Classical Guitar Concert with Naeim Rahmani Sunday, December 20, 5:00-6:00 p.m. at El Diablo y La Sandia B&B Boca del Monte, Callejon Boca del Monte #121, near Tinoco y Palacios and Allende, suggested minimum donation 50 pesos per person
Please share widely throughout Oaxaca.
Naeim Rahmani is an Iranian classical guitarist who recently graduated with a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where he studied with renowned guitarist Rene Izquierdo.
He is an active performer and performs regularly throughout the United States and around the world. In the summer of 2014, Naeim performed a series of concerts in the north of Spain along the route of the Camino Santiago. Camino Artes sponsored the concerts, all held in local cathedrals. The organization was created by Mexican luthier Federico Sheppard and supported by the town of Carrión de los Condes.
Naeim contacted me to help him secure performance venues in Oaxaca just before I left for California to be with our mom at end of life. Music has always been an important part of our mother’s legacy, so I was happy to help.
I put the word out and gratefully, Maria Crespo, owner of El Diablo y La Sandia B&B generously offered to host this concert. No reservations necessary. First come, first seated. Space limited.
This will be his only concert in Oaxaca this year! Please come and support him.
She is ours — Oaxaca’s goddess of song and lyrics. Lila Downs went on stage to perform at the 13th Latin Grammy Awards on November 15, again recognized for what she has contributed to the music world. The Examiner article says it all. Accolades, too, to Paul Cohen, Lila’s husband, producer and collaborator.
Here are two photos I’ve taken of Lila in recent years. Enjoy.
Above: At her Day of the Dead concert in 2011 at the Guelaguetza Auditorium in Oaxaca.
Below: At Las Cuevitas chapel, January 2 in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. The poncho was woven by Erasto “Tito” Mendoza in the Saltillo style.
The hot band Toto la Momposina (click on this link to hear their great music) from Colombia, South America, opened for Lila Downs last night at the Auditorio Guelaguetza in Oaxaca. Lead singer Sonia Bazanta Vides, who has been dazzling audiences with her voice for over 50 years, announced this was her last concert (if I understood correctly).
Front row seats meant a ringside treat to the dancing, hip swaying, and throb of the bass from the speakers. The beat was definitely cumbia, salsa, tango and with Afro-Caribbean drum accompaniments. Totally a hand-clapping, toe tapping experience. Exuberant and joyful.
Sonia’s voice was only equal to the energetic dancing by the performer in the bright floral blue, yellow and red dress. Both offered visual insight into the music and dance traditions of Colombia. Plus, the band included African and indigenous instruments — flutes, drums, and rattles — that added spice to the performance along with the electric guitars.
Nominated for a Latin Grammy, Sonia Bazanta Vides has performed for over 50 years throughout the world, representing the rich and complex music of Colombia and especially the islands where she was raised. She studied music, voice and composition at the Universidad de Colombia and at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1983, she accompanied Gabriel Garcia Marquez to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature.
As soon as I heard that Lila Downs was performing in Oaxaca, I ordered two (muy facile), never imagining that I would end up in front row on the rail right next to the stage. Que milagro! Though my bags were checked at the gate, I managed to smuggle in my camera. All the signs said no cameras allowed. Fortunately, la prensa (the press) were seated right next to us with mega lenses in hand and I was able to easily blend in. Que milagro! Lila is an incredible performer and vocalist. She is also socially responsible and committed to her Oaxaca and Mixteca origins. It was a wonderful concert. The entire Guelaguetza stadium was packed and the energy was electric.
Color strobe lights changed the atmosphere from yellow and red to blue and green and all hues in between. A “smoke” machine created stage mystery. Lila added shawls, a hat, and a Tito Mendoza woven tapestry poncho to her repertoire as she interpreted each song.
She really knows how to connect with Oaxaca and her people. I took over 450 photos and wore down my battery. A photo extravanganza for sure.
The audience was enthralled. There are many foreigners in the city now to enjoy Dias de los Muertos. The stands were sprinkled with extranjeros. And the band played on!
Even with my long lens the environment was challenging. Her white dress. Constantly changing colors and movement. Being a novice shooter. I didn’t have my tripod and camera shake without it is predictable. Even though I balanced the camera on the rail to provide stability, you can see that many of my shots are imperfect. I was just grateful to be this close and personal.
On our Day of the Dead Photography Expedition 2011, we had the pleasure of Nick Eckert’s company, good humor, photographic expertise complete with technical geekdom, and enthusiasm for the art and craft of photography. Nick is in Mexico City now for a walking photo tour but found the time to put this beautiful YouTube video together with perfect musical accompaniment from Bob Dylan, “Knockin’ on Heavens Door.”
Here you will experience the magic and mystery of Day of the Dead as celebrated in Xoxocotlan, Oaxaca, Mexico! Enjoy, compliments of Nick.
Join the waiting list for our 2012 Day of the Dead Expedition. Send me an email: email@example.com
Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connectionand Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma contributes personal essay, How Oaxaca Became Home
We Contribute Two Chapters!
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Meet Makers. Make a Difference
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
October 27, 2023: Day of the Dead Ocotlan Highway Tour. It’s Market Day! The biggest of the year. See special altar food and decor, visit artisans, explore culture, eat at a traditional open air cocina de humo (grill kitchen). SOLD OUT.
October 29, 2023: Teotitlan del Valle Altars and Studio Visits to natural dye and weaving artisans who invite you to their altar rooms to share family traditions. Meet a traditional beeswax candlemaker. Eat mole and mezcal in a local family comedor. 6 SPACES OPEN.
We offer textile experiences in our studio where we weave and work only in natural dyes.You can see the process during our textile tours and dye workshops. Ask us for more information about these experiences, customized scheduling, and prices.
Oaxaca has the largest and most diverse textile culture in Mexico! Learn about it.
When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture: How is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
One-Day Custom Tours: Tell Us When You Want to Go!
New--Ruta del Mezcal One-Day Tour.We start the day with pottery, visiting a master, then have lunch with a Traditional Oaxaca Cook who is the master of mole making. In Mitla, we meet with our favorite flying shuttle loom weaver, and then finish off with a mezcal tasting at a palenque you will NEVER find on your own! Schedule at your convenience!
January 13-21, 2024: Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. Very popular! Get your deposit in to reserve. For intrepid travelers. Visit 7 back-strap loom weavers. Explore the culture of cloth and community. SOLD OUT!
March 28-April 3:Screenwriting for Film + Television with Harry Werksman, Golden Globe award winning writer. Develop character, plot, scene. Learn what it takes to pitch a story. Take your ideas from concept to delivery. NEW!
We require 48-hour advance notice for map orders to be processed. We send a printable map via email PDF after your order is received. Please be sure to send your email address. Where to see natural dyed rugs in Teotitlan del Valle and layout of the Sunday Tlacolula Market, with favorite eating, shopping, ATMs. Click Here to Buy Map After you click, be sure to check PayPal to ensure your email address isn't hidden from us. We fulfill each map order personally. It is not automatic.
Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle