Posts in Music
CODA XVIII A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part II, Daughters and Sons
July 2019 from across the net

July 2019 from across the net

PART II-Daughters and Sons

(A Sea of Tears and a Revolution | Part One: Citizen)  | Dedicated to artists, asylum seekers all across the globe, and Puerto Rico

 Daughters and sons of la diaspora come in all forms. It is perhaps reason number one I love New York City. The place where we, “the others,” from all corners of the world and types of backgrounds, have a chance to meet as equals. I really appreciate that, the essence of the lesson.

 On June 4, 2019 | Democracy Now! featured Damning Canadian Inquiry Calls the Murder and Disappearance of Indigenous Women & Girls Genocide. The words of First Nations jurist in British Columbia, serving as Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Marion Buller apply also to the entire Northern, Central, Southern, American Continent.

 “…The genocide that has occurred in Canada has been over generations of people—generations of human rights and indigenous rights violations; deliberate underfunding of services and programs to indigenous people; forcibly removing children from their families, children being removed and never being seen again by their own families, by their own communities; forced sterilization of women and girls. The list goes on. But from our perspective and from the legal definition, genocide can be over a long period of time of deliberate state action, that looks different from what we commonly think of as genocide. But it is genocide, legally, nonetheless.” 

 The admittance of genocide and the call-to-action for reparations for women and girls by the Canadian government resonated with me. 

 Lately, a lot has been written about violence against women in Puerto Rico and the women leading the fight. Since the chat, the people now know the aftermath of Hurricane María is a certifiable matter of crimes against humanity of holocaust proportions. 

 I thought about Edwin Miranda’s words, I saw the future it’s so wonderful, there are no Puerto Ricans.

 If it's true for Canada, then same awful truths and precepts as in the United States of conquest, genocide, rape, slavery, empire building, torture, subjugation, building upon sadness the road ahead for more by exploitation apply to us, la (s) diaspora (s). 

 “And so it has come to pass, it is indeed where we hang, this very premise falls on all of us to look at. It reflects the worst type of shine, the one we have never wanted to look at and the one that might just bring us down, the one where brother to brother kills himself and the one where the mighty nation kills us all out of fear from being disappeared.”

James Baldwin

I've been reading a lot, listening to a lot of radio, and watching a lot of videos from and about Puerto Rico. I picked up some stuff for your reference:

Alvin R Couto de Jesus | FB

Apoyemos a que se los 78 municipios de Puerto Rico logren convocar asambleas de pueblo. | Let's support Puerto Rico and in achieving town assemblies in all 78 municipalities.

This guy is something and posting really interesting commentary. You can follow his feed if you are on FB.

AUGUST 9, 2019 | WNYC On the Media
In Puerto Rico, What Comes Next?

By Alana Casanova-Burgess

This is a great piece that captures the past month beautifully-really beautifully.

AUGUST 9, 2019 | Shondaland

Meet the Women Leading Puerto Rico's Feminist Revolution

By Sandra Guzmán

I'm biased about Sandra because she's one of my closest sisters. She's fierce, a truthteller, and she's been busy writing some really important pieces. They are all included in this list.

9 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | El País

La trama feminista y queer en Puerto Rico

Por Luci Cavallero y Verónica Gago

Watch all three of Karla Claudio Betancourt’s shorts. Tremendo artículo.


La Kakistocracia PNP vs. #WanditaLaMala

Nación Chancleta

Very good and important show to listen. In Spanish. Walo is brilliant. He has the dark humor truthteller shtick down in true Puerto Rican slang-Class A. This particular show is a must-listen. You can follow him on FB, YouTube, iHeartRadio.

AUGUST 7, 2019 | Dissent Magazine

Puerto Rico Remade

By Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Frances is another fierce mind and a sister. She is amazing. Balanced, tempered, a soul of profound understanding.


Toni Morrison was America's conscience, one that's needed more than ever

By Sandra Guzman

6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este Otro Puerto Rico Parte I

Por Silverio Pérez

6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este otro Puerto Rico (Segunda Parte)

Por Silverio Pérez

Silverio Peréz is a genius and a national glory-a Class-A wordsmith. Follow him on FB. These two stories are important.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | Bustle

Women & Femmes Leading The Puerto Rico Protests On Their "Permanent Revolution"

By Raquel Reichard


AUGUST 5, 2019 | LatinoUSA

Puerto Rico Is A Presidential Issue That Must Be Addressed


AUGUST 5, 2019 | NYT

The Puerto Rico Governor Started 3 Days Ago. But His Future Is Already in Doubt.

