June 24, 2016

lira album

ACTA would like to congratulate Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells Solorzano for their new Smithsonian Folkways recording Songs of Struggle & Hope by Agustín Lira and Alma. Alma is the group name that includes Patricia Wells Solorzano, Agustín Lira, and long-time partner Ravi Knypstra, with a slew of guest artists such as Camilo Moreno and Alberto López (Quetzal) on percussion, accordionist Carlos Mendoza (Texas Maniacs), and others.

ACTA has been a big fan of this group for many, many years and has worked closely with Lira, Wells, Solorzano and their organization Teatro de la Tierra through ACTA’s Community Leadership Project and Living Cultures Grant Program for a variety of years. Songs of Struggle and Hope is a great title for this recording because these artists work knee-deep in these ideas—truly grassroots, committed, and accountable to their community. Please invest in this recording and learn the fascinating story of the ensemble and master artist Lira, who’s accomplishments have merited him the status of National Heritage Fellow, the highest national award in the field of folk and traditional arts given by the National Endowment of the Arts. Lira has been engaged in his work as a teatrista, playwright, musician, composer, artist, and activist for fifty years, and continues to demonstrate resilience in his voice as a lyrical poet and singer. Simply put, he sounds great on this recording.

We are also happy to say that Agustín Lira and Alma contributed greatly to ACTA’s new programming initiative, Sounds of California, in June of 2015 when the group performed as part of the Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert on the National Mall for the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival. As noted in this edition of New Moon, ACTA will again be contributing to the Sounds of California program at this year’s Folklife Festival in Washington DC.

ACTA offers Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells Solorzano our sincerest appreciation for taking on this endeavor and we wish you much success in sharing this incredible and important testament of history and place that tells many of the hidden histories of immigrant and communities of color that have contributed significantly to the making of our nation.

ACTA would like to recognize our staff member Russell C. Rodríguez for his contribution to this recording as a musician and as the annotator of the liner notes.

Que viva la causa!

We invite you to visit the the Smithsonian promotional page for Songs of Struggle and Hope.


Agustín Lira CD Release Celebration

Featuring Agustin Lira & Patricia Wells with students of Generaciones Project

Special Guest: Merlinda Espinosa

Saturday, June 25, 2016 — 3:00-5:00 pm
Alfonso Hernandez Youth Cente
1515 Divisadero
Fresno, CA 93701

Event is free!

INFO: (559) 485-8558

CDs, Posters, and 2 Books on Sale