In this half-hour documentary, two California artists use their art to connect to their Mexican roots, especially their indigenous heritage: Aztec for the one, Mayan for the other.
The documentary opens with a short review of the 3,000+ years of Mexican civilization, then moves on to the artists: Ernesto Hernádez Olmos and Rubén Guzmán.
Olmos is a multi-media artist: wood carving, drumming, dancing, ceramics, murals, music and painting. A highlight of his interview is when he plays his own music on one of the ceramic flutes he has made, his "Magic Flute of Fire." (Yes, there is a fire burning in it!)
Guzmán, our second artist, uses cartonería, (derived from paper maché) to express the hopes and dreams of himself and his people, using figures such as the Aztec deity Quetzacóatl. Interviewed by artist Hershell West, Guzmán also talks of working with youth, and making two giant dragon heads for Disney World.
"Highly recommended." (C. Block for Video Librarian)
"...a rare and delightful glimpse...." (John Santos, seven times Grammy nominee)
Masters of Rhythm the Afro-Peruvian Way, as seen on national PBS, is full of lively music including two original compositions. We also see a demonstration of the Afro-Peruvian zapateo, "cousin" to tap dance. Zapateo is something done in friendly completition where each dancer tries to out-perform the other using fancy footwork.
In addition to the 30 minute documentary there are several Extras. In one, Juan de Dios Soto cooks a tasty Afro-Peruvian dish called carapulcra. In another, Lalo Izquierdo demonstrates more rhythms from the days of slavery, where Africans used the cajón to communicate across vast distances. And in a third, Izquierdo explains more about how zapateo was performed in the "old days."
"...Lalo Izquierdo...is so compelling you might just jump up and join in." (Deirdre Towers, former curator, Dance on Camera festival)
"...a vivid demonstration...that...Afro-Peruvian music and culture [are] ... exciting and dynamic...." (Wayne Wallace, 3 times Grammy nominated jazz trombonist)
"...satisfying...good educational tool..." (Troy Bedford for Anthropology Review)
A Zest for Life focuses on Afro-Peruvian dance, and on the history of the Afro-Peruvian community. One hour long, it stars Lalo Izquierdo (who we also see in Masters of Rhythm;). Izquierdo is ably complimented by singer-songwriter Jorge Luis Jasso as well as bassist Vladimir Vukanovich, the performing group de Rompe y Raja, and others.OR purchase on DVD with PayPal:
This 50-minute documentary looks at San Francisco Bay Area artist/muralist Hershell West to discover his art, the ways in which artists contribute to society, and the value of public art. Adding special interest, West, a black man, was born and raised in the segregated rural South, giving him special challenges.
Defying the expectations of family and society, West obtained an MFA in fine arts at the University of South Florida after a stint in the military, which earned him GI Bill support and the ability to pursue higher education. In Florida, in addition to painting canvases and murals, he also worked on outreach in the arts for his university. Later, he moved to California where he soon found himself painting, teaching art, and working as chief assistant to well-known muralist John Wehrle.
West has been commissioned to create his own murals while also continuing to collaborate with others. He has taught art to at-risk youth, served on several arts commissions, chaired the board of directors of organizations such as the Richmond Art Center and ProArts of Oakland, and helped found an annual exhibit called TAOLB (The Art of Living Black). Now in semi-retirement due to health reasons, he has a long and meaningful career to look back upon.OR purchase on DVD with PayPal:
"[A] 'must-see' for any serious student of immigration, plantation life, and the nature of historical storytelling."
Prof. John P. Rosa, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Have a family member who's an immigrant? This one hour documentary tells the story of how thousands of people immigrated from Spain to Hawaii and then California. Its star, 98-year old Francisco Pérez, is full of stories and watching the video is, as one person put it, "like hearing my grandfather speak again." (Cathy Continente, daughter of Spanish immigrants)
With shots of Spain, Hawaii and California; with a story supplemented by photos and other people from the Spanish immigrant community; hearing about dealing with the language barrier and the customs of the New World ... this is a story for the 98% of us who are descended from people who braved the odds to make a new life in a new country.OR purchase on DVD with PayPal:
"...a treasure chest of songs....performed by the great torch-bearers of the musical culture...." (Raúl de Gama for World Music Report)
The music album Cajón Is King compliments my two documentaries about Afro-Peruvian music, dance, and culture. With 12 tracks, there is a full one hour of music - but this is not your standard music album.
There are songs by famous percussionists Lalo Izquierdo and Huevito who are also singer-songwriters, songs performed by the group "de Rompe y Raja," a number by singer-songwriter Jorge Luis Jasso, a track in which the guitar of Coco Linares accompanies the percussion made by the feet of Lalo Izquierdo and Huevito as they dance an Afro-Peruvian zapateo, and a solo cajón number in which Lalo Izquierdo plays rhythms from North and South America.
Our special, one-of-a-kind, Palomino Productions' Diversity cup! Bright, colorful, with scenes from our films, this cup shows that you value and enjoy ethnic and cultural diversity, and that you also love movies. Who doesn't?
A good way to support us and have something nice in return.