By Edmy Ayala and Patricia Mazzei

The New York Times has covered really nicely. This is one of them pieces I liked. Other follow down below.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

The Political Future of Puerto Rico

with guests Michael Deibert and Yarimar Bonilla

AUGUST 3, 2019 | Truthout

Rejecting Politics of Fear, Marginalized Puerto Ricans Led the Uprising

By Oscar Oliver-Didier

AUGUST 3, 2019 | NYT

After Protests, Will Real Change Come to Puerto Rico?

By Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei

AUGUST 2, 2019 | LatinoUSA - podcast

Why Ricky Resigned

AUGUST 2, 2019 | MTV

Meet the Women Who Toppled Puerto Rico’s Governor

By Yarimar Bonilla

AGOSTO 2, 2019 | 80Grados

Verano 2019: balances y perspectivas

Por Rafael Bernabe y Manuel Rodríguez Banchs

JULY 31, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

How the Political Crisis in Puerto Rico is Unifying the Puerto Rican Diaspora

with guests Caridad De La Luz, Andrew Padilla, and Samy Nemir Olivares

Thank you for Tanzina Vega, that's all I have to say.

JULY 30, 2019 | The Hill

After Rosselló, Puerto Rico needs democracy — not a 'recovery czar’

By Ariadna M. Godreau-Aubert

JULY 29, 2019 | Washington Post

What’s next for Puerto Rico? A reckoning with its colonial status.

By Julio Ricardo Varela

JULY 27, 2019 | NYT 

Did Puerto Rican Police Go Too Far During Protests? What the Video Shows.

By Evan Hill and Ainara Tiefenthäler

JULY 26, 2019 | NYT

By Charo Henríquez

Cantar, bucear, perrear y rezar: las protestas creativas en Puerto Rico

JULY 25, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

'The People Have Spoken': Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Resigns

with guests David Begnaud, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Bianca Padró Ocasio

JULY 23, 2019 | BBC

Massive protests held in Puerto Rico after governor refuses to step down


(BCC’s full list of stories on the island)

JULY 20, 2019 | CNN

Women in Puerto Rico know all too well why Rossello must resign

By Sandra Guzman

JULY 19, 2019 | Counterpunch

It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.



Miguel is super witty and nails the description of some very fine and important points.

JULY 18, 2019 | NYT

Puerto Ricans in Protests Say They’ve Had Enough

By Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles

JULY  18, 2019 | Reuters

More Puerto Rico protests planned as governor resists calls to resign

JULY 13, 2019 | Mother Jones

As Puerto Rico’s Governor Steps Down, a Protest Organizer Is Determined to Not Let “The People’s Fire Burn Out.”

By Justine Agrelo

JULIO 28, 2019 | 80 Grados

Por José Nicolás Medina Fuentes

Congreso del pueblo y asamblea constitucional convocada desde la sociedad civil

80Grados is fierce. I love this piece so much. Una belleza. It captures some essential sentiments that should be talked about more. Some commentators point out they missed including the freedom fighters from el PIP and previous eras, but nonetheless, the piece offers some important anchors. And it is beautifully written in Spanish.

Episode 111 | Alan Lili, Tulengua band leader

tulengua meaning: 1. Literal translation, your tongue; 2. Other meaning, your language; 3. Hip-hop band from Baja Cali and Tijuana.

Alan Lili lives in between worlds and uses the most crossed border in the world basically on a daily basis. He considers it a privilege, and he does it because he loves Tijuana. Though raised in San Diego, Alan is Jewish, Mexican, American, and a creative spirit who knew he was a musician before he learned to play an instrument.

He reached out from across the land and told me about the album baja funk and about the hip-hop supergroup he has going on tulengua.

baja funk is now available for sale and streaming, and all proceeds from the sales will go to Border Angels. The record is beautiful and their action noble indeed. tulenga is Alan; Amari Jordan (Southern California. Singer, rapper, producer, and guitarist. Aka “La Reyna Negra”); and “jimmy.thevillain” (born in Tijuana and raised in Rosarito. He makes beats. He surfs and studies chemistry).

Here is their thing...

