Radio Bilingüe Will Air “Sounds of California” from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Radio Bilingüe Will Air “Sounds of California” from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at the National Mall.

Starting June 30th and for six consecutive days, Radio Bilingüe will air a number of music concerts, conversations with master artists, and dialogue with community leaders as part of a special radio coverage of the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. This year, the Festival honors “resilient communities” in two programs: Basque: Innovation by Culture and Sounds of California.

Through a number of platforms, including radio broadcasts, satellite, webcast, and digital audio files, a Radio Bilingüe team will bring to national audiences the voices and sounds of “Sounds of California,” a special festival program showcasing performers that sing the music of migrant communities and tell the story of the first peoples of the culturally-diverse state of California.

This special program series is possible thanks to a collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

For more information, visit Radio Bilingüe’s website ( or contact María de Jesús Gómez at 559-455-5782,

Schedule of Broadcast Times:

Thursday, June 30

12:00 PM PST. Sounds of California: NOKA. In the first of a series of conversations titled “Sounds of California” and recorded in Radio Bilingüe’s Studio at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC, this program features NOKA, a trio of Basque American women who specialize in traditional songs from the Basque country, with an emphasis on gender identity. The group name comes from an old Basque form of address, used among women with a sense of trust.

4:00 PM PST. Kepa Junkera and Sorginak. This is a musical concert by Latin Grammy winner Kepa Junkera, a well-known Basque trikitixa (accordion) player. He currently tours with the Sorginak, an all-women group whose name translates as “witches.” Their music promotes the use of traditional Basque instruments while exploring new fusions of rhythm and sound. This is part of a live concert at the National Mall.

Friday, July 1

12:00 PM PST. Sounds of California: Martin Goicoechea. A conversation with Martin Goicoechea, a renowned Basque poet who came to the US as a sheepherder and is currently a staple in Basque festivals around the country. A winner of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Award, Goicochea practices the ancient art of the bertsolari (poets), keeping his Basque art alive in his adopted land. Through his “improvised verse singing,” he addresses politics, war, culture and love in rhyming stanzas.

Guests: Martin Goicoechea, Basque Poet, among four bertsolaritza artists honored with NEA’s National Heritage Award, Washington, DC.

Saturday, July 2

5:00 PM PST. FandangObon. This is a collaborative arts project launched by Japanese and Mexican American artists who mix music and dance traditions of son jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico, and the Japanese Buddhist ritual of Obon. FandangObon was initiated by the non-profit arts group Great Leap in close collaboration with the group Quetzal. This is a conversation with leading musicians, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Studio.

Guests: Nobuko Miyamoto, Great Leap Director, Singer and Dancer; George Abe, Fue, Sakuhachi and Taiko Player; Elaine Fukumoto, Dancer; Nancy Sekizawa, Vocalist; Sean Mura, Shamisen Player; Washington, DC.

6:00 PM PST. FandangObon in Concert. A performance of traditional dancing and drumming by the artists of FandangObon, a Japanese and Mexican American artist collaboration that contributes a unique sound blend to the California soundscape.  Japanese Americans talk about how they pay tribute to their ancestors and deceased loved ones through the summer ritual of obon.

Sunday, July 3

2:00 PM PST. Banda Brillo and Grupo Nuu Yuku. This is a conversation with leading members of Banda Brillo and Grupo Nuu Yuku/Danza de los Diablos. Based in the San Joaquin Valley, Banda Brillo is a ten-piece wind band formed with immigrants from San Miguel Cuevas in Oaxaca. Their repertoire includes chilenas and other traditional regional Mexican and Oaxacan rhythms. Danza de los Diablos/Nuu Yuku is a dance group that represents a local tradition unique to San Miguel Cuevas.

Guests: Emiliano Flores, Bandleader, Saxophonist; Jorge Juárez, Dancer, Co-director; Diego Solano, Dancer, Co-director; Others TBA.

3:00 PM PST. Banda Brillo and Grupo Nuu Yuku: Performance. The wind band Banda Brillo and the dance troupe Grupo Nuu Yuku/Danza de los Diablos come together to perform chilenas and other traditional rhythms from the Mixteca Baja in Southern Mexico in this special performance at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

4:00 PM PST. Homayoun Sakhi and Salar Nader. A conversation with two internationally recognized Afghan musicians who represent the Afghan exile communities’ journeys and experiences. Born in Afghanistan to one of the country’s leading musical families, Homayoun Sakhi is an outstanding player of the rubab, the national instrument. Salar Nader was born in Germany, raised in San Francisco, and currently living in Los Angeles. He is a virtuoso of the tabla.

Guests: Homayoun Sakhi, Rubab Player; Salar Nader, Tabla Player, Composer, Washington, DC.

5:00 PM PST. Homayoun Sakhi and Salar Nader in Concert. Two master folk musicians in exile come together to sing traditional Afghan music that is now important part of life for exiled Afghan communities in Northern California. The musicians performed at the stage of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC.

Monday, July 4

12:00 PM PST. Kumeyaay. Leaders from the Kumeyaay communities along the US-Mexico border in California talk about their tribal songs performed as part of the “Sounds of California” program in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. They also comment on issues of language, culture and traditions.

Guests: Preston J. Arrow-weed, Educator, Playwright, Singer, Kumeyaay/Quechan Elder; Helena Quintana Arrow-weed, Educator, Environmentalist, Pueblo Elder; Martha Rodriguez, Potter, Basket Weaver, Singer, Dancer, San Jose de la Zorra Kumeyaay Community, Baja California, MX; Stanley Rodriguez, Educator, Language Teacher, Tribal Singer, Santa Ysabel Band, Iipay Nation, San Diego, CA.

4:00 PM PST. Kumeyaay Performance. Members of the Kumeyaay tribe from Southern California and Northern Mexico share stories and legends from their rich oral tradition. Through the art of storytelling, these Native American educators are fighting to keep the historic memory alive and preserve their endangered language.

Tuesday, July 5

12:00 PM PST. Quetzal. A conversation with members of the Grammy-winning, Los Angeles-based group Quetzal, founded two decades ago by artist Quetzal Flores. The Chican@ rock group is known for combining traditional Mexican son jarocho rhythms with salsa, R&B, and more to express the political and social struggle for self-determination and self-representation.

Guests: Quetzal Flores, Jarana, Requinto, Guitar Player; Martha González, Singer, Percussionist; Juan Pérez, Bassist; Tylana Enomoto, Violinist; Ramón Gutiérrez, Member of Veracruz-based Son de Madera group.

4:00 PM PST. Quetzal and Meklit in Concert. Announced as the underground sounds of California’s largest cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, this concert at the National Mall brings together the voices of Quetzal, an activist rock band from the barrios in East Los Angeles, and San Francisco-based singer, songwriter and activist Meklit, a recognized Ethiopian singer who blends East African folk, hip-hop, and rock music.

Radio Bilingüe is the leading producer of national news and information for Latinos in U.S. public broadcasting. The non-commercial network owns and operates 12 full-power stations in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, and produces the first – and only – daily national Spanish-language news and live talk programs in public broadcasting. More than 70 affiliate stations throughout the nation carry the Línea Abierta call-in show.

These special broadcasts of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s “Sounds of California” offerings will be aired by Radio Bilingüe thanks to a collaboration with The Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

This entry was posted in News Releases, Homepage Feature. Bookmark the permalink.