good news from la guagua

Code Switching is Here, Dec 4th Marcos & la Guagua Will be at BXCC 

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Code Switching album release concert a beautiful celebration of diverse community and powerful music.

Now you can get Code Switching at cdbaby.com/cd/marcoslaguagua

$11 on compact disc, $9.50 digital download

And you can see songs from the album performed live this Thursday December 4th, at Bronx Community College (BXCC) 12-2pm. I am honored to be the featured artist at the BXCC Writing Center Poet's Cafe, Sage Hall Room 100. The event is free and YOU are invited! Bring poetry or music to share or just come to listen. Take the 4 train to Burnside Avenue walk west up Burnside to University Ave, turn right to the campus gate. From the University Ave entrance walk up the main path at BXCC till you pass Meister Hall, Turn left, continue to Sage Hall. Plan on bringing ID to show the guard at the campus gate.

Marcos & la Guagua comes to life when my songs reach the hearts and body/minds that they were meant for. La Guagua means to move you. If you like what we're doing, please share it with someone else you think might be blessed by it. I'm always happy to hear from you too.

Thanks for your support. 

Thanks for listening,

Marcos

Marcos & la Guagua Album Release Concert Nov 21st 

Beloved Community,

Friday November 21st, 7pm
Marcos & la Guagua presents: 
Code Switching
Album release concert
Trinity Lutheran Church 164 W 100th Street, Manhattan

I will be performing songs from my debut album Code Switching, in a beautiful space that has helped me find my voice. Everything sounds better with the gracious acoustics of the sanctuary of TLCofNYC. I invite you to be a part of our journey. La Guagua means to move you.

Check out a video of a recent show to have an idea of what we'll have to share with you.

 

MarcosandlaGuagua.com/video

 

More details soon.

 

Thanks for Listening,

 

Marcos

Ten Thoughts on Immigration and Freedom 

I am not an expert on immigration. But, my friendships with immigrants are important to me. I think most folks in our country want the USA to be a friend to immigrants. I think many people in the Judeo-Christian faith tradition (which I am a part of) want our congregations to be friends to immigrants. If that is our goal, it seems that the usual debates in the mainstream media are not helping us. I suggest we need to start from different perspectives. What if we started with:

1- For Christians: Matthew 25:31-46.  Jesus identifies himself with the most vulnerable. If we love and serve Jesus we must focus on loving and serving vulnerable people. 

2- Immigration is not usually anyone's first choice. People normally prefer to stay in their homelands.The most effective way to reduce immigration is to work to improve conditions in all countries. If conditions are OK at home, most people will not leave.

 

3- The most effective way to reduce illegal immigration, is to make legal immigration easier. 

 

4- People have innate rights, not countries or borders. Countries have no innate right to keep out non-violent workers, children, or refugees. Non-violently crossing a border is not immoral.

 

5- Countries have the responsibility to protect their people from hostile military forces, and criminals, border security is one tool to accomplish this. Protection from hostile military forces and criminals should be the primary and limited purpose of border security.

 

6- Militarization of borders is dangerous for everyone. Border militarization is often a characteristic of violent, oppressive states such as North Korea.

 

7- Militarized borders benefit criminals by creating a new product for smugglers. As Al Capone gained power from the prohibition of alcohol, so do cross border smugglers gain power from the prohibition of non-violent immigrant workers, children, and refugees.

 

8- If capital and corporations move across borders, workers will move across borders as well.

 

9- Our country, our planet, and our universe are filled with an abundance of good things. There is more than enough for everyone. If this doesn't seem to be the case, it is an illusion created by injustice or poor distribution of resources.

 

10- Countries have the responsibility to remediate harm which their policies or economies have caused.

 

Does any of that seem helpful? Sometimes, when I have strong feelings about an issue, I make a song about it. But, right now I am trying to focus on releasing an album. So I thought I'd try  typing out some thoughts using sentences instead. I hope that the audience that is coming together around this Guagua project, is a community of folks that welcome thoughtful and loving discussion. Pues, avisame que piensan ustedes.

