Úrsula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso was called the Queen of Salsa. You may know her as Celia Cruz. A lifetime secret, 1925 was her birth year. She lived for 77 years; 42 of those years outside her beloved Cuba. In 1960 Celia Cruz left Cuba for a gig in Mexico and never returned to […]Read more
Year 12: Home School Spanish
As a teen, I remember making flash cards to memorize Spanish vocabulary. That was a lot of work, but learning verb conjugations was even harder. I swore if I had children, I’d introduce them to the language and spare them some drudgery. I’m happy to say that I have. I began speaking Spanish to our […]Read more
Choir!Choir!Choir! Singing in San Diego/Tijuana
October 13, 2019, the Canadian group Choir!Choir!Choir! organized a singalong at the San Diego/Tijuana border between the United States and Mexico. The group and the audience sang the Beatles’ “A Little Help from my Friends” in English and Spanish. The show united 800 hearts and voices. Here’s a video of the concert: Click Suzanne’s Mom’s […]Read more
Flamenco in Madison?
This last weekend was a winter highlight, the International Festival of Madison. The many cultures that grace this small city are represented in music, dance and food. To mention a fraction of the offerings: Capoeira, Swiss Alphorns, German music, Taiwan Puppets and for dances; Mexican Folkloric, East Indian, African, Chinese, Bolivian and Lithuanian. We wish […]Read more
What Mexican Song Do You Know Best?
For the majority of English speakers, I’m guessing the answer may be: Para bailar la Bamba, para bailar la Bamba se necesita un poco de gracia. In order to dance the Bamba…one needs a bit of grace. Ricardo Valenzuela (Ritchie Valens) brought La Bamba into the rock and roll scene of the 1950s. Then Los […]Read more
The Tuna Singers of Salamanca
Visions of large fish leaning into a microphone may come to mind. The word Tuna is misleading. In Spain, these are musicians dressed in medieval garb who play guitar, mandolin, or tambourine, and harmonize. The Tuna tradition started 700 years ago at the newly created Spanish universities. Starving students would play music in order to […]Read more