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Friday Features: Diana Alvarez
For this week’s Friday Features, part of our #BFPLatHome online programming, enjoy a virtual performance at home by singer-songwriter, poet, and composer Diana Alvarez whose fierce Xicana Xingona voice creates a gripping atmosphere that audiences call “transcendent.”
Access the performance via @BFPLNY’s Instagram Live >>
Friday Features is a new online series that takes a look back at past Arts Brookfield performances and installations, and checks-in with our favorite artists at home, featuring new live performances, artistic interventions, and discussions. Friday Features is part of #BFPLatHome, Brookfield Place’s series of online programming that brings the shopping, dining, and cultural events so unique to BFPL, to YOU at home. There’s something different every day!
Access all content via @BFPLNY’s Instagram page at www.instagram.com/bfplny.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Dr. Diana Alvarez is a singer-songwriter, poet, composer, filmmaker, educator, and scholar whose fierce Xicana Xingona voice creates a gripping atmosphere that audiences call “transcendent.” Alvarez’s soulful, Spanglish songs exalt queer love and liberation, and are drawn from her origins in the borderlands of South Texas, where she grew up singing to the Gulf of Mexico. In her music, Alvarez grapples with her solo migration to the Northeast as a means to shift the tides of oppression in her family and beyond. Her songs are offerings for chosen familia, and honor the “in-between-ness” of culture, identity, and language.
Dr. Alvarez is the composer and filmmaker behind the multimedia performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera. Described by the press as “a visually and acoustically stunning performance meant to honor women, non-binary and genderqueer people of color,” Quiero Volver features Alvarez’s original music, sonic text scores, a poem-script for ensemble performance, and documentary video portraits of Sharon Bridgforth, Magdalena Gómez, Vick Quezada, and Nicole M. Young. In 2018, Quiero Volver was produced at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA by grassroots organizers and Smith College, and raised over $10,000 to support immigrant justice initiatives.
Alvarez’s music is fueled by her simultaneous work as an award-winning poet and documentary filmmaker. In addition to her poetry-script for Quiero Volver, Alvarez is the author of Consultations with Bruja Juana, a chapbook poetry collection published by Toadlily Press in 2009, and her poems also appear in The Best of Toadlily Press (2011).
In 2018, Alvarez was commissioned to create a documentary for the world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s performance installation, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady at allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization in Austin, Texas. In addition to her documentary commissions for Bridgforth, Alvarez has directed her own music videos, as well as a music video for internationally recognized singer-songwriter and jazz musician, Pamela Means.