Yasel Mendoza Patterson

Yasel Mendoza Patterson

Through dance moves, melodic narrative and vibrant percussion — TMY featured artist Yasel Patterson (along with musical director/pianist Liudvik Luis Cutiño Cruz, guitarist Alejandro de Miguel, master dancers Jairo Cruz and Lorena Ochoa and several well-known Tucson musicians) intends to create a welcoming space for Cuban music, play and tradition on the TMY performance stage.

Featuring a combination of classic and contemporary movements with Afro-European and Latin influences, A Little Taste of My Cuba will take TMY attendees on a musical journey that looks at where Cuban music came from, as well as where it is going. “As a TMY featured artist we are eager to bring every part of who we are to our community’s festival,” says Yasel, “and to celebrate Cuba’s rich regional styles.” “I can’t live without music…” Yasel’s first steps into music came when he was young, living with grandparents after his mother had died. “I was singing in church, going to festivals and discovering my own walk into the world of music. Someone said I had a beautiful voice after hearing a church solo,” he remembers. This led to being asked to be part of a professional chorus in the state, participating in Cuban musical theater, founding a Cuban a cappella vocal quartet and graduating from the University Art Institute of Cuba. He has since performed with a variety of Cuban masters of the Afro-Cuban musical identity.

The Artistic Performance Cuban music and its many popular genres blend Spanish guitar and harmonies with a West African solid groove on drums, and A Little Taste of My Cuba brings a full ensemble of all-star Cuban musicians to explore Cuban music’s influence on the TMY stage. The dance and the music in the Cuban show will be represented by award-wining Cuban singers and dancers and locals well known musicians. “Most of the performers come from the same state in Cuba, Holguin,” Yasel explains, “and we have been performing together for several years on and off in Cuba, Mexico and the USA.” Yasel’s TMY program is being crafted as a musical experience that travels across Cuban heritage — beginning with an intro acknowledging African origins. The tempo will progressively quicken as the musical travelogue moves from past to modern styles. Drums, bass, piano, congas, trumpets and guitar will blend with musicians, dancers and singers in multidimensional entertainment.

Source: https://www.southwestfolklife.org/driving-the-rhythm-of-culture
Photo source https://www.facebook.com/yasel.mendozapatterson