Jesse & Joy, Alicia Villarreal, and Lupillo Rivera to Headline Musco Center’s 2019 Heartbeat of Mexico Festival, May 23-26, 2019
The Fourth Annual Event, Presented by Musco Center in association with Chapman University’s Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum, Expands to Three Days Over Memorial Day Weekend
Applications Now Open to Perform for Sunday’s Free Outdoor Festival, which Features Family-Friendly Music, Art, Food, Dance, and More
Chapman Faculty and Consulate of Mexico to Organize Big Ideas Cultural Lecture Series Around Timely Topics
“A grand fiesta” (OC Register) returns to Orange County with the fourth annual Heartbeat of Mexico festival. Last year’s gathering drew more than 6,500 people to the Musco Center for the Arts and Aitken Arts Plaza at Chapman University over Memorial Day weekend in a gathering of Mexican culture. The festival returns in 2019 with superstar duo Jesse & Joy, the iconic Alicia Villarreal, and Lupillo Rivera performing with Mariachi. Free events include a large-scale family-friendly community outdoor festival, a new celebration of Ballet Folklórico, and a six-week cultural arts and lecture series that explores the depths of Mexican and Mexican-American culture, according to Musco Center Executive Director Richard T. Bryant.
“Our lineup this year amplifies many of the vibrant, overlapping energies in Mexican culture today, blending the contemporary and traditional into something entirely new. These are artists at the very center of the Mexican and Mexican-American experience,” said Bryant. “These immediate, visceral, and authentic experiences create a container where neighbors can meet neighbors.”
In the evenings, ticketed events take place inside Musco Center with performances by Folk-pop sensations Jesse & Joy on Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm, Latin pop phenomenon Alicia Villarreal on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30pm, and Southern California’s own Lupillo Rivera with Mariachi on Sunday, May 26 at 6pm. A limited 100 Early Bird full-festival passes will go on-sale March 12, featuring 20% off two events or 25% off three events.
The free outdoor festival begins on Sunday, May 26 at 12pm and runs until 6pm. Last year, thousands gathered on the Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza in front of Musco Center and elsewhere at Chapman University to enjoy a family-friendly array of musicians, dancers, games, arts and crafts, booths from local organizations, and more. New and returning groups are encouraged to apply by Friday, March 29 by clicking here for the Call to Artists.
Previous years have featured stars from throughout Mexico and America, including folk songstress Natalia Lafourcade (2018), the fabled Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (2016 and 2018), East Los Angeles chicano band Las Cafeteras (2017), and New York City’s all-female group Mariachi Flor de Toloache (2017).
The general public is also invited to Big Ideas, a series of six academic lectures that examine emerging and timely concepts around Mexican history, culture, and politics. Big Ideas runs for six weeks leading up to Heartbeat of Mexico and is coordinated by the Chapman University Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum and the Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana.
The festival is presented in association with the Chapman University Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum. “Heartbeat of Mexico allows us to reconnect with our roots and teach our children about Mexican traditions,” said Gabriela Castañeda, president of the Latinx Staff & Faculty Forum. “It is important for our students and community to experience different cultures, no matter where they are from or how they grew up.”
Heartbeat of Mexico is one of many World CAFE (Cultural Arts Festivals and Events) programs organized by Musco Center over the years. Back on April 2, 2016, just ten days after the Center opened, the Community Open House and Arts Festival brought more than 10,000 people to Chapman University and highlighted artists and organizations from surrounding communities: Mexican, Vietnamese, Anglo, Indian, Korean, Hawaiian, and more.
“Going into our fourth year, Heartbeat of Mexico is a destination and tradition for families throughout Southern California,” said Senior Director of Musco Center and Festival Co-Producer David Leavenworth. “Now, going into our biggest year yet, with a growing partnership with the Consulate of Mexico, with great professional and community acts, this is the place to be over Memorial Day weekend.”
Individual tickets or full festival passes are available online at www.muscocenter.org or by calling the box office at 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726). All print-at-home tickets include a no-cost parking pass. Musco Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Chapman University at 415 North Glassell, Orange, Calif.
Jesse & Joy Make Their Musco Center Debut Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm
Direct from Mexico City, folk-pop sensations Jesse & Joy are “some of the purest, most talented artists of our generation,” said Latin Times. Their infectious energy and talented songwriting have earned them the 2017 Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album and 15 Latin Grammy nominations with six wins.
The brother-sister duo of Jesse Huerta and Joy Huerta are “some of the purest, most talented artists of our generation,” says Latin Times. They grew up in Mexico City with an American mother and Mexican father. The binational, bilingual pair are prominent voices for Mexican and Mexican-American youth. Their songs are about expected topics like 21st century love and heartbreak, as well as more challenging topics, such as identity and migration.
Jesse & Joy exploded onto the world’s stage in 2005 with a number of successful singles, including “Espacio Sideral,” “Ya No Quiero,” and “Volveré.” In 2008, the singer-songwriters went into the studio to record their first full-length album, Esta Es Mi Vida. That record went platinum and sold more than 100,000 copies.
Tickets for Jesse & Joy at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm start at $45. Tickets go on-sale to the public on March 12. Click here to purchase tickets.
