Commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and co-produced by Pregones Theater in New York City, We Have Iré features the performances of Grammy-Nominated jazz musician and composer Yosvany Terry and his quartet; award-winning choreographer and dancer Ramon Ramos Alayo; Oakland-based hip-hop artist DJ Leydis, and poet, writer, and Youth Speaks co-founder Paul S. Flores. Shaped by Flores’ research into his own roots and interviews with collaborators, the performance centers around the passion of four immigrant artists, their traditions, life in Cuba, and their individual journeys, from Cuba to the United States. Directed by Rosalba Rolón of Pregones Theater with videography from filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, We Have Iré speaks to the challenges of being an immigrant artist and celebrates the triumph of establishing one’s voice in a new country through live Cuban jazz, traditional Yoruba songs and dance, Latinx hip-hop, and spoken word.
Regular admission: $25 advance, $30 for evening performances at the door
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Paul S. Flores
Paul S. Flores’ deep dive into themes of transnationality and citizenship comes at a crucial time in contemporary history. Flores creates plays and oral narratives that spur and support societal movements that lead to change. Flores’ last play “On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto” brought San Francisco communities together divided by gentrification and police violence. Flores’ ability to paint a vivid picture of bi-cultural Latino experience is shaped by his personal background and experience growing up near the Mexican border. He began presenting spoken word as a founding member of Youth Speaks and Los Delicados in 1996. He performed for the first time in Cuba in 2001 while working at La Peña Cultural Center, and has since presented multiple times in Havana, Mexico and El Salvador. His comprehensive body of work touches on the immigrant story in all its complexities: from the violent—forced migration, gang life, war, incarceration and separated families—to zooming in on intergenerational relationships and the struggle of preserving important cultural values. Paul Flores’ newest play “Pilgrim Street” premiered September 13-16, 2018 at Z Space Theater in San Francisco. He is an adjunct professor of theater at the University of San Francisco. More info: www.paulsflores.art
Since his arrival in New York in 1999, Cuban saxophonist/percussionist/composer Yosvany Terry has been making a difference in contemporary music. His innovative work, a unique confluence of Cuban roots music and jazz “has helped redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom” (New York Times). Among the recent commissions he has received as a composer are the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival commission for the suite Noches de Parranda for 12-piece ensemble with the support of Map Fund and the Harlem Stage commission to write the music for the Opera Makandal. Yosvany received the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors/New York State Music Fund’s grant for Yedégbé, a suite of Arará music. More info: www.yosvanyterry.com
Ramón Ramos Alayo
Ramón Ramos Alayo is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and the founder and artistic director of the Alayo Dance Company and CubaCaribe. Ramos was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age eleven, which led him to earn a masters degree in contemporary and folkloric dance and dance education from the Havana’s National School of Art. He was the principal dancer with Danza del Caribe, Narciso Medina Contemporary Dance Company and performed in Cuba, Europe, Canada, Belize and the U.S. Since moving to California, he has performed with some of the most respected choreographers in the Bay Area, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Joanna Haigood/Zaccho Dance and Robert Moses’ Kin. Ramon currently teaches Cuban popular dance, Afro-Cuban modern dance and children’s movement at several local dance studios and schools.
Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is graduate of UC Berkeley; he received his MA degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Eli is an award winning filmmaker and currently directs FistUp.TV, a production company that documents people’s stories from around the world as a way to expand community awareness around issues of social responsibility and cultural identity. His work has circulated through the National Broadcast: Free Speech TV, Teaching Channel, PBS and Vibe Magazine. He is the co-founder of Defend Puerto Rico, a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Eli curates the Annual Fist Up Film Festival in the Bay Area, California. His dedication to his craft is deeply connected to his commitment to social justice and the belief in the transformative power of film.
Rosalba Rolón (Director) is the Artistic Director of Pregones + Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York, a company focused on the creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures. She is a director and dramaturg and favors the art of stage adaptation in ensemble settings, working from non-dramatic texts. With Pregones Theater, she has toured more than 500 cities in the U.S. and 18 countries. Her work includes Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers and The Red Rose, among numerous others. Rosalba received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award in 2018, a Creative Capital Award in 2019 and was recently appointed to serve in the Tony Awards Nominating Committee. In 2015 she received the Teer Pioneer Award from National Black Theatre. She is also a United States Artists (USA) Fellow and board member. Rosalba is also a board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and a member of the Advisory Committee of the NYC Cultural Affairs Cultural Plan.
Born and raised in Cuba, DJ Leydis combines contemporary hits with a distinct fusion of Latin flavors, R&B classics and Roots Reggae blends. Involved in the Cuban Hip hop movement since its inception, DJ Leydis helped organize some of the country’s most respected and attended events and community programs. In 2005, she co-founded Omegas Kilay, a Hip hop Theater Collective in Havana, Cuba focused on presenting the poetry, music, experiences and perspectives of artists – such as, DJ Yari, Danay Suarez, Nono, La LLave De IPG, La Negra, and Las Krudas. DJ Leydis co-created the first all-female DJ Mixtape in Cuba, contributing a special blend of new flavor and spirit to the international community. In 2006, DJ Leydis migrated to United States to expand upon her work as a DJ and has worked with Erykah Badu, Quest Love of the Roots, and other iconic American artists.
“We Have Iré” is made possible in part by the Center for Cultural Innovation; Creative Capital; MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, National Performance Network Creation Fund; Pregones Theater; The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
YBCA Programs are made possible in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The James Irvine Foundation, with additional funding by National Endowment for the Arts, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
YBCA Performances are made possible in part by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Panta Rhea Foundation, with additional funding from Surdna Foundation, Salesforce.com, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.