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Aliana de la Guardia and Ariel Campos, a vocal and percussion duo, will be performing a concert of Latin American chamber music, “Bahué Live in Springfield: Descarga Hipnótico,” June 15.
Photo Credit: Tyler Hubby

SPRINGFIELD — Two classical musicians will bring the world of Latin American chamber music to Springfield with a one-hour concert, “Bahué Live in Springfield: Descarga Hipnótico.” The music, for voice and vibraphone, are the work of five composers from around the Latin American diaspora.

Bahué is a voice and percussion duo comprised of Aliana de la Guardia and Ariel Campos. Based in Los Angeles, Campos has performed with contemporary artists such as Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Brooks and Dunn, and Jennifer Lopez. He has also worked with Latin jazz artists Louie Cruz-Beltran, Francisco Aguabella and Poncho Sanchez. de la Guardia is a Cuban-American soprano vocalist, entrepreneur, actor and educator. She is a co-founding artist and the artistic director of Guerilla Opera, a nonprofit organization that organizes experimental operatic theater events.

Bahué focuses solely on composers from around the Latin American diaspora. “There’s a lack of representation in chamber music,” de la Guardia said. The concert features work by composers Orlando Jacinto García, Jorge Sosa, Jimena Maldonado and Ney Rosauro. The concert will also feature the world premiere of “Tucum,” a work composed to include a loop station by Axel Retif.

de la Guardia said there is a “great variety” of compositions and musical voices. Gathering them in a unified concert “certainly hasn’t been easy,” she said adding that it took a significant amount of research and contacting the composers. Reflecting on the finished product, de la Guardia said the program blends genres and switches between composers “fluidly.” She continued, “I’m very interested in music that challenges the listener to lean in and hear that, as well as some strong melodies you can take away.” Of the music, she added, “It’s contemporary, so it really calls to Latin Americans in how they live now.”

One section of the program is dedicated to music improvisation between de la Guardia and Campos. “As classical artists,” de la Guardia said, “we’re frequently the interpreters of others’ music. I think this allows us to be creative.”

de la Guardia, who is a first-generation Cuban American, grew up speaking Spanish at home and English “everywhere else.” She said, “It’s interesting. We walk this line of being American but not completely American.”

She said the generational trauma of her parents leaving their homeland also comes into play in her life and her music.

“I knew I wanted to do something that connects to my heritage,” said de la Guardia. When she met Campos, who is Mexican American, the two shared a desire to make music to celebrate being Latino.

de la Guardia lives and works in Springfield. “I think every artist, to some extent, wants to bring their art to their backyard,” she said.

“I’m excited to share this work, this community, this project. We are the largest minority group and I think it’s important to consider this music when preserving chamber music, especially in cities with large Latinx populations,” she said.

The concert, first performed in Los Angeles in April, was made possible with a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. There is a tiered “pay-what-you-can” cost for tickets, ranging from free to $55, “so our work can be accessible to everyone,” de la Guardia said.

“Bahué Live in Springfield: Descarga Hipnótico” takes place Saturday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Robyn Newhouse Hall at the Community Music School of Springfield, 127 State St.

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