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Michael Christie and New West Symphony present A Tour of Mexico featuring Jiji Kim & Maria Casale

Michael Christie, Artistic & Music Director With Guitarist Jiji Kim, Harpist Maria Casale, and the Mariachi Divas Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3pm PST – Symphony Concert With Additional Cultural Festival Events May 20, 21, and 22

“[New West Symphony is] embracing the mission of refreshing the modern concert experience for a new generation” – Los Angeles Times

New West Symphony (NWS), with Grammy-winning conductor Michael Christie as Artistic and Music Director, continues its 2020-21 groundbreaking and reimagined season of “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” with A Tour of Mexico. This festival, running May 20-23, culminates with a feature symphony concert presentation, spotlighting virtuosic guitarist Jiji Kim and harpist Maria Casale, with works by Arturo Marquez, Fernando Arroyo Lascurain, Silvestre Revueltas, Manuel Ponce, Gabriela Ortiz, Jose Enrique Gonzalez-Medina and the traditional Mexican folk song, El Son de la Negra. A Tour of Mexico is presented in partnership with the Museum of Ventura County. Season and concert passports available at Along with the symphony concert, Season and Concert Passport holders can enjoy access to companion cultural festival programs for further immersion into the music, the artistry, and the culture that inspired the concert, curated by Michael Christie. These events will take place on Thursday, May 20 at 6pm PT – a Pre-Concert Talk from UCLA Senior Lecturer, David Ravetch, who explores the music presented in the A Tour of Mexico concert in an informative, audience-friendly format; Friday, May 21 at 7pm PT – Culture Insights, an exploration of Southern California’s heritage, including demonstrations of traditional instruments and performance, and discussions about history, arts and music; and Saturday, May 22 at 7pm PT – Meet the Artists, a longstanding New West Symphony tradition which brings audiences closer to the guest artists and offers an opportunity to learn about artistic and creative process. Of this festival’s programming, Michael Christie says, “Joy is the word that performers and composers alike cite when they speak of the spirit of Mexico’s colorful musical tapestry. The music we are performing for our Tour of Mexico highlights the profound influences of indigenous, European and pan-American musical traditions on Mexico’s past, present and future musical creations. Viewers will come away from New West presentations with an appreciation for the tremendous cultural legacy of the region that was and is Mexico. I am enchanted and enriched by the nuances of this Tour of Mexico as well as our other ‘Global Sounds, Local Cultures’ presentations.” NWS CEO Natalia Staneva adds, “The largest named ancestry in California is Mexican, and California is home to the largest population of Mexican Americans in the country. We are proud to celebrate this beautifully rich and diverse culture and bring to our audience the talents of incredible musicians who will make this wonderful music come to life. Our thanks go not only to the musicians but to the Museum of Ventura County for their partnership in making this festival possible.” Christie will be available to answer questions in the live chat during each program. In addition to each initial live-streamed event, all programs (except the pre-concert talk) will be available on-demand to passport holders shortly after the initial broadcast ends. Program Information: A Tour of Mexico – Symphony Concert and Cultural Festival Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3pm PT – A Tour of Mexico – Symphony Concert Michael Christie, conductor Guest Artists: Jiji Kim, guitar Maria Casale, harp Mariachi Divas Arturo Marquez: Máscaras, Concerto for Harp and Orchestra Fernando Arroyo García Lascurain: Pok-Ta-Pok: El Juego De Los Dioses Silvestre Revueltas: Ocho por Radio Gabriela Ortiz: Exilios Manuel Ponce: Concierto del Sur for Guitar and Orchestra José Enrique González-Medina: Las primas del General Calles Traditional: El Son de la Negra Additional Cultural Programs Included with a Concert Passport: Pre-Concert Talk with David Ravetch Presented Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 6pm PT (not available on demand) The New West Symphony’s pre-concert talk features UCLA Senior Lecturer, David Ravetch, who explores the music presented in the A Tour of Mexico concert in an informative, audience-friendly format. Culture Insights Premieres Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7pm PT Culture Insights is an exploration of Southern California’s heritage, including demonstrations of traditional instruments and performance, and discussions about history, arts and music. Appearances for this edition include Zapotec master weaver Porfirio Gutiérrez; Rocio Marron, Son Jarocho and Mariachi violinist; community leader, Carmen Ramirez; musician and educator, Jorge Andres Herrera; an Aztec Dance performance by Veronica X. Valadez and leaders from the Museum of Ventura County. Meet the Artists Premieres Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 7pm PT Meet the Artists is a longstanding New West Symphony tradition which brings us closer to the guest artists and gives our audience an opportunity to learn about artistic and creative process. Enjoy a combination of biography, performance and insight into an artist’s process and talent, such as soloist guitarist Jiji Kim, composers Fernando Arroyo García Lascurain, José Enrique González-Medina and Gabriela Ortiz. A Tour of Mexico is the sixth in a series of festivals being held October 2020 through June 2021, designed to spotlight the vivid cultural influences that have shaped classical music and Southern California itself. Each festival tradition has strong connections to symphonic music of the past and present. The season has so far included A Tour of Japan (October 2020) featuring violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, NWS concertmaster Alyssa Park, and Japanese drum ensemble Makoto Taiko; A Tour of India (November 2020) where works of Reena Esmail, Debussy, Elgar, Turina, Cooke and Philip Glass shared the spotlight with performances of Hindustani and Carnatic music; Holocaust Remembrance (January 2021), to commemorate and honor six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism voices, featuring touching historical context and music of the early 20th century and today exploring Jewish themes; A Tour of China (February 2021), a celebration of Chinese New Year and the Spring Lantern Festival, featuring the world’s premier Pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man; multi-Grammy-winning soprano Sasha Cooke; and a master of erhu, Hong Wang; and A Tour of Iran (April 2021), exploring centuries old traditions of Iranian poetic and musical cultural influences on the western world, featuring award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and Iranian instrumentalists Pejman Hadadi (tombak and daf) and Masoud Rezaei (setar). All six festivals are now available for on-demand viewing to passport holders at New West Symphony Upcoming Festivals Program details will be released four weeks prior to the streaming dates. American Melting Pot Summer 2021 – dates TBD A Tour of South Korea Summer 2021 – dates TBD Community partners and advisors who have collaborated with New West Symphony on the development on the 2020-21 season include Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; Hirokazu Kosaka, Japanese American Cultural Community Center; Composer Reena Esmail; and Mark Kligman and Supeena Adler from UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology. Season sponsors are Home Helpers Home Care, Karen and Dr. Paul Finkel, Susan Burgos, and Fern & Dr. Arnold Heyman. New West Symphony has received grants to support this season from the Colburn Foundation, California Arts Council, Edison Foundation, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Neiman Marcus Foundation, TOArts, City of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Women’s Club, Meadowlark Service League, City of Agoura Hills, Bank of America Foundation, and others. About New West Symphony: About Michael Christie:

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