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Express Yourself! Choose your favorite Guagua Electrica song for Battle of the Boroughs 

 Familia,

My musical battle bus is about to enter the fray, and I need your help...

Please help me pick the best one of my songs to enter into WNYC's 2012 Battle of the Boroughs Talent Contest.

WNYC's site says:
"Artists will be selected based on the following criteria:
-Technical Excellence (a high-level of proficiency and skill in the selected art form)
-Innovation (a uniquely individual approach and style to the work)
-Artistry (honoring and expanding the genre or discipline)
-Performance Quality (providing a polished product that achieves all of the aforementioned elements)"

Here are the tunes I'm considering:

1) Escuchando a su iPod
2) Mychal's Prayer
3) La Patria de Dios
4) Cantaré mi Bomba

They will all be availiable for free download at guaguaelectrica.com for the next week.

Please shoot me a message via email, facebook, or commenting on my blog to let me know which song you think would be best, and why.

Thanks for listening,

Marcos

Guagua Classica: MY WISCONSIN on Youtube 

 Muchisimas gracias to everyone who came out to the premiere of MY WISCONSIN.

I was very moved by your appreciation of this heartfelt piece of music theater. I am grateful to Leanna Hieber and the Orfeo Duo for their vibrant and nuanced performances.

Right now the first movement is up on youtube for your enjoyment. Leanna, the Orfeo Duo and I are going to get together again soon to make a "studio" recording of MY WISCONSIN. Stay tuned and you'll get to hear it here first!

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

Guagua Classica: MY WISCONSIN 

 Please come out for the world premiere of my song cycle: MY WISCONSIN. This is a big new adventure for me. It's a 22 minute piece of classical music for Mezzo Soprano, violin, and piano, to be sung by my foremost interpreter Leanna Hieber. The text is by my mom, Carolyn Wille-Rivera. In it she reflects on her farm-girl childhood. I hope you'll find MY WISCONSIN  to be poignant, dramatic, and sweet. MY WISCONSIN be featured on the program: A Harvest of Neighborhood Music, presented by the Orfeo Duo Sunday November 6th 1:30 pm at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church 521 West 126th Street, 1/2 block West of Amsterdam, $10 suggested donation at the door.

Guagua Politica: 212-679-6018 A Legal Help Number for Civil Disobedience  

Last week when I marched with the protest movement Occupy Wall St, we were told to memorize this Legal Aid number in case we were arrested: 212-679-6018. I made this song to help people memorize it.  The song is inspired by traditional African American work songs and spirituals. In particular the song from the prayer meeting scene in Glory.
 
I hope the song is catchy and does it's job of getting 212-679-6018 stuck in your head. 

I just heard, that some other musicians have had the same idea. That's cool, I'm not trying to be clever. I'm only trying to be useful. I haven't heard the other song and I'm sorry if our songs are similar and any other musician is offended.

Keep the faith, and...

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos

Guagua Gospel: Remembering 9/11/2001 and Remembering Mychal Judge, OFM 

Mychal's Prayer:

"Lord, take me where You want me to go,
Let me meet who You want me to meet,
Tell me what You want me to say,
And keep me out of Your way.
Amen."

Father My­chal Judge, who was a Fran­cis­can Fa­ther, is the sub­ject of the film SAINT OF 9/11. He gave a life­time of ser­vice as an im­age of Christ on earth. For example, re­quest­ed to be trans­fered to Man­hat­tan in the 80's, so that he could min­is­ter to AIDS pa­tients, at a time when doc­tors and nurs­es were re­fus­ing to touch pa­tients with "Gay Can­cer". Lat­er My­chal gave years of ser­vice as a Chap­lain to the New York City Fire De­part­ment (FDNY).

He per­formed nu­mer­ous re­li­gious ser­vices (bap­tisms, mass­es, fu­ner­als) for FD­NY per­son­el. In ad­di­ton, it was his cus­tom to mon­i­tor the ra­dio and go to the sites of ma­jor emer­gen­cies. He want­ed to be with the people he served at the site of emer­gen­cies, to of­fer prac­ti­cal help, and prayer. And so on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 11, 2001, Father Mychal was at the emergency command center at the base of the North Tower of the WTC. He was offering prayers and aid to the injured, the dead, and rescuers, when he was killed by debris from the collapse of the South Tower.

The New Teste­ment calls us to "Pray with­out ceas­ing ". Even ten years after his death in the attacks of 9/11, My­chal's prayer has not ceased. His prayer was not si­lenced by ha­tred, vi­o­lence, or ho­mo­pho­bia. I hope that this song may lift his prayer into our hearts, and from our hearts to God's. In Father Mychal's last homily he said: ".You have no idea what God is calling you to. But he needs you. He needs me. He needs all of us." Amen.

For more of Mychal's story watch SAINT OF 9/11 or it's trailer. If you like this song just send me a message and I'll send you a live recording of it.

This song is al­so ded­i­cat­ed to Alan Olivieri, MD. Es­toy muy orgul­loso de ti. Que des­cansas en paz, tio. Te quiero.

Mu­sic by Mar­cos de Jesús, ar­range­ment by Marcos and Ho­race Beasley. Main track recorded at Trinity Lutheran Church at 100th and Amsterdam; where Horace is our intrepidly talented music director and I often play the drums. Text based on the per­son­al prayer of Fr. My­chal F. Judge, OFM. Mar­cos: vo­cals. Ho­race: pi­ano. Thanks to Horace for his wonderful playing and wide ranging lessons. Thanks to Ho­race and Mar­i­lyn for helping me learn how to pray in song in the Gospel tradition.

Thanks for Listening,

Marcos
 

Guagua Boricua: Cantaré mi Bomba 

 Comenzó con la Bomba Puertoriqueña.

My vocation as a songwriter began with la Bomba puertoriqueña.

I grew up in a musical environment, including:

-My father Miguel’s hauntingly beautiful voice echoing through the house (He’s an especially formidable interpreter of classic Boleros).

-Bach chorales and Gospel music in church.

-Hip-hop on the streets and in school.

I also had some formal musical experiences from an early age. I was blessed to learn my first latino drum beats from mi padrino, Dr Abe Cáceres when I was seven (Plena, Bolero, Tumbao, y Merengue). There also were voice and piano lessons, and experiences with classical music…

But, I only began to feel that God had given me songs “that the angels cannot sing” after Bomba became the rhythm of my heart. After my semester long sojourn to study the African Roots of our Puerto Rican culture in 2001, me salio una voz… the drum beats and the dances called out songs to me. I started to use every spare moment I could to listen inside my head and scrawl in my notebooks.

Muchismas gracias to my first Maestros de la Bomba puertoriqueña: Modesto y Gladys Cepeda, José Emanueli,  y Dr. Emanuel Dufrasne Gonzalez.

The lyrics of Cantaré mi Bomba tell more of this unfolding story. I'll share them along with a Spanish translation in my next post. And for those of ya'll who came looking for the songs from Sunday's Trinity Cabaret I'll have those up by Saturday.


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. 

Get on the Bus!