Monday, October 20, 2014

In Musical Rapture

I'm in awe of The Bowdoin Orient's photographer Eliza Graumlich having captured two moments that encapsulate why we make music as Ojos de Sofía.

Yasser Tejeda. Photo by Eliza Graumlich / The Bowdoin Orient.
From left to right, Bryan Vargas, Raquel Z. Rivera and Anabellie Rivera.
Photo by Eliza Graumlich / The Bowdoin Orient.
The bottom picture captures the first time I've danced in front of the drum during one of our gigs. What came over me? I'm not sure. Whatever the answer may be...

Here's to soon making some more music together!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Home Coming

A beautiful home coming, after a beautiful two weeks on musical tour.



Sunday, August 03, 2014

Ojos de Sofia Fall 2014 Tour

I've been longing to once again play Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love with my dearest Ojos de Sofia band mates. That's been ever since last December when we debuted Las Décimas as our new song series featuring original musica jibara, bachata, salves and bomba, as well as classic boleros.

And I'm getting my wish starting September 22nd!

We'll start in Southern California, then New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Maine, back to NYC, then Western Massachusetts. And we may be adding more dates/places soon.
Here's the NYC flyer:


And here are the tour dates, as they stand right now:

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía 

Tour de Las Décimas del Amargue


September 22 | Time TBD
Artist talk and décimas writing workshop

Pomona College

333 N College Way, Claremont, CA
Free

September 23 | 7:00 pm

SCRIPPS College

1030 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
Free

September 25 | 7:00 pm

Rutgers University

Gathering Lounge, Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854
Free

Friday, September 26 | 9:00 pm

Terraza 7

40-19 Gleane St, Elmhurst, Queens, NY
$7

Monday, September 29 | 1:30 pm
Artist talk and musical demonstration

Northeastern University

342 Huntington Ave, Blackman Auditorium, Boston, MA 02115
Free

Tuesday, September 30 | 12 noon
Artist talk and musical demonstration

Tufts University

419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155‎
Free

Wednesday, October 1st | Times TBD

Bowdoin College

3725 College St, Brunswick, ME 04011
Free

Saturday, October 4 | 8:00 pm 

Barbès

376 9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
Suggested donation $10


And for a taste of some of the songs we're featuring on this tour...

Video:
Audio (Streaming and Download):


I'm hoping to see many of you, dear readers, on the road!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mary Magdalene Celebration - 7/19/14 in Albuquerque

I am elated to say that my magdalenic artistic partner, Tanya Torres, and I will be holding again this year our semi-annual Mary Magdalene celebration, this time in our adoptive Land of Enchantment, New Mexico.

We will be singing my 7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene in community, promesa-style at 6pm. Come through if you can!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Danny Rivera poem for our band Ojos de Sofía


International music icon Danny Rivera has done us a great honor by writing a poem about our music, which he posted back in December on his Facebook page!

In the midst of all the excitement surrounding our December concert and workshops I forgot to re-post it. I'm elated to share it now:


Poema dedicado a Raquel Z. Rivera y a su grupo musical Ojos De Sofia...
por Danny Rivera
Cascada de lluvia salen de tu voz.
Senderos de rítmos, fraternando
las almas del caribe.
Fuego de pasión poético, ensalada de fruta sonora.
Cuerdas, tambores, cuatro, bachata, güiro y tambora.
Orgullo boricua, creando desde la diáspora,
el universo de amor, que no pueden construir
para los suyos los mercderes de las querras.
Canción que sabe a manpostial, Ojos brujos
que cantan a la luz, con voz de ninfa jíbara,
viajando por la vida del, “to be or not to be,”
el amor y la música son la respuesta.
Ojos de Sofia, cantándole a la vida para disipar
tinieblas...
Danny Rivera

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Chocolate Pudding and Vanilla Wafers at Early Head Start

Why is our toddler son being fed chocolate pudding and vanilla wafers (and other junk food) at Early Head Start? (Mind you, a federally-funded program that claims to serve nutritious foods.) 


Well according to the program dietitian I just spoke to, what may seem like unacceptable sugary foods to me are actually carefully vetted by the program. They might have sugar but they also have calories and vitamin-enriched flours that are beneficial to my child. What?!

I've talked to teachers, the company that provides the food, and now the dietitian, to no avail. Obviously the problem (and perhaps solution) is higher up. 

Aside from writing an open letter to Michelle Obama and trying to get it printed in the New York Times (that's my fantasy right now)... What's a concerned parent to do? I've heard about these struggles happening in schools, but now that we have our little one I'm SHOCKED that they're serving this junk to tiny kids, some of them not even a year old. 

Aren't we in the midst of a childhood obesity and diabetes epidemic? Wouldn't healthy eating in Early Head Start programs be a wonderful opportunity to serve and expose kids to better foods? Doesn't this seem like a tragically missed opportunity? 

There must be other parents and other folks concerned and working on this. Suggestions?


* Photo borrowed from theimaginationtree.com


Monday, May 05, 2014

In Praise of Our Midwives / Elogio a nuestras parteras

Happy International Day of the Midwife!

Here's an imaginary toast to the midwives that took care of our family throughout my pregnancy, our son's birth, and helped us out postpartum (and even to this day).

I truly can't imagine getting better care than the one we got from midwives Dusty Marie, Jen Robinson and midwife apprentice Valerie Davis. Here's to you on your day: Cheers! Salud!

And here's to hoping more and more women get the excellent maternity care we all deserve. Cheers! Salud!

And here's to hoping one more committed midwife is able to pull together the financial resources to get through her training and get her CPM license. I've put in my tiny grain of sand and I'm hoping others will too. (To find out how to contribute, go here.) Here's to you Ynanna Djehuty: Cheers! Salud!

Dusty Marie, RN, CPM, and Valerie Davis (midwife apprentice back
when she worked with us, perhaps CPM by now).
Photo courtesy of hummingbirdmidwifery.com
Jen Robinson, CNM. I love that our sweet and wise midwife also kicks butt as
"Midwife Crisis" in the roller derby scene! Photo by Stephanie Hoover.
Ynanna Djehuty, future CPM. Photo courtesy of
thesewatersrundeep.com