 

Peace, Blessings, and Thanks for Listening,

 

Marcos

Música Boricua By Request  

My voice as a songwriter first poured out of me as I studied under Afri-Puerto Rican roots music masters such as Modesto Cepeda, en la Isla del Encanto.  As promised, Patria de Dios  and Cantaré mi Bomba  will be streaming for free here for a limited time. Soon they will be included in my new album. The project has now grown from an EP into a full length album, probably to be called "Code Switching", and probably to be released in the fall.

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos
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  1. Cantaré mi Bomba

Time for the EP 

I have some stuff I think you should hear. I think you'll find that it's worth listening to.  A spoken word intro, 6 songs, and an adorable audio snippet from my Abuelita. 27 musical minutes. Some of it, I hope, you might wanna listen to again and again.

 

I made this music in the past years of wandering in the desert of the soul, hearing voices, and trying to find my voice. In those years, I probably recorded a thousand minutes. Now I think I've begun to find my artistic voice. I've chosen 27 minutes out of the thousand, to represent what I am becoming as an artist. 


I envision this as a small scale, self release, of mainly DIY tracks.

 

Do you have any advice on how to do this well? Should I ask for listener/fan support, or keep it very simple and put it on my credit card?

 

CD release party? Where, when?

 

Any thoughts on Album art, CD cases, iTunes, Soundcloud, or Amazon?

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts as professionals or as listeners.

 

Thanks for being a part of the community that has nurtured this music.

 

Paz,

 

Marcos

Featured in the Inspired Word All Stars! 

Please come out and support our musical mission of reconciliation in:
The Inspired Word All Stars
Thursday November 21st, 7pm
at Bareburger, 2nd Ave and 5th Street, 2nd floor, Manhattan
$10 cover
 
 Marcos & la Guagua, my musical vehicle, will rock out a 20 minute set.  I am excited about the music we have to share with you! Plus, we will share the bill with other "All Star" artists presented by Mike Geffner's inspired Word series. Please mention Marcos & la Guagua at the door, and it will benefit us directly.
 
 Horace Beasley will join me on piano and backing vocals. Horace is a master vocalist, versatile keyboard stylist, and director of 
music at TLC of NYC. Rehearsals have been going great!
 
Please come out and participate in what Marcos & la Guagua is becoming.
 
Thanks for Listening,
 
Marcos
 

A Lot To Listen To 

By the time I'm done uploading there will be about 20 tracks available to listen to and download for free on GuaguaElectrica.com

Including a bit of almost every journey Marcos & Guagua Electrica has taken so far:

    Guagua Boricua-Puerto Rican roots music
    Guagua Gospel-Christian devotional
    Guagua Clásica- My alter ego: Marcos de Jesús Wille makes alt classical music
    Guagua Urbana-Urban sounds, like Hiphop and spoken word
Guagua Política- Songs that Take a stand
    Guagua Comercíal- Jingles and underscoring
    Guagua Dramática- Music for the theatre or that tells a story

What works? What isn't working?
Please tell me what you think and feel about this music.

The recording quality on some tracks are rough or downright primitive, but I have only shared tracks that I think have something beautiful to them, something worth sharing. I hope these tracks will allow you to hear the promise of the musical journeys Marcos & Guagua Electrica could take in the future.

I've also left off most of the tracks I may release with a little more fanfare (as an EP/short album) later in the year. Those tracks will have a little better production values, Patria de Dios is a preview of what the album will sound like.

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

La Patria de Dios: My note to WNYC  

Dear Travelers,

I'm entering "La Patria de Dios" into WNYC radio's Battle of the Boroughs 2013. Stay tuned for news on the contest. Here's a little of what I told WNYC about the song:

"¡El Sur del Bronx es la Patria de Dios! (The South Bronx is God's Country!)

For years, this was a dicho my grandmother would often repeat to me. A dicho is an expression which may be repeated at "teachable moments" to pass on and internalize cultural wisdom. But, unlike most dichos de mi abuelita, this is not a common expression. "¡El Sur del Bronx es la Patria de Dios!" is a kernel of uncommon wisdom which, as far I know, my grandmother coined all by herself. In coining this new expression she syncretized influences as diverse as Liberation Theology and Country/Western music, into a simple phrase.

