeferino Huervo, Pablo Emiliano García, Leopoldo Novoa, and Juan Carlos Marin, among others.

This year, Saint Ignatius Loyola, with musical direction led by Scott Warren, presents Mexamorphosis through an interactive program where audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy, dance, sing, and reflect. This season, Peraza brings to Mexamorphosis top artists from different parts of the world.

Joining from previous seasons, we are excited to bring back Sinuhe Padilla on the Jarana, Voice, Dance, Dunkey Jaw and percussion, Composer and player Michael K. Harrist on Double Bass, and Turkish Yayli Tanbur, from Mali, Baba Moussa on the Talking Drum and Victor Murillo on Requinto and Double Bass. Joining this project for the first time, we are thrilled to welcome top Baroque Violinist Jude Ziliak, Iranian master Persian Kamancheh player Mehrnam Rastegari, multi-percussionist Tripp Dudley on Tabla, Frame Drum and Kanjir, Peruvian Juilliard Graduate Dušan Balarin on Theorbo and Baroque Guitar and Guinean master Balafon player Famoro Dioubate. The program features musicians who specialize in diverse traditions, including Mexican and American multi-instrumentalists who have devoted their lives to the intense practice of ancient music traditions from Veracruz, Mexico, North India, and Turkey.

We are very happy to announce that Mexamorphosis was awarded as a 2024 Grantee by the New York Council on the Arts, which helps make this performance possible. Our program will feature vocal and instrumental Renaissance and Baroque music in connection with Mexican Son Jarocho, Latin American, West African, Indian, and Eastern music, emphasizing their mutual influences and shared roots. It will include great works from Mexico, West Africa, Iran, Turkey, and North India, as well as playful selections from the Cancionero de Palacio like Rodrigo Martínez, hidden Italian Chaconnes and Passacaglias, French Baroque music, and original works by our brilliant performers.

This concert will be presented in Wallace Hall, and food and beverage will be available. Come join us for the fandango!

All ticket proceeds will benefit Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries.

Photo by Christopher Powers.

Del Camino Jesuit Border Ministries


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Concerts at St. Ignatius