Alicia Villarreal Returns to Orange County After Seven Year Hiatus Saturday, May 25 at 7:30pm
Direct from Mexico, Latin-pop phenomenon Alicia Villarreal bursts through the barriers of genres and gender from her time as lead singer in Grupo Limite to her blossoming solo career. In her latest record, 2017’s La Villarreal, she performs everything from ranchera, norteño, pop, rock, and symphonic arrangements.
The Monterrey, Mexico native started out singing rock en español and had success early in her career as the lead singer for the Tejano/Norteño-focused Grupo Límite, starting in 1995. While with Grupo Limite, Villarreal would tour 10 months a year, selling out shows filled with more than 10,000 fans.
When she set off as a solo artist in 2003, she found her sound flowing freely between regional sounds. She has collaborated with producer and husband Cruz Martinez, co-founder of Kumbia Kings, and has appeared on stage with opera star Andrea Boccelli. She has five solo albums and has won two Latin Grammys.
With her success in traditionally male-dominated genres, Villarreal has been a strong voice for empowering women through her music and talking openly about the challenges of raising a family and maintaining a career. Her release of 2017’s La Villarreal comes after a seven year hiatus the artist took to raise a family. The album may be her most ambitious project yet. It was recorded live in Mexico with 40 musicians, ranging from mariachi to banda to symphonic arrangements.
Tickets for Alicia Villarreal at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30pm start at $40. Tickets go on-sale to the public on March 12. Click here to purchase tickets.
Lupillo Rivera with Mariachi on Sunday, May 26 at 6pm
With his signature style and mastery of Mexican regional music, including mariachi, corridos, and banda, Lupillo Rivera will be joined by a mariachi band to cap off the year’s festivities. His latest record, El Malo (the bad one), plays on Rivera’s macho persona and famous family that have earned him a loyal fanbase and starring roles on television.
Lupillo Rivera has long been a fixture in the world of Mexican music and entertainment. Born in La Barca, Jalisco, Rivera grew up in Huntington Park, California. Billboard magazine said that Rivera “epitomizes a new breed of regional Mexican artist, one that grew up listening to rap and Mexican music but that plays extremely traditional music.”
His father, Pedro Rivera, ran a record label and studio, and early in his life, Lupillo filled in on vocals and scouted for talent at local venues. His sister, singer and actress Jenni Rivera, was a successful and deeply loved musician before her tragic death in a plane crash in 2012.
As a mainstay in the Regional Music scene, Rivera has released a steady stream of hit records, including 2009’s Tu Esclavo y Amo which won the Grammy Award for Best Banda Album.
Tickets for Lupillo Rivera at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Sunday, May 26 at 6pm start at $35. Tickets go on-sale to the public on March 12. Click here to purchase tickets.
Musco Center Seeks Local Performers and Ensembles to Appear During the Free Outdoor Festival on Sunday, May 26 from 12pm to 6pm and Celebration of Ballet Folkórico on Saturday, May 25 at 12pm
Up to 20 of the finest local Mexican and Mexican-American performers and ensembles will fill outdoor stages on the Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza in front of the Musco Center on Sunday, May 26. On the day before, A Celebration of Ballet Folklórico will exhilarate audiences indoor at Memorial Hall at Chapman University.
Eligible performers for the outdoor plaza areas include: musicians, dancers, spoken word artists, comedians, and other acts. As this is a culturally specific festival, preference will be given to applicants whose programs are rooted in traditional and contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American performing arts and entertainment. Performers and performance groups should engage and entertain a broad spectrum of festival-goers while ensuring content is appropriate for family audiences and will go with or complement the theme of the event.
Big Ideas, Heartbeat of Mexico’s Cultural Lecture Series,
Returns for Second Year, April 11 through May 9 at 6pm
Big Ideas is a free, public lecture series exploring the depths of Mexican and Mexican-American culture by top academics in the fields of Mexican Studies, Religious Studies, and Music, leading to the Heartbeat of Mexico festival at Chapman University from May 23–26, 2019.
“These lectures are timely, powerful, and informative,” said Dr. Ruben Espinoza, professor of Sociology and Latinx and Latin American Studies at Chapman University, who helps plan and curate the series. “We bring in academics across the disciplines to share their research and expand our thinking about the Mexican and Mexican-American experience.”
Each talk is 90-minutes and will be held in Leatherby Libraries B03, Center for American War Letters Archives. The series is also supported by Leatherby Libraries, Hilbert Museum, and Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
Last year’s lectures included research on the work culture in the Salinas Valley farmlands, depictions of Día De Los Muertos in Aztec Mythology to Disney’s Coco and musical topics ranging from mariachi, Oaxacan brass bands, and music icon Morissey.
Heartbeat of Mexico Schedule of Events
April 11 through May 9, 2019
6pm: Heartbeat of Mexico’s Big Ideas: Cultural Arts Lecture Series | Locations at Chapman University
Thursday, May 23, 2019
7:30pm: Jesse & Joy | Musco Center for the Arts
Saturday, May 25, 2018
12pm: Free Ballet Folklórico Celebration | Chapman’s Memorial Hall
7:30pm: Alicia Villarreal | Musco Center for the Arts
Sunday, May 26, 2018
12-6pm: Free Outdoor Festival | Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza
6pm: Lupillo Rivera with Mariachi | Musco Center for the Arts