Tell me a History with Gospel, Llorona!

Kansas City

A project between the Creative Cities of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico (Crafts and Folk Art) and Kansas City, Missouri, USA (Music).

Cuéntame un Cuento Llorona.

This project was born in 2012 as a proposal for the rescue of the cultural heritage of the traditional neighborhoods of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. It consists of an annual event based in the San Antonio neighborhood (one of the 10 oldest of the city), which celebrated its 6th edition in October-November 2018.

With this festival, the oral histories and collective memory have been rescued through the arts and disseminated in a playful way to the population and visitors. Through its representation in  scenic, musical and literary forms, the project has motivated the conservation of the original essence of the celebration of Day of the Dead – El Dia de los Muertos.

On this occasion, the collaboration integrated two residences with the participation of musicians and urban artists from San Cristóbal de las Casas and Kansas City, Missouri (USA).

Musical Residency

In an exercise of “Creative Contamination” through several workshops and collaboration with students and teachers of the Symphony Orchestra and Coro Esperanza Azteca of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the project helped to reinvent the traditional songs of the day of dead “La Llorona and / or La Bruja.” Making use of the artistic, academic and vernacular styles used in the gospel, orchestra and marimba, a new sound was presented as part of the 6th edition of “Cuéntame un Cuento Llorona” in San Cristobal.

The Kansas City – San Cristobal creative cooperation brought four Kansas City musicians as “gospel ambassadors” to southern Mexico to share in the tradition of the Day of Dead. Through musical performances and creative collaborations, the musicians worked with local professionals as well as a children’s choir and local orchestra to perform new music with a mix of Mexican and Kansas City sounds. The Kansas City Gospel Ambassadors include: Bukeka Blakemore (vocals), Lee Langston (Vocals), Odell Talley (piano) and Bryan Alford (drums and percussion).

The project was a timely opportunity for Mexican and American artists, musicians and creative advocates to work together for greater cultural understanding and peace.

Contact: Anita Dixon
Phone: +1 816-612-0864