I think I'm doing something similar in my song "La Patria de Dios". It's a 21st century latino folk song. It's not complicated. It's meant to be a dicho you can dance to. But, it does bring together diverse influences. In "La Patria de Dios" the rhythm of Puerto Rican Plena, is subtly seasoned with influences of acapela styles such as vocal jazz, gospel, and barbershop.

What did Abuelita mean by saying:" The South Bronx is God's Country."?

I could say more about it, but I'd rather sing about it. So please give "La Patria de Dios" a listen. Feel free to dance along. Below you may follow the lyrics and an English translation.

Peace, Blessings, and Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

La Patria de Dios
Por Marcos Emanuel de Jesús
para mi Abuelita, Rev Marie Aviles de Jesús
Coro
Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios      (I went walking through God's country
Por la Patria de Dios(2x)

Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios      (I went walking through God's country
el Sur del Bronx-¡La Patria de Dios!              the South Bronx: God's Country)

Verso 1

Si queires hermano, yo te puedo llevar         (If you'd like, brother, I could take you
a ver los signos de Cristo Vivo                         to see the signs of Christ Alive
Renacimiento,                                                    Resureción Rebirth, Resurrection
El camino de la Cruz y la Patria de Dios      The Way of the Cross, and God's Country.)

Coro
Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios       (I went walking through God's country
Por la Patria de Dios(2x)

Yo me fui a pasear por la Patria de Dios       (I went walking through God's country
el Sur del Bronx-¡La Patria de Dios!                the South Bronx: God's Country!)

etc.
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  1. La Patria de Dios

Happy Holidays and Tax the Rich!  


It may seem like a song called "Tax the Rich" is not good holiday music. But, I think it fits very well with the true meanings of this sacred season. Please listen to the song, and let me know if you get what I mean.

You see:"Tax the Rich!"is a phrase which is treated as if it were profane in this culture.

But, I think taxing the rich can be such an important part of building a better society, that the phrase:" Tax the Rich!" should be regarded as sacred. And saying :"Tax the Rich!" should be regarded as uttering a blessing.

This holiday season, when we say:"Happy Holidays!" maybe we should also say: "Tax the Rich!"

Because saying:"Tax the rich!" is like saying: " I love you!" to a whole society.

Saying:"Tax the rich!" is celebrating Ujamaa, cooperative economics, which is the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, and recognizing the logic of Ubuntu:" I am because we are."

Saying: "Tax the rich!" is taking a moment of Chanukah (which literally means:"Dedication"), and committing ourselves to not let the light of peace with justice go out all year long.

And saying:"Tax the rich!" ain't nearly as radical as what Mary sang when the angel appeared to her with God's vision for redemption of the world through her womb( Luke 1.46-55), but it is a good start...

This holiday season, the mainstream media and the major party politicians tell us that because "the 99% have been naughty" we should lower our expectations for the new year. But, we can dispel their lies with the powerful incantation of the simple truth: "We don't need to accept austerity, recessions, and oppression-WE CAN TAX THE RICH!"

So, happy (belated) Chanukah! Happy solstice! I wish you an enlightening and joyful Kwanzaa! Una feliz Navidad, and a new year filled with abundant life!

And if you agree about the gospel of progressive taxation, turn to someone you love, give them a fist bump or a hug, and teach them this chant*:

Call:"Tax the Rich!

                                Response:"All the time!"

Call:"All the time!"

                                Response:"Tax the Rich!

Thanks for listening,

Marcos

*The chant, of course, comes from the spiritual genius of the African American Church. The traditional version which many folk may know is:

Call:"God is good!

                                Response:"All the time!"

Call:"All the time!"

                               Response:"God is good!"

Amen
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  1. Tax the Rich

Marcos & la Guagua

Marcos de Jesús is inspired by going new places with genres he loves, such as Hiphop, Boricua Roots Music, and Gospel. Code Switching, the debut album of Marcos & la Guagua is on CDbaby and iTunes. Marcos & la Guagua is on a musical mission of reconciliation, to boldly go beyond the limitations of genre ghettos. Marcos will be your guide and la Guagua will be our clean-air-hybrid-electric vehicle. La Guagua means to move you. 

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