LA BANDA CAMP & CONCERT
Co-presented with Marfa Independent School District
Led by Juan Martinez, Manuela Martinez, David Beebe, & Primo Carrasco
Camp: Monday-Thursday June 5-8, 2017 // Marfa ISD Campus
Potluck: Thursday June 8, 2017 Marfa Visitor Center/USO Building, 6pm
Concert: Thursday June 8, 2017 Marfa Visitor Center/USO Building, 7pm
302 South Highland Avenue
In 2016, our 4th year to participate and teach an education program for Marfa ISD during Camp Summer Shake-Up, Cate Cole Schrim launched La Banda 2016.
La Banda 2017, brought back teaching musicians Juan Tarango Martinez, Manuela Martinez, David Beebe, and Primo Carrasco. These musicians taught Tejano through the perspective of various forms, such as Ranchero and Conjunto music. The camp took place on June 5th through 8th; during which time, participating students took the class at no cost and were able to use donated instruments, including drums, percussive instruments, guitars, and accordions that have previously been donated as part of Marfa Live Arts’ instrument donation program. The camp served as ‘band practice,’ hence the title, La Banda. All members of the class, both teachers and students, will rehearse as an ensemble. Students chose one instrument to become acquainted with in the allotted time.
Regarding the music workshop, lead teacher Juan Tarango Martinez said that he feels this workshop was important because Tejano and other forms of traditional Mexican music are “a dying art in this tri-county area,” and believes this workshop affords students an opportunity to “go back to their roots and be aware of where Spanish music originated.”
The students’ efforts will be showcased to our local community on the evening of June 8th at the Marfa Visitor Center/USO Building. In 2016, this event was standing room only and brought grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, community members, teachers, and students out for a bustling evening of music and tradition. The performers were dressed the part in traditional vaquero clothing. The event began with a festive community potluck.
Marfa Live Arts was recognized for the innovation of the first year of the La Banda program in 2016 at a MISD board of trustees meeting covered by the Big Bend Sentinel, “Board trustee Katie Price Fowlkes said at last week’s special meeting that she would like to see the band program revamped and extended to the younger grades. This was a reaction to seeing her children participate in this summer’s La Banda music workshop through Marfa Live Arts. Elementary students were taught how to play different instruments under the direction of Juan Tarango Martinez, Manuela Martinez, David Beebe and Primo Carrasco. The week closed with a performance at the Crowley Theater. “La Banda was great,” said Fowlkes. “My child has an electric bass because of La Banda.”
David Beebe has been in the Houston and Austin music scene as a performer for a couple of decades. He has owned and operated music venues in the Houston area and in Marfa (Padre’s). He currently serves as Presidio County’s Justice of the Peace.
Primo Carrasco is an aficionado of traditional Mexican music. He has his own show on Marfa Public Radio called “Un Hora con Primo” that showcases an hour of traditional Tejano music across the Permian Basin. Primo has has played events such as Chinati Foundation’s Chinati Weekend dinner, Viva Big Bend music festival, Marfa Lights Festival, Judd Foundation’s ‘Casa Perez’, and he has played events for Ballroom Marfa. Primo is a highly-respected member of Marfa’s community and is known for his love of music.
Juan Tarango Martinez is an avid accordion player. He previously taught a Marfa Live Arts’ accordion workshop in 2014. Martinez is in a local band and has currently been in and out of studio recording new music.
Marfa Live Arts and La Banda are generously supported by the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, Marfa Education Foundation, and 2017 Season Sponsors. This program is possible because of assistance we receive from the parents and families of our talented students. Tremendous gratitude goes out to the leaders and educators of Marfa ISD especially Ann Marie Nafziger, who coordinates all of Summer Shake Up, Superintendent Oscar Aguero, and Mr. Medrano.
Photos of La Banda 2016 by Sarah Vasquez