The 21st National Cuatro Festival presents “New Generations Breaking Borders”, a spectacular concert of young emerging musicians performing folk and popular music from Puerto Rico. This year’s talent includes the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra and Puerto Rico’s Rondalla de Humacao, among others. The concert is designed to unveil a symphonic youth collaboration following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Join us as we embark on a musical journey with no boundaries! (Tickets on sale August 1st, 2019)
Music Director Emeritus of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in San Juan, Roselín Pabón has distinguished himself as one of the most versatile conductors in the Caribbean and Latin America. Maestro Pabón has successfully conducted symphonic, opera, ballet, pops and contemporary repertory for the past 40 years.
Pabón acted as Associate Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra in San Juan for more than three decades, and was very important to the development and artistic growth of this orchestra.
This past year (2018), Pabón celebrated his 40th anniversary as a professional conductor with a concert in the Casals Festival of Puerto Rico. He also conducted Latin American and Caribbean music in New York and Chicago.
His recording catalogue includes three long playing records and three CDs of instrumental and vocal music by Puerto Rican composers.
He also recorded a VHS of the Concierto Antillano for guitar and symphony orchestra by Ernesto Cordero with world acclaimed guitarist Angel Romero.
Maestro Pabón has conducted orchestras in Spain, Italy, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States. In San José, Costa Rica, the music critic of La Nación said of his conducting of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3: “Roselín Pabón and our National Symphony Orchestra, produced a fine and lush sound…a flawless interpretation”.
Dr. Allan Dennis brings a rich heritage of experience and energy to the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory programs, with decades of experience motivating, rehearsing and teaching young people. He is also the Music Director of the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Dennis was recognized as the 2001 Music Director of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, as well as awarded the 2001 Heidi Castleman Award by Chamber Music America, given in recognition for “excellence in chamber music teaching.”
Dennis studied at the internationally renowned Tanglewood Institute in Lennox, MA, in 2000 and in 1996, and was also chosen as both an Active Conductor at the Festival at Sandpoint, ID, and a Fellow at the Conductors’ Institute in South Carolina. Dr. Dennis also has extensive experience conducting musical shows, operas and ballets, and is highly sought after as a guest conductor for festivals and all-state orchestras.
His conducting teachers have included Gunther Schuller, Harold Farbermann, and David Effron. Dr. Dennis received his doctorate, with distinction, from Indiana University in Bloomington, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and received a Performer’s Certificate from the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, Belgium.
La Rondalla de Humacao, directed by Prof. Jorge Luis Camacho Burgos, is the most representative musical ensemble of children and young people in the city of Humacao.
Their artistic performances include more than 100 international concerts and is recognized as the only Puerto Rican group in its category to present itself on all continents. La Rondalla is known to be an iconic group for being the most renowned musical group in the musical history of Humacao.
La Rondalla has taken Puerto Rico’s beautiful music which includes the cuatro, guitar, and güiro to countries such as: Australia, Russia, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Greece, India, Germany, Costa Rica, Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Italy, France, Venezuela and the United States, among others. Among their most important achievements are the following:
Through such instruments as the cuatro, guitar, and guiro, La Rondalla has interpreted Puerto Ricans beautiful culture and music in such countries: Australia, Russia, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Greece, India, Germany, Costa Rica, Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Italy, France, Venezuela and the United States, among others.
Some notable achievements of the group include:
• The only Puerto Rican group in its category to perform on all continents.
• Concert before Pope John Paul II in Vatican City, Italy 1997
• Concert to the Governor of the City of Veracruz, Mexico 1989
• Concert at the Tchaikovsky Theater in Russia.
• Concerts with the New York Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Joseph Lliso in 1989 and 1993 on Broadway.
• Concerts with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra at the Center of Fine Arts of Puerto Rico.
• Developed musically in the Puerto Rican cuatro, the first totally deaf musician presented in Concerts and Television
• Paoli Award for obtaining First Place in Rondallas Competition at Island Level in 1995
• Recognition of the United States Congress for its social and cultural trajectory 2012
• Celebrated the First International Children’s Festival with the participation of more than 500 children from 25 countries 1993
• Concert with the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra, Centro de Bellas Artes de Caguas, P.R. 2014
La Rondalla has managed to win the hearts of Puerto Ricans and many others with their performances in each country they have visited. Their social and cultural contribution has no limits and is evident throughout La Rondalla’s prominent performances both local and international.
Younger son of singer-songwriter Tony Croatto, Hermes is passionate about nature and music, just like his Father. If there is something that defines him, it is his love for Puerto Rico and his passion in honoring his father in every effort he makes, keeping his legacy alive. From an early age he developed a great fascination for knowing his culture and making it known to the world. Thus, he decides to dedicate his professional career to the Tourism industry to present the attributes of his land to those who are unfamiliar. He has received several awards in the hotel industry and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hotel School of the University of Puerto Rico, Carolina Campus. Given the death of his father, he began to arouse his interest in music. That’s when he begins to develop his musical skills on the guitar through his father’s videos.
His talent has been presented in the most important stages of the Island; as they are, the Center of Fine Arts, the Theater of the University of Puerto Rico, and the Symphony Hall. Using music not only to keep his father’s memory in mind, but to help promote Puerto Rican culture. He is currently working as a hotelier, singer, entertainer, president of Somos PR, LLC and chairs Strong Trees, Tony Croatto Legacy, a non-profit organization that he created to educate children about culture through the legacy of the late singer-songwriter.
The Latin Music Project, a music program of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, seeks to educate children and youth through heritage-based music classes and ensemble performance. PRAA’s Latin Music Project Ensemble brings Latino culture to diverse audiences throughout Chicago. The group has performed at the Chicago Theater, Navy Pier, Copernicus Center, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and more. Enjoy this next generation of talented Latino artists, accompanied by advanced students from El Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance Board of Directors proudly announces that its 21st anniversary National Cuatro Festival is dedicated to Roselín Pabón, for his distinguished exemplary artistic accomplishments that have elevated Puerto Rico’s presence on the international stage. We feel that PRAA shares Pabón’s vision for artistic excellence and the common goal of championing Puerto Rico/LatinX music, and we are honored to have his talents exhibited at this years National Cuatro Festival.
Héctor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and a Master of Art Education from Universidad del Turabo. His paintings have been included in exhibitions in Puerto Rico, New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Milledgeville (Georgia), Doral (Florida), Istanbul (Turkey), Barcelona (Spain), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Florence and Venice (Italy). In 2019 Héctor Rafael received several awards in Europe for his artistic merit: International Prize Botticelli at the Borghese Palace in Florence, Italy; International Prize Diego Velázquez at the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain; and International Prize Artist of the Year 2019 at Teatro Sociale di Mantova in Mantova, Italy. The artist’s work is part of prestigious private and public collections including Museo de Arte de Caguas and Museo de Arte Francisco Oller. For more information on the artist visit www.hectorrafael.com