A Mexican Affair celebrates the relationship between Mexico and the United States and the beautiful cultural influence between both countries. An evening of delicious music, candid
stories, and spicy romance featuring popular Jazz tunes written by Mexican and American composers. The thrilling fusion of rhythms and musical influences invites you to take an adventure filled with passion, heartbreak, and a little dirty mambo!
Created and performed by Rafa Reyes, featuring songs by Frederick Loewe and Alan J. Lerner, Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr, Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne, Agustin Lara, Maria Grever, Pablo Beltran, Consuelo Velazquez, and others. New arrangements by Musical Director Felipe Fournier; Dan Martinez on bass, Hugo Moreno on trumpet, percussionist Guillermo Barron, and Joel Mateo on drums. Directed by Jeremy Williams.
Rafa Reyes is originally from Cordoba, Mexico. His love for musical theater brought him to New York to train at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Regional credits include Joseph (Benjamin), Man of La Mancha (Priest), Once on this Island (Ensemble), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (Ensemble), and most recently West Side Story (Bernardo). Dance credits include Calpulli Mexican Dance (Principal), Jazz Roots Dance (Featured), Teatro LATEA's La Llorona (Featured) and BABEL (Ensemble). He holds a special award from the mayor of Cordoba, Mexico for his efforts in the promotion of Mexican culture in the United States. He became a producing fellow with Convergences Theatre Collective in 2015 where he created and developed A Mexican Affair. In 2015 he premiered “Fiesta” - a musical short film tribute to Ricardo Montalbán and Cyd Charisse. Rafa wants to become a strong cultural link between Mexico and the United States, and bring a positive impact to the hispanic community through the performing arts, on both sides of the border and beyond.
Felipe Fournier (Music Director/Vibraphone) was born in Costa Rica. He is a vibist/percussionist and composer who graduated from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory, concentrating in Jazz and Caribbean Music. Felipe has been nominated for a Latin Grammy with Charlie Sepulvida & The Turnaround; US Grammy with Nestor Torres; and Ruben Blades & Cheo Feliciano on his latest album, “Eba Say Aja.” Based in NYC since 2013, Felipe is the MD of "Supermambo! A Vibes Tribute to Tito Puente,” Luba Mason’s MIXTURA, and A Mexican Affair, among others. He also plays as a side man with Miguel Zenon’s SUR, Luisito Quintero’s 3rd Element, Guillermo Klein, Jaranta Beat, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, and Tres del Solar.
Guillermo Barron (Percussions) is a percussionist and composer from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. He has performed with bands that play different music styles and genres, such as classical music, rock, pop, flamenco, Mexican music, salsa and Latin jazz, among others. He has also performed with international musicians, such as Luisito Quintero, Charlie Sepulveda, Brian Lynch, Oscar Stagnate, Roby Lakatos, Mapumba, Osman Paredes, Gabriel Hernandez, Felipe Fournier & Supermambo! and salsa singers Victor Manuelle, Pepito Gomez, Paquito Guzman, Menique, among others. Guillermo recorded his own production called "¿CUAL ES LA PRISA?,” which contains his own songs and arrangements, and includes his main musical influences - Latin American music, jazz and flamenco - resulting in a contemporary Latin jazz. Guillermo has performed on different and important stages and festivals in Mexico, the United States, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Italy and Austria. He studied at The Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Music and Jazz program, and graduated summa cum laude. He is currently based in NYC and works with many musical projects. Guillermo is an endorser for Istanbul Mehmet cymbals.
Dan Martinez (Bass) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started playing music at the age of 12 at Escuela Libre de Musica. He later continued his studies at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, where he also started playing the upright bass, studying with bass legend Eddie Gomez. During his time, he performed in a wide variety of bands of different genres, including jazz, pop/rock, salsa and Latin jazz, and folkloric music. Based in NYC since 2011, he pursued his studies in the Aaron Copland School of Music, receiving a Master's degree in jazz performance. He performs regularly with Luba Mason, Jan Kus, Richard Padron, Supermambo! and many others.
Joel Mateo (drums) is a drummer and percussionist from Puerto Rico. He began his musical studies at an early age at the Escuela Libra de Musica Juan Morell Campos in Ponce, PR. He continued his music studies completing a BA in the Interamercian University in PR, and then an MA at the Aaron Copland School of Music in NYC. His musical range has led him to play live and recorded with international artists such as Papo Vazquez, Miguel Zenon, Manuel Valera, Andy Gonzalez, Tego Calderon, Elio Villafranca, John Benitez, La Mala Rodriguez, and Paoli Mejias, among others. Joel currently resides in NYC, where he continues to play, record and travel with different artists and groups.
Hugo Moreno (Trumpet) has performed in several Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, Big Bands, salsa bands and Latin jazz groups since moving to New York City. He has also appeared onstage with Paquito d'Rivera, Gustavo Santaolalla, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, and John Legend. Hugo is currently the trumpet player for Grammy and Latin Grammy winner Lila Downs. He is a founding member of New York based groups The Filmharmonic Brass, Jarana Beat, The Gregorio Uribe Big Band, and Le Train Bleu. He is an ongoing participant at the Marlboro Music Festival.
Jeremy Williams (Director) has led the creative process of 50+ new productions of theatre and dance. He recently directed and choreographed PIPPIN and Fiddler on the Roof for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, and will be returning to direct West Side Story in 2016. This spring he will be directing Joe Menino in the premiere of Murrow with Phoenix Theatre Ensemble in NYC. You can learn more about his work on www.jeremy-williams.org.
Kathi E.B. Elis (Dramaturge) is a member of the Lincoln Center and Chicago Directors Labs and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and has received nominations for South Florida Theatre's Carbonell Award for West Side Story and Jekyll and Hyde. Kathi has contributed to the original works Fabric, Flames, and Fervor: Girls of the Triangle and Prevailing Winds, both with Looking for Lilith, for whom she directed the original productions. Her dramaturgical work includes The Ruby Bridges Story (Stage One), Present Laughter, and Helen (both University of Louisville). She currently writes reviews for www.wfpl.org and www.arts-louisville.com, and contributed to Southern Theatre for several years. Her directing work will be seen at 59E59 in August 2016, when Looking for Lilith produces their world premiere production of Robin Rice's Alice in Black and White.
Zacil "Sassy" Nash (Dramaturge) is a Mexican-American storyteller. She graduated with a Masters in Spanish Language and Literature in December 2012 from the University of Central Arkansas. She has worked backstage in community theatres in Central Arkansas and as the Stage Management intern and Company Manager Assistant with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. In October 2013, she self-published a short novel, How Theatre Saved My Life. Her artist website is thesassyartist.com
David Preciado (dramaturge) is a performance artist, cultural critic, and current legal professional. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, David fell in love with the arts when he began taking Mexican Folklorico lessons in his elementary school. Since then, his art practice has crossed various disciplinary lines as means to grapple with and understand how oppression functions and liberation is imagined and won. David recently graduated from the Masters program in Performance Studies at NYU, and is working for a public interest law office.