Reverberations at Pa’ina Lounge, San Francisco on June 20, 2014
Singer, songwriter, and virtuoso guitarist Cynthia Alexander comes to San Francisco for two very special events. If you haven’t heard her soulful and poetic tagalog music, then click this video right now.
She is also featured at the Union Square Philippine Independence Day Celebration “Kalayaan SF” Cynthia recently performed with my kulintang teacher Guro Danongan Kalanduyan at Seattle’s Philippine Independence Day Celebration “Pagdiwirang.”
Taking kulintang electronic dance music to the city that never sleeps for the 116th Philippine Independence Day Celebration. 116 years after Filipinos liberated themselves from the Spanish crown, we close down 15 blocks of Madison Ave. for a parade and fiesta weighing in at 150,000 people, under the theme of “Triumph.”
Many thanks to Mr. Steven De Castro. Be sure to check out his documentary on political musician Fred Ho, who used kulintang in a number of his compositions; most prominently on “A Song For Manong (The Soundtrack to Part 3 of Bamboo That Snaps Back).” This musical journey takes you to the struggle of the International Hotel aka the I-Hotel, and features traditional kulintang playing from my teacher Danongan Kalanduyan.
And, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is Video Blog Episode 17 announcing the first leg of the Kulintronica Summer Tour
Kulintang galore at 22nd annual FPAC in San Pedro, CA
Dropping Kulintronica into the traditional Kulintang music performance
For this year’s Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) I travelled incognito as a member of my teacher Danongan Kalanduyan’s performance ensemble. Dressed in a red gold green black traditional attire with a colorful Sama headwrap I joined my kulintang brothers from Northern California and San Diego to bring a heavy dose of kulintang to a festival that always makes room to feature kulintang music; FPAC! For more pictures and videos, see the @kulintronica twitter/instagram/vine feeds!
Traditional attire for the performance
First task was to gather first thing in the morning all of the kulintang players gathered for this performance. We had experienced performing kulintang musicians from Northern California and San Diego.
Rehearsal for breakfast
After the performance on the Legacy Stage we moved to the Dance stage for interactive workshops where we were ecstatic to be joined by a number of kulintang players attending the festival. We jammed, danced, and had reunions.
Maestro Marlo getting down on Tagunggo
Inkanor (left) on Agong
Mars on gandingan
Chris “Filipino Brand” Feraro on kulintang
Check out Chris’ apparel and goodies at Filipino Brand.
Local dance force Kayamanan ng Lahi also had live kulintang playing as part of their performance Saturday morning. The Center for Babaylan Studies also kept a kulintang handy at their pavilion tent. The kulintang is a great tool for bringing people together, which is great to draw attention in a festival rich with activities.
Babaylan Pavilion kulintang
September kulintangan up and down California.
Filipino Performing Arts & Culture (FPAC20) in San Pedro, California
FPAC Kulintronica by J Bashiri
Filipino Fest at Six Flags
Kulintang and Eskrima Filipino Fest Six Flags Vallejo by M Williams
Nieto Art Gallery
Kulintang with Sambasia SF at Carnaval parade
The month of May! This month I brought the gongs from San Francisco to Honolulu. It was my second time to participate in this well-attended festival in Waikiki. Thousands of Filipinos came to the festival despite some tropical rain to create a Filipino village in the park. After talking to a lot of Filipinos on the West side of the island, it seems that Waikiki is “too far” for a lot of Filipinos on that side of the island. I think this year there is a festival that will be bringing the party to that side of the island. Bay Area people compare those Filipinos in Daly City who refuse to go to Pistahan, but without the luxury of a BART train.
Honolulu Filipino Fiesta
Filipino FIesta of Honolulu
Back in San Francisco I was welcomed into an amazing circle of Filipino musicians at the SF Pinoy Jazz Festival. I was inducted into this club of hard-working and hard-playing group of talented and experienced performers by Carlos Zialcita of Little Brown Brother, who played right after me.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration with SF Pinoy Jazz Fest
Asian Heritage Street Celebration Filipino Jazz Fest Stage
The month of May does not pass in San Francisco without one of the largest and most celebrated events in the festival season: CARNAVAL! It was so great to rejoin Sambasia once again for a high-energy march down Mission St. with a complete bateria plus dancers! Director Masaru Koga created an amazing cross-cultural arrangement that blends Okinawan, Brazilian, and Filipino (Maranao) traditional songs into one continuous piece of fun! Sambasia founder Jimmy Biala marched with us for the entire length of the parade before changing into another uniform and running all the way back to the beginning of the parade to do it again with another group!
SF Carnaval with Sambasia SF featuring Wesley Uenten
the view from the parade float
with Wesley Uenten and Sambasia SF
John-Carlos Perea on Bass