“Tulengua was born as a dream of creating a band with members from both sides of the border. A band that could be more than music: a celebration of the beauty that occurs when humans come together despite their supposed differences. baja funk is our first release and was recorded during a period in which tulengua was figuring itself out, solidifying it’s lineup, and exploring possibilities. It’s our way of bridging the vibrancy & color of Latin American culture with the mellow grit of California hip-hop, all while digesting and commenting on the reality of living with the border running through our DNA.”



Episode 97 | Arí Maniel Cruz, filmmaker
Coming in April 2018

Coming in April 2018

Ari Maniel Cruz is presently one of Puerto Rico’s most sought-after filmmakers. He spoke to me from Mexico, where he is working on the massive Netflix-Telemundo-Caracol series project inspired by Reggaeton superstar, Nicky Jam. We go at in Spanish and in true Puerto Rican cadence.

Ari Maniel Cruz y yo hablamos sobre Under Your Feet, Antes que cante el gallo, la tribu, ¿Quien eres tu?, Mexico, Nicky Jam, y Puerto Rico.

Actualmente en Mexico, Ari es el show-runner del mega proyecto Netfilx-Telemundo-Caracol e inspirada en la vida de la super-estrella del reggaeton, Nicky Jam. A través de la historia de Nicky Jam, se cuenta una mini-segunda historia, el desarrollo del género.

Muchos personajes del reggaeton envueltos. Ari se llevó un grupo de actores de Puerto Rico a Mexico y no dice nada que no pueda decir sobre el proyecto pero sí comparte lo que considera un gran momento para contar esta historia donde la isla es una pieza clave.

Inspirado también por el trabajo del gran Reverendo Pedro Pietri, una trilogía sobre la diaspora puertorriqueña vendrá de camino.

Su película más reciente, Antes que cante el gallo es bella, y en abril sale, ¿Quien eres tu? Creada por la misma tribu, de la que hablamos en el episodio y que está compuesta por tremendos profesionales de cine y producción. De veras que si.

Live long and propser,


Episode 91 | Sita Chay, violinist and Latin Grammy Winner

Sita Chay is the only Korean to ever win a Latin Grammy. Fancy that…

Since I started this podcast project and on the website, you’ll see that Pan-American voices or Pan-Americanism is what I seek out. Who are we people of color? What is a person of color? Where do we come from? What makes an individual Pan-American? These questions sometimes have clear-cut answers, but as time passes I tend to feel the answers are not so simple. My concerns, interests, and various answers have been informed and are intertwined with W.E.B. Dubois’ Pan-Africanism, The Antillean Confederation of Ramon Emeterio Betances, Bolivar’s Dream, The American Dream, Pan-American Airlines, and Bernardo Ruiz’s La Quinta Raza. When I think of the “America” that I live and experience, hundreds of faces come to mind and heart. How pure blood are we really? And does blood matter? I’m still against the fence on that one but I can honestly say, that in my 28-years of living in North America, Pan-American has come to signify people from all over the world open and willing to be a part of the whole - accepting, creative, curious, interested, willing, empathetic - and for whatever reasons they mostly come in the form of artists or creatives.

Sita Chay is a bright example of this very diluted sea of people that make up Pan-Americanism, to me. Before we recorded she asked me, “What does Pan-American mean?” And we talked. And then we recorded, and a poetic answer revealed itself.

When she was little Sita wanted to be a princess. In a way she is, she’s a princess of the violin.

She’s also a member of the all-woman Mariachi band Flor de Toloache, who won a 2017 Latin Grammy for Best Ranchero Album - Las Caras Lindas. Sita has played folk music from all over the world and she gets into it in this intimate talk.

Sita holds that artists have a responsibility to be political and to use their medium to bring people together. Her latest musical project, the Cosmopolis Collective, which means a citizen of everywhere, weaves everything that matters to her.  

Social duty with her responsibility as an artist to connect with others through music, marching together. “Together we are big.” Her words. I agree. Tears of gratitude. Thank you, Sita Chay.

Carry on.



GIG ALERT: 2/21 9 p.m.

Cosmopolis Collective

New World Stages Green Room

A PRIME Latino Media event

Episode 86 | Shadia Fairuz, singer, musician, actress
Shadia Fairuz

Shadia’s eyes glow when she talks about her life-long journey as an artist. A Syrian-Puerto Rican hybrid child of love, Shadia is a natural bohemian, a woman musician, and a practiced professional. Here is a young woman who took music earnestly seriously as a kid. She learned how to read music before she learned how to read. She started singing on the latish side for a children’s choir, at the age of eight. When everyone else was out during the summertime, Shadia was playing Debussy at home, by choice, because she loved to practice. She went on to earn two different bachelor degrees (at the same time), one in music and another in communications. And then, after all that work she came to New York City and had to start again.

