The Cardenche Singers - Sapioriz, Durango + A Last Thank You from CECAM
One last great thank you from the young people at CECAM in Tlauhitoltepec, Oaxaca. Rolando is pictured here, he is a student we got a new guitar for. He's exceptionally dedicated, talented, and grateful. He sent this photo holding a thank you note he printed out to all of us.
If you haven't yet checked out the documentary of the work we did with CECAM, give it a look in the Creations section. We gifted new materials to be used by over 250 students, new basses, guitar, amplifier, books and records from Bach to Duke Ellington, and a bunch jazz books and listening materials they requested, and we were able to work together on new music. I gave workshops and individual lessons and remain in touch with many of the students and Vladimir Medina, a wonderful teacher, musician, mentor for the young people at the school.
Next is work with the Cancion Cardencheros of Sapioriz, Durango. Im just back from a trip up there and dont want to spoil all the details, but we worked with 4 men, all in their 70's, the last surviving singers of traditional slave song in Durango. They are not unknown, as they were awarded the National Prize in the Arts and have represented Mexico at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. However, they still lead very simple lives on their ranches in Sapioriz, and need our help.
I bused and hitchhiked my way to their little community of ranches and homes, everyone knows each other in town, and met the group's leader, Don Fidel Elizalde. He was incredibly generous, inviting me in to his home, talking, singing, taking me around town in his 1960's pickup, and sharing his experience.
I asked him directly how we could help. His answer was to provide opportunity for youth to learn the tradition of the Canto Cardenche, hoping that it does not disappear or lose its integrity in time. We are working with an organization in Durango to help make this happen.
I have a bigger idea I wont share just yet, but think it'll be magic for the singers and a new generation of musicians.
Thank you again for all your support. Episode One has been well received in what we were able to create, and tangible the impact we had on these student's lives is something I hope you all can feel from the photos, video, and performances. Teachers and students are benefiting daily from what we have been able to do.