In Denver, we were well aware of the Chicano civil rights movement, so the concert/play inspired by singer/songwriter Daniel Valdez’s album “Mestizo” should be of interest to many local theater lovers.
A nationally recognized artist, Valdez is artist in residence at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center in the Santa Fe Arts District through a grant.
He will sing songs from the album, and the play created around it is written by longtime Su Teatro director and playwright Anthony J. Garcia.
“Mestizo,” which runs through Oct. 27, pictures the movement as seen through the eyes of five young activists during the intense period of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Valdez’s solo album is the first (and only) Chicano album to be issued by a major label, A & M records, in 1973, when a Daniel Valdez concert, “America de los Indios,” caught the ear of famed trumpet player Herb Alpert, the “A” in A & M.
“In many ways, ‘Mestizo’ is the soundtrack of the Chicano movement generation,” playwright Garcia said. “Daniel was writing about both political and personal themes, consequently, we all saw ourselves in his music. His music represents a transition from our Mejicano roots to expressing a Chicano identity.”
The album is being remastered and will be issued on a CD. (One finds a fundraising campaign online for it.)