Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Biggest Party of the Year: The 3rd Seattle Annual Tweet Drive!

Seattleites are known for their generosity and willingness to share with others a little or much of what they have. For that reason it's no surprise that during the Holidays, many events are organized to give to those less fortunate. 

About 3 years ago, a college student had the vision of having a party to gather toys for unprivileged children for the holidays by using the power of Social Media for Good. That's what the Seattle Tweet Drive is about. Although is now known as "Operation Social Santa."

Our 3rd Annual Tweet Drive will take place this Thursday, November 29th, at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle 

Doors open at 5:30pm

Tickets: $6.00 each plus a new, unwrapped toy for Treehouse

Tickets include light appetizers, plus two raffle tickets, and an evening of music
100% net proceeds benefit Treehouse: Giving foster kids a childhood and a future.

Ah, and don't forget, in conjunction with the Seattle Tweet Drive, Seattle WAVE Radio will hold the finale of an 8-week Jammin’ Challenge at 7:45 p.m. 

This Thursday is all about having fun and bringing smiles to kids in foster care! 

Get your tickets here: 3rd Annual Tweet Drive for Treehouse 

Monday, November 26, 2012

You and I Have a Date in Bellevue on December 3rd!

Yes, this invitation is extended to all of you my friends on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

On December 3rd at 5:00 PM in Bellevue, my band Utopia Latin Band will be performing at Bellevue Square as part of the Holiday Entertainment program. 

This is something that we have been doing for the past four years. My good friend Kurt Clark, one of my favorite bloggers in the Seattle area, wrote a beautiful story about the experience that he and his family had when they came to see us last year. He wrote: "It was the perfect way to warm up our day." Here is a link to the full story: "Holiday Music from Utopia Latin Band"

I am always celebrating businesses, companies, corporations that celebrate the great diversity in our state, and for that reason, I'd love for you to come and celebrate with me this holiday season with Latin music in Bellevue! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You And...

It has been twelve years since I arrived to the U.S. and although Thanksgiving was not something I celebrated in my native country; I came to adopt this new tradition rather quickly. 

Today, I will be celebrating with the family and close friends in a unique way with dishes from the U.S., Mexico, and Bulgaria. We will be thanking for our ups, our downs but mainly for having the joy of having so many great friends. 

I will be sharing pictures and a more detailed explanation of our international dishes tomorrow but for now, I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Party is Tonight in Bellevue at the Bellevue Arts Museum.

Yes, tonight is BAMIgnite! What is BAMIgnite you ask? It's BAM's celebration of their newest exhibition!

BAM has an amazing line up for us to enjoy through the night. We will dance to music by KEXP DJs Riz and Alex Ruder, as well as Seattle Indie band Ravenna Woods. We will explore circus arts spectacles by Madame Rex Entertainment.

There will be a cash bar and delicious bites from the Happy Gilmore food truck!

RSVP now and we will enjoy together a night with great music, surrounded by beautiful pieces of art!

Free for members.
$8/ ticket for 4 or more. BUY NOW
$10 in advance. BUY NOW
$12 at the door.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Serrano Peppers Are Meant To Be Spicy.

Allow me to start this post by telling you why serrano peppers are important to me. My mom taught me to make this delicious "salsa roja" which includes serrano peppers and we use it with almost everything. We pour it on top of our quesadillas, tacos, picadas veracruzanas... Okay, you get the idea.

Now, do not get too excited my friends because I will not share that recipe here, since it is a secret recipe that my mother made swear I would not give away to anyone, except my daughter. Absurd, I know. What I will share is the importance of that little ingredient and where you can find the perfect ones. Back in my native country, it is a natural thing to get our vegetables and fruits from our local markets, so when I came to this country, it was a little difficult to adapt to get them from a grocery store. 

After many years of getting my serrano peppers from the regular stores, I started noticing the lack of spice in them. My salsa was not having the same flavor even after adding more, and more peppers to it! I could not let that happen, so I started buying them from other places; however, the "punch" was not there. 

Finally, one day I decided to get the organic ones from the Whole Food Market and voila; I was back in heaven! This may sound crazy but, I am serious. If you are into Mexican food, or spicy food, and your recipe asks for serrano peppers, do not think about it twice. Go and get the organic type, it does make a huge difference. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

On the Boards: Teatro Línea de Sombra Comes to Seattle! November 8th through November 11th.

I am a theater lover, a music lover, a movie lover... In fewer words, I love pretty much anything that has to do with art. For the past few years, I have been following closely the plays that are brought to Seattle, waiting and hoping for any Latino production to come to our theaters. We have not been very lucky with the main theaters; however, I am glad to see other organizations supporting Latino theater  companies like Teatro Línea de Sombra, a theater company that is today one of the most renowned Mexican contemporary theater companies, and awardee of the Best Research Theater of Mexico in 2000 and 2005. 

Teatro Línea de Sombra will make its debut in Seattle with "Amarillo," a play directed by Mexican director Jorge A. Vargas. 

"Amarillo, is a visually stunning and politically-rooted performance that delves into the lore surrounding the US/Mexico borderlands. The bilingual production touches on the hotbed issue of immigration and the reality of what happens when someone undertakes the dangerous journey between the two countries." - On the Boards Press Release.
I had the opportunity to contact Jessica Massart, Communications Director for On the Boards, and ask her some questions about "Amarillo." Here are her responses:

Why choose Amarillo? Amarillo is the kind of production that excels on all levels: it’s a visually stunning performance with bilingual text, dance, live projections and music that’s both contemporary and traditional. It deals with a hotbed issue, immigration at the US/Mexico border, and does it in a way that is both illuminating and poetic.

Why bring it to Seattle? It’s incredibly important for Seattle to have access to artists like Teatro Línea de Sombra. They are an important artistic voice from Central America and deal with some major issues at the center of political discourse in our country, lending a perspective that is often not included in that dialogue. The company has also been increasingly present in the international contemporary performance field and have been presented at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues overseas. This is just a short list of why we needed to get this company and this production to Seattle.

How long did it take you to bring it? We’ve been in discussion with the company since early this year after first becoming aware of the production in 2011. In January our artistic director, Lane Czaplinski, was meant to see the performance in Vancouver BC and meet the company, but the Seattle snowstorm prevented it. Despite that we forged on with conversations and were able to successfully program them in the 12/13 Season.

How many other Hispanic productions or theater companies have you been able to bring to Seattle? This will be the third Hispanic production to come to On the Boards in the past two years. Past presentations have included Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes (Mexico City) and the world-renowned director Mariano Pensotti (Buenos Aires). Both of these performances are available as films through OntheBoards.tv where we are building a series of performances, including the soon to be released film of Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol.
Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes film: http://www.ontheboards.tv/performance/theater/el-gallo

To get tickets your tickets for "Amarillo" go tohttp://www.ontheboards.org/performances/amarillo

And now, to get you excited, here is a clip of this wonderful production:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Night to Remember: La Orquesta Aragón in Seattle for the First Time.

Yes, last night was a night to remember. The legendary Orquesta Aragón came to Seattle for the first time and I was there!

The Orquesta Aragón was founded in 1939 by Orestes Aragón Centero in Cienfuegos, Cuba. This year they are celebrating their 71st anniversary and because of that, they decided to include Seattle in their tour.

They are one of the best, if not the best charanga in Cuba. What is a charanga, you may ask? A charanga, in Cuba, is a traditional ensemble that plays traditional Cuban music. A "traditional charanga" is formed by piano, bass, güiro, timbal, congas, violins, flute and singers. 

Although I could not record any video or audio of their performance, I did take some pictures.