Sunday, July 18, 2010

Food for the soul

On the hottest day of one of the hottest Junes in D.C. history, my husband and I intrepidly headed to the Mall to see Los Reyes de Albuquerque perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. We love the festival, not only because we get to hear free concerts (including Guy Clark and Asleep at the Wheel), but also because we have dear, longtime New Mexican friends who are invited to play from time to time. This was one of those times. Los Reyes de Albuquerque has its roots in Albuquerque, founded by Roberto Martinez, a renowned composer and performer of New Mexican Mariachi music -- ballads (corridos) polkas and waltzes, the sounds of vihuela and guitarra interwoven with violins. Though we melted in the heat, fanning ourselves and gulping down liquids with the exertion of merely sitting, Roberto sang and played his guitar untouched by the weather, barely pausing for a sip or a breath. His passion and love for his craft was evident in every note. His twinklng eye and captivating smile captured the hearts of the crowd, who showed their appreciation by filling the dance floor. His best line of the night was "music is food for the soul." His well-fed soul shows its light in the joy and passion with which he lives his life. Though he lost two of his beloved daughters to cancer, and his neither of his sons Roberto Martinez, Jr., and violinist Lorenzo Martinez could make this trip, the show goes on--with his grandchildren taking the stage. Hats off to you Senor Martinez! Hasta pronto!

To read more about Los Reyes in Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, click here.

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