UMass Amherst to Host World Premiere Performance of 'The New Immigrant Experience'
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Powerful Multi-media Production and Panel Discussion Capture the Experiences of America’s Dreamers as Part of Guggenheim Fellowship
On April 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host the world premiere of The New Immigrant Experience, a multi-media piece (music and video projection) created by Felipe Salles, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies with the Department of Music & Dance. Both the performance and the pre-concert panel discussion will take place in the university’s historic Old Chapel.
The New Immigrant Experience is a powerful new work inspired by the lives of “Dreamers,” the more than 3.6 million individuals currently protected by DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). Written by Salles, and developed with the aid of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, the work uses speech cadences and melodic motifs based on key words as its main source of musical material. The compelling and personal stories were collected through video interviews with a representative group of Dreamers during the summer of 2018. Their personal stories and experiences growing up bilingual and undocumented also informed musical choices.
The piece will be performed by the Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, a New England–based, 18-piece jazz ensemble, giving full-throated voice to one of the most marginalized groups in the United States today.
At 6:00 PM that same evening, Professor Salles and Tereza Lee—the original Dreamer who inspired Senator Richard Durbin to write the Dream Act (the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act)—will participate in a panel discussion with UMass Amherst faculty members whose research involves immigrant rights activism and related topics. They include Stephanie Fetta and Luis Marentes, Associate Professors of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, and Rebecca Hamlin, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science.
Tickets for the performance and panel discussion are $10 for the general public, $5 for students and seniors, and free for UMass students with ID. Tickets may be purchased at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, online at www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance, or by phone (413-545-2511). The Old Chapel at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is located at 144 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01002.