By: Juan Diego Castro/surla.org/September 5, 2012
“Spread the word, ancient texts have arisen bringing into fruition…A NEW TRADITION…”
With these words Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra the creative mind behind the music, lyrics and concept of A New Tradition, closed his CD Release Jam, last Thursday, August 30th , held at Lula Lounge in downtown Toronto.
The event, as it was expected, brought together some of the most talented youth from the city in an eclectic evening with a mix of music, live painting, and dance performances that included traditional Colombian cumbia, hip hop, and break dancing courtesy of the F.A.M (Future Art Movement).
Accompanying Ruben Esguerra, was a 13 member band directed by a New Tradition’s Luisito Obregoso who is the producer, arranger, percussionist, lead and back vocals.
This musical project which has been in the works for more than a year is a fusion of “contemporary sounds [like hip hop], inflected with ‘older traditions’ and played in unique and innovative ways”. For Esguerra, his music is “woven with the spoken word poetry [to] form a rich interplay that compliment[s] and bind[s] into melodies, rhythms and rhymes to tell stories that resonate and stimulates the listener on multiple levels”.
In a way, A New Tradition epitomises the struggle for identity, culture, and politics that many young Latin@s go through while growing up in Canada. Many people believe that amalgamating into Canadian society sometimes means that you put your identity and culture on the chop-line. But Benny Esguerra shows us that being part Canada is not about assimilating but it should be rather about sharing your ancestry, identity, traditions, and the politics attached to your culture.
Through his lyrics, Benny Esguerra managed to bring a message of resistance to spark critical consciousness in dealing with issues that affect our community in Canada, and Latin America. Music and culture then, becomes the vehicle used to reflect and act as a community, as he reminds us with the lyrics from his song “Se han tomado el mundo”: “La resistencia cultural si es pacifica pero nunca pasiva…”, “The cultural resistance is a pacific but not passive”.
The future of our community is expressed through artist like Benny Esguerra. We must then continue to support local artists who contribute to the preservation and development of our identity as Latin@s in Canada.
Check out A New Tradition Music at www.newtraditionmusic.com
Check out our interview with Benny Esguerra:top