Thursday, April 16, 2015

Drums & Dreams
I just put up a new art show with my friend Charlie Rosario last week in the Bronx at the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab (1303 Luis Niñé Boulevard). We hung our work side by side, and collaborated on a shrine to the great conga players, percussionists, and rumberos of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin called "Para Los Rumberos" - check an early shot of it below. Better yet, come to the Bronx and see it in person! Many thanks to BMHC's artistic directors Bobby Sanabria and Elena Martinez, as well as Jennifer Rajotte, Development and Marketing Officer (Arts and Community) for WHEDco and BMHC. Opening is May 2, 2015. DJ Andujar will be there playing vintage vinyl representing the rumba and Latin percussion genres; and Charlie Rosario will perform his spoken word poetry over rumba beats with bass and congas, featuring Los Rumberos Callejeros.

Drums and Dreams Artists’ Statement

I invite all rumberos to come on down, to the best visual rumba show in town. It will be a colorful bembé if you know what I mean. From collage to painting, it’s about drums and dreams.
—Charlie Rosario
My art is inspired by music, storytelling, Afro-Caribbean and Mesoamerican cultures, and is influenced by dreams and the surreal. Through my exploration of the subconscious, rhythm, faith, and family history, I explore identity, sacredness, states of possession and ecstasy. Totemic objects, metaphorical imagery, ritualistic practice and special color-coding all play a part in forming my aesthetic and vision.
—Pablo Yglesias

Recognizing a kindred spirit in his friend Charlie Rosario, Pablo Yglesias suggested that the two artists put on a duo show of their work. Both are inspired by many of the same sources, utilize similar mediums of artistic expression and have collaborated on creative projects in the past. Yet their art is different enough that the end result of their being shown side by side leads to complementary and synergistic results. Having a showcase that allows the two artists to share an overview of their art in the same space is a long overdue opportunity that will produce a polyrhythmic visual interplay greater than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Drums and Dreams is the logical outcome of their previous collaborations, affinities and long-standing friendship. You might say this show is “the perfect combination” (la combinación perfecta), to quote an often used phrase in Latin jazz.

Pablo Yglesias and Charlie Rosario: Para Los Rumberos • Installation piece (NFS)
 Charlie Rosario: Semí - Pa’ Bravo Yo • (1999) • Acrylic on board • 24" x 27" (NFS)

 Charlie Rosario: Dog Dream • (1995) • Acrylic on board • 23" x 16" (NFS)

Congueros/rumberos muertos honrados en Para Los Rumberos:

Ricardo “Papín” Abreu

Francisco Aguabella

Federico Arístides Soto Alejo
aka “Tata Güines”

Candida Batista

Justiniano “Justi” Barreto Blanco

Carlos Vidal Bolado

Celia Cruz
Julio “Julito” Collazo
Miguel “Angá” Díaz

Modesto Durán

Carlos Embales
Frank “Machito” Grillo

Luciano Pozo González (“Chano” Pozo)

Félix “Pupi” Insua

Pedro Izquierdo (“Pello El Afrokan”)

Silvestre Méndez

Celeste Mendoza

Jesús Alfonso Miró

Beny Moré

Armando Peraza

Jesús Pérez

Daniel Ponce

Francisco “Chino” Pozo

Arsenio Rodríguez

Israel “Kiki” Rodríguez

Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría

Merceditas Valdés

Miguelito Valdés

Carlos “Patato” Valdés

Pancho Quinto (o “Kinto”)

Alberto Zayas “El Vive Bien”


Ray Barretto
Francisco “Kako” Bastar
Milton Cardona
Mike Collazo
Rafael Cortijo
Gilberto Miguel “Sonny” Calderón (“Joe Cuba”)
Tommy López
Frankie Malabe
Luis “Sabú” Martinez
David “La Mole” Ortiz
Victor “El Negrito” Pantoja
Tito Puente
Martín Quiñones
Louie Ramírez
Cándido Rodríguez
Frankie Rodríguez
Joe Rodríguez
Johnny Rodríguez, Sr.
Tito Rodríguez

 Rumberos Callejeros recording session with Cholo Pérez, Yogui Rosario, and Louie Montañez drumming for backing track on Charlie Rosario's spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams". Recording took place with Jacob Plasse and Quinn McCarthy at The Creamery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 3/24/15.

Charlie Rosario gets ready to record his spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams" while Quinn adjusts the mic.

Chico Alvarez leads recording session for "Drums and Dream" featuring the bass of Jason Youvert.