Over a decade has passed and Shadia today dedicates herself to acting, singing, musical theater, teaching piano, solfeo, voice, choir and maybe even a few other things related to music.

Theater credits include U.S. premiere of Spanish In The Heights, which garnered her a Best Actress nomination by Broadway World; In the Heights at D.C.’s Gala Theater; I Like It Like That at Pregones/PRTT; and a whole lot more. She’s not afraid to start from the beginning each time she’s off a great gig. What happens in downtown time is as important or more, than what happens at the height of busy. She’s clear it’s all about the journey and her lifelong commitment to artistic expression and discipline. Amen. Practice makes perfect.

Carry on.


Episode 80 | Frank Marrero, filmmaker, director, media pioneer

IN SPANISH Episode 80 - After the storm no Puerto Rican is the same, at least I’m not. I am me, always deep, intense, reflecting, but something is different. A puzzle gets assembled piece by piece. Big stories are made up of pieces of lore. I realized that with Frank, I’m looking to put together something I’m not sure what it is. I think maybe after memories of what Puerto Rico once was or had. Somewhere in there is my movement at the moment.

Frank is an old-timer of film and television. He was around and working before Univision was Univision, which he was a part of before it all got built up into the empire it is today. Frank worked with Dad in seven television specials. I remember being a kid in his sets and even having a little part in the children’s television special they made. Maybe this year Dad and Frank can have a conversation about it and we can let the thing play in streaming. Just ideas. Like I said, I’m trying to put something together I’m not sure what it is yet. Frank is a part of the aspect of Puerto Rican history I know best, its arts and culture. It is in Spanish. We couldn’t have done it in English but we didn’t. Asi que disfruten de Frank lo que puedan entender.

Luego de María no soy la misma. Creo que ningún puertorriqueño lo es. Algo busco que aún no se que es o algo busco armar que aún no se lo que es pero algo me dice que con Frank comencé a buscar algo nuevo. Veremos. De seguro busco historias. De seguro busco fundamentos para emular el profesionalismo, aprender de los que corren las largas distancias, y razones para ayudar a otros a conocer quienes somos en especial en el campo de arte y cultura que es de lo más que conozco de mi isla. Frank es un ‘viejo lobo de mar’ como escribió Sylvia Rexach. Recuerdo estar en los sets de Frank para las grabaciones de especiales de televisión que hizo con Padre. Siete en total. En fin. Muchos recuerdos de mi país. Mucha música, mucha gente linda.

Y eso. Stay the course.

Resist neo-fascism, white supremacy, stand for DACA, Native Nations, Puerto Rico, call your senators to defend Net Neutrality. That is the last bit of democracy we have left. Black Lives Matter be better today than yesterday.


Episode 79 | Verónica Sanchis Bencomo, Founder Foto Féminas, Photographer

Who can put a price on memories? Pictures are precious for this very reason I suppose. We hold on to moments of moments. It is one of the ways in which we can capture time. In this is the age of citizen journalism and citizen photography, who and what is the real deal? Amateurs and Pros meet at junctures of action and practice. There is so much to see. How it turns out is that most famous images are credited to men photographers. But as photography experts and buffs know, women photographers have also captured history. This is for them...

The article, The Women Who Covered Vietnam by Elizabeth Becker immediately made me think of Verónica Sanchis Bencomo, founder of Foto Féminas, a platform exclusively devoted to showcasing Latin American women photographers. Since its launch, Foto Féminas features one photographer a month. Today, Foto Féminas is a showcase platform and a library. The collection is named after Maria Cristina Orive, a pivotal figure in Latin American photojournalism from Guatemala, who passed away this September. Orive, alongside legendary Argentinian photographer Sara Facio founded La Azotea one of the most respected oldest photography publishing houses in Latin America.

This month’s featured photographer is Gabriela Rivera Lucero. A beast. And I mean wonderful and good. The work is literally beastly, it’s called Bestiario. Check it out. The proposal is not for the faint of heart, but it is real and timely and some of the most exciting work I’ve seen in some time.

Foto Féminas has an important role and we have Veronica thank. The collective voices of these women photographers are telling the story of Latin America with bravery and not a hint of shyness. Fierce.