County college to move at the rhythm of Salsa

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:01

Sussex County - The destination is Cuba in a program of dance, music, videos and stories called Cubanana being sponsored by Sussex County Community College. Audience members will be able to either sit back and watch the show or get up and join in at the live, interactive performance that will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the SCCC Theater in Newton. Cubanana features the talents of Jesús Alvarez and Carrie Lavender on vocals, guitar, percussion, and dancing. Alvarez is classically trained in voice, bass, and theory, and he plays major and minor percussion, upright bass, guitar, charango, and tres (a Cuban style high-pitched guitar, fundamental to much Cuban folk music). A composer and lyricist, his song ¡Nagüe! ¿qué bolá?, which teaches colloquial Cuban expressions, is a hit in Cuba. While teaching music at the School of Early Childhood and Elementary Education in Guantánamo, Cuba, Alvarez conducted school workshops in his province and won an award for his children’s song, El cacharro de Peruchín. In the United States, Alvarez has performed regularly at special events, clubs and restaurants as a soloist and with local bands and Cubanana. His singing style masters complicated rhythms and melodies with a free-flowing quality that was cultivated in his native Guantánamo, birthplace of the renowned Cuban “son” genre. Lavendar, a foreign language instructor at Sussex County Community College, grew up playing guitar. She was greatly influenced by the United States folk movement of the 1960’s, but ventured far from her native cornfields of Eastern Pennsylvania when she first traveled to Cuba in 1997 to study son and changüí in pursuit of her passion for Cuban music. Lavendar has performed with various local Latin bands in addition to Cubanana. Her instruments include guitar, voice, minor percussion, bongo, and recorder. Lavendar has classical training in dance, music, and theatre, including in-depth study in a variety of Latin genres. She has thirteen years experience teaching languages here and overseas, including eight years in adult and college education and five years in K-12. She has a Masters Degree in the Teaching of Spanish from Columbia University, Teachers College, where she is pursuing an Ed.M. in International Educational Development. Admission is $5, and advance tickets are available by calling 973-300-2120.