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Bronx, NY, June 6, 2013 –  Alumni of the Hostos Center’s Young Roots Performance Series, a group of artists from multiple disciplines, will come together for a grand finale which will present excerpts of works shown during and inspired by this series which was funded by the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund.

The finale will include the screening of footage from videos of the series produced by BronxNet, the Young Roots media partner. The videos are what BronxNet executive director Michael Knobbe refers to as “docu-concerts” covering the series performances which include interviews with the artists and coverage of the making of each segment.    

The finale is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 at the Longwood @ Hostos Art Gallery, Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149 St. in The Bronx. Admission is free.  For more info: Hostos Community College box office (718) 518-4455 or  Directions to Hostos Community College: IRT 2, 4, 5, Bx1, Bx19  to Grand Concourse/149St.  Additional info:

The artists will include performance artist Caridad De La Luz/La Bruja; dancer/choreographer Sita Frederick; percussionists Oreste Abrantes, Jason González, and Nelson Matthew González; dancer/choreographer Antonio Ramos; vocalist/composer Raquel Rivera; B-girl Rokafella; and dancer/choreographer Noemi Segarra.

The Young Roots Performance Series has showcased emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future. The series was made possible by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York City Cultural Innovation Fund 2010-12, which supports creativity and the arts, with an emphasis on innovation.

“The Young Roots Series finale will be an historical gathering of emerging and dedicated artists at the height of their artistic powers who have strong careers ahead as they continue building their creative visions for their work,” said Jane Gabriels, project coordinator.


Caridad De La Luz/La Bruja -- La Bruja is regarded as one of the leading American spoken word poets. With the release of albums such as “Brujalicious” and her off-Broadway musical “Boogie Rican Blvd.” she joins the ranks of artists such as Mos Def who infuse acting and music with the power of spoken word. La Bruja has appeared on HBO's "Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam" and performed internationally at countless respected venues, including Joe's Pub at The Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Nuyorican Cafe in Puerto Rico, SOBs, The American Museum of Natural History, El Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum of Art and at Miramax's "Celebration of Miguel Piñero". La Bruja is the author of the highly successful musical "Boogie Rican Blvd.", which sold out its eight-week run at La Tea Theater, has been produced at The Nuyorican Poet's Café and in a four week run at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater off Broadway, July 2009.  A self-proclaimed “Poetician,” she uses poetry to make positive change for all.

Sita Frederick -- (Artistic Director, Areytos Performance Works) is a choreographer, performer, and teacher based in New York City. After graduating from Swarthmore College, Frederick performed with Bessie-winning choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women and Merian Soto, co-founder of Pepatian. Frederick toured nationally with the first musical production of Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer Live! in which she understudied the lead, Dora, and performed in the ensemble. In 2003, Frederick and visual artist José Miguel Ortiz co-founded Areytos Performance Works, a dance theater company working at the crossroads of performance art, African-Caribbean dances, contemporary modern dance, collaboration and stage environments to produce innovative works rooted in Caribbean traditions and the principles of social justice.

Oreste Abrantes, Jason Gonzalez, Nelson Matthew Gonzalez – Also known as Los Monstritos del Barrio (Little Monsters of the Barrio), they are an ensemble of young, virtuoso percussionists who hurtle headlong into a variety of Latin music genres – from plena to bachata, from bomba to boogalu, salsa, rumba and merengue, but with their own twist reflecting the hip-hop and reggaetón rhythms of their neighborhoods. Nelson Matthew González is the scion of one of the great families of Afro-Puerto Rican music; Oreste Abrantes is a Cuban-Puerto Rican powerhouse conguero; and Jason González is bongo virtuoso. Los Monstritos are pupils of some of the greatest Latin percussion masters in New York. The group is often accompanied by Aurora & Orquesta Zon del Barrio under the direction of David Fernández.

Antonio Ramos -- Choreographer and dancer Antonio Ramos was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he trained in jazz, salsa and African dance. He later received a B.F.A. in Dance from Purchase College/SUNY. Antonio has performed with Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ballet Concierto and Ballet Municipal (Puerto Rico). In New York he has performed with choreographers Mark Dendy, Neil Greenberg, Kari Hooas, Luis Lara, Jeremy Nelson, Stephen Petronio, Merian Soto, Kevin Wynn, Ori Flomin and Donna Uchizono among others.   His own choreography has been produced all over NYC and internationally. He has taught at major universities in the U.S. and overseas. Currently Antonio is an Artist-in-Residency at El Museo del Barrio 2012-13.

Raquel Rivera -- Raquel Z. Rivera is a singer-songwriter whose first CD Las 7 salves de La Magdalena / 7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene (2010) weaves together Dominican salves, Puerto Rican jíbaro music, bomba and other Caribbean roots genres. The album debuted in March 2011 on the Top 20 World Music Charts Europe. A founding member of New York City roots music groups Yerbabuena, Alma Moyó, and Yaya, she has performed with internationally-renowned Dominican fusion artists Luis Días and Xiomara Fortuna. Rivera is also an accomplished author with a Ph.D. in Sociology. She is co-editor of the anthology Reggaetón (Duke University Press 2009) and author of New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan 2003) as well as numerous articles on Caribbean Latino popular music and culture.

Rokafella -- NYC born and bred Ana “Rokafella” García began her career dancing on the streets with the NYC Float Committee, The Breeze Team and the Transformers.  She later co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc., a non-profit Hip-hop dance-based organization with her husband Kwikstep. She has performed and taught nationally and internationally.    She directed the documentary All The Ladies Say and has appeared in several films. Internationally she’s been hired to judge dance contests such as B Supreme, We B* Girlz, Battle of the Year and Red Bull's BC One in Brazil. She has had her poetry published in "Pepatian's Anthology of Bronx Poets" and the world famous photographer Martha Cooper asked her to be a featured contributor to the first ever B-girl photo book entitled "We B* Girlz".  She is a vocalist who performs throughout NYC with her band RPM. She represents the lifestyle of a successful Afro-Latin woman in Hip-hop culture and she believes art is life.

Noemi Segarra -- Noemí Segarra works with corporeal improvisation and somatic practices of the body and mind that cultivate being present and in process, in art, in life. She currently lives and makes work in Puerto Rico. She is a selected 2011-12 Fellow at La Practica, Beta-Local’s experimental studies and production program. PISO is her current one-year research project. Initiated in her home studio, moved and developed as pilot project at Beta-Local; soon to evolve to PISO móvil to visit the public space. Segarra’s commitment to keep pushing forms forward, remaining grounded in local contexts yet open to continuous actualization and investigation of our interconnectedness at a global scale, allows for mobile and collapsible structures that reflect the unstable landscape we constantly move in.

Contacts, The Young Roots Performance Series
Wallace Edgecombe                                    
Series Producer
Jane Gabriels
Project Director
917 903 7651