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Support the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and purchase special event tickets to this performance. Tickets are $75 each and all proceeds from these tickets go to support the programs of Good Samaritan Family Resource Center.
Bring the entire family as the San Francisco Symphony and VivaFest! celebrate the Day of the Dead with the fifth annual community concert honoring Latino culture. This one-of-a-kind event, co-produced with VivaFest and co-curated with VivaFest’s Creative Director Dan Guerrero, is narrated by acclaimed writer and director Luis Valdez and features outstanding artists from all over the Bay Area and beyond, including the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra performing Copland’s El Salón México, VivaFest’s Los Lupeños de San José dance company presenting colorful Mexican Ballet Folklórico, and Mexican super-group Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitán playing beloved Mariachi selections from the mariachi canon. There will be pre-concert festivities in the Davies Symphony Hall lobbies beginning at 1pm, including hot chocolate and pan de muertos, face painting and paper flower making, and a colorful art exhibition celebrating the unique tradition of Día de los Muertos
DAN GUERRERO began his eclectic career in New York where he moved from East LA at age twenty to sing and dance in musicals. He performed off-Broadway, in regional theatre and summer stock and in countless cabaret revues including one that took him to the Nixon White House.
He later became a successful Broadway talent agent in the years from “A Chorus Line” to “Cats” representing Tony Award winners and future Hollywood names. Back to L.A., Dan became a “born-again Hispanic” fiercely working for more positive Latino images on the screen as a casting director, writer and, for the past dozen years, as a producer and director.
Guerrero has been widely-acclaimed as a highly creative independent producer of diverse programming for network and cable television in both English and Spanish including NBC, PBS, HBO, FOX, Univision and Telemundo. At the same time, he has produced and directed plays and music and award show galas at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for the LA Opera, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and the Cite de la Musique in Paris, France.
Guerrero has been twice honored by the distinguished Imagen Foundation for his positive portrayal of the Latino culture in his work and Hispanic Magazine recognized him as “one of the 25 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood.”
He is proud the Dan Guerrero Collection on Latino Entertainment and the Arts has been established in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at the University of California, Santa Barbara. www.danguerrero.com
LUIS VALDEZ is regarded as one of the most important and influential American playwrights living today. His internationally renowned, and Obie award winning theater company, El Teatro Campesino (The Farm Workers’ Theater) was founded by Luis in 1965 – in the heat of the United Farm Workers (UFW) struggle and the Great Delano Grape Strike in California’s Central Valley. His involvement with Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the early Chicano Movement left an indelible mark that remained embodied in all his work even after he left the UFW in 1967: his early actos Las Dos Caras del Patroncito and Quinta Temporada, (short plays written to encourage campesinos to leave the fields and join the UFW), his mitos (mythic plays) Bernabe and La Carpa de los Rasquachis that gave Chicanos their own contemporary mythology, his examinations of Chicano urban life in I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinkin’ Badges, his Chicano re-visioning of classic Mexican folktales Corridos, his exploration of his Indigenous Yaqui roots in Mummified Deer, and – of course – the play that re-exams the “Sleepy Lagoon Trial of 1942” and the “Zoot Suit Riots of 1943”, two of the darkest moments in LA urban history – Zoot Suit – considered a masterpiece of the American Theater as well as the first Chicano play on Broadway and the first Chicano major feature film.
Luis numerous feature film and television credits include, among others, the box office hit film La Bamba starring Lou Diamonds Phillips, Cisco Kid starring Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin and Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution starring Linda Ronstadt.
Luis has never strayed far from his own farm worker roots. His company, El Teatro Campesino, is located 60 miles south of San Jose in the rural community of San Juan Bautista, CA. This theater, tucked away in San Benito County, is the most important and longest running Chicano Theater in the United States.
Luis’ hard work and long creative career have won him countless awards including numerous LA Drama Critic Awards, Dramalogue Awards, Bay Area Critics Awards, the prestigious George Peabody Award for excellence in television, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, the Governor’s Award for the California Arts Council, and Mexico’s prestigious Aguila Azteca Award given to individuals whose work promotes cultural excellence and exchange between US and Mexico.
Mr. Valdez has written numerous plays, authored numerous articles and books. His latest anthology Mummified Deer and Other Plays was recently published by Arte Publico Press. As an educator, he has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Fresno State University and was one of the founding professors of CSU Monterey Bay. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from, among others, the University of Rhode Island, the University of South Florida, Cal Arts, the University of Santa Clara, and his alma mater, San Jose State University. Mr. Valdez was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. In 2007 he was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship as one of fifty US Artists so honored across the United States.
Click below to watch a video about the concert: