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Interpreting Frida Kahlo (Through Music)


Mention Frida Kahlo and we immediately think of the painter and the wide range of self portraits she produced during her troubled -- and at times anguished -- life. A recent recording by the Dublin Drag Orchestra with vocalist Clara Sanabras brings to light another side of Kahlo: occasional poet and writer. "La Vida Callada," ("The Unspoken Life") is included on the recently issued "¡Viva Frida!" from the Heresy record label. This track stands out for its balance of contrast and similarity to what the Dublin Drag Orchestra (DDO) has come to champion - early music.

On this week's edition of "Itinerarios," we will hear both the Kahlo setting and the more typical work of DDO. "¡Viva Frida!" also includes a fantastic cover of Gaspar Fernandes' "Dame Albricia Mano Anton" as well as several other examples of music of 17th Century Mexico. We'll also listen to a sampling of the remaining numbers on "¡Viva Frida!", part of a double album from the DDO which has been widely praised for its content, originality and creative artwork.

Credit Heresy Records
The Dublin Drag Orchestra's new CD: Viva Frida

Good grief, Charlie Brown, it's Beethoven's birthday! Beethoven may never have made it to a beach on the Caribe or to any other destination within Nueva Espana, yet his music is easily as popular in this part of the world as anywhere. His musical shouts of freedom, revolution and human spirit resonate throughout Latin America as many of those values are still being fought for today.

I can think of few better matches than Beethoven and Simón Bolívar, Liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and founder of Bolivia. Acknowledging this connection, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will contribute some Beethoven to this week's show. We'll also hear Beethoven by way of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, plus the Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio.

Catch "Itinerarios" Sunday evenings at 7 on KPAC and KTXI.

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.