LINDA AND THE MOCKINGBIRDS
July 18 only
Linda and The Mockingbirds pairs acclaimed musician Linda Ronstadt with Los Cenzontles (“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language), a band and music academy for young people in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this documentary by award-winning director and producer James Keach, Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a busload of Cenzontles journey to the little town of Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born.
The film details Ronstadt’s long friendship with Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American and musician who founded Los Cenzontles thirty years prior to reconnect working-class kids with the dignity and beauty of their ancestral music and culture. Along the way, the pounding feet of zapateado dancers, the strumming of jarana and guitar, the clacking buzz of the quijada, a donkey jawbone, and a chorus of soulful voices celebrate pride and self-knowledge with a solid, rootsy groove. “This is not Latin-ish ‘Dorito music,’ Ronstadt says of the film’s musical backbone. ‘This is Mexican music.’ “
Linda and the Mockingbirds is a song-soaked, foot-stomping trip straight to the heart of what it means to be Mexican—and American—and the complex joy of being both at the same time. Preceding the film is Good Morning Aztlan, a short film by Les Blank and Maureen Gosling featuring Los Cenzontles and Los Lobos performing Los Lobos’ 2002 song of the same name.
Directed by James Keach. United States. 2020. 60 min. English, Spanish w/ English subtitles.
This community screening is co-produced by Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts and the Roxie Theater in conjunction with McEvoy Arts’ exhibition Next to You (May 28 – December 4, 2021). Next to You is an exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrates the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. Related programs include Alison O’Daniel’s Hearing Aids, a two-session program of short films and videos about the senses and communication, and a series live events in collaboration with dynamic partners that activate the exhibition’s exploration of community. Learn more and plan your visit to Next to You at www.mcevoyarts.org.
Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy is a grassroots artist-driven organization committed to amplifying the roots of Mexican culture through classes, events, media, and performances. Founded in San Pablo, CA in 1994 by musician and educator Eugene Rodriguez, Los Cenzontles provides the local community with a family-friendly setting for traditional arts education and cultural events. The Los Cenzontles Academy connects students of all ages with maestros of traditional Mexican genres instilling a sense of cultural pride and participation in living traditions. Its full calendar of events features performances by students, its own professional touring group, Los Cenzontles, and well-known world musicians and visiting artists. Los Cenzontles documents this journey of continuing the long tradition of authentic Mexican art with CDs and DVDs to share with the world and future generations.
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts’ vision is to create an open, intimate, and welcoming setting for private contemplation and community discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. We invite artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. These collaborations produce three annual exhibitions in McEvoy Arts’ gallery, new media programs in the Screening Room, as well as dozens of film, music, literary, and performing arts events each year.
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LINDA AND THE MOCKINGBIRDS: Upcoming Showtimes