Morning keynoter named NEA American Master Artist

We just learned the that our morning keynoter has received a major honor. The following is from her press release:

Springfield poet and playwright Magdalena Gómez has been named a National Endowment for the Arts American Master Artist by NEA American Masterpieces Presenters, Pregones Theater of New York City.

Gómez shares the NEA American Master Artist award from Pregones Theater with Papo Vazquez, legendary Puerto Rican trombonist and composer, and soprano Eva de la O, artistic director of Musica de Camara which celebrates its 30th season this year. Eva de la O was the first Puerto Rican opera singer to perform at La Scala.

On Monday, September 13, at 7:00 p.m. at CityStage, Ms.Gómez will premiere her latest performance text “Rumors of a New Day” as part of a Teatro V!da multi-media production, with new music by Teatro V!da’s music director, internationally acclaimed composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Heshima, whose latest recording “Round and Round” is currently playing on radio stations throughout the U.S. and abroad. Also performing are Teatro V!da Artistic Associates, trumpet and cornet master Taylor Ho Bynum, who the Boston Globe hails as “One of the most brilliant of the new third millennial masters of his generation”; composer Abraham Gomez-Delgado, of whose compositions the NY Times writes: “…twisting genres at will and singing with skewed humor. But it’s largely unplugged, taking the horn section and guitar vamps of Puerto Rican salsa and bending them by way of Mingus and Sun Ra”; Afro-Carribean dance sensation Lydia Pérez, founder of the Puerto Rican Institute for Arts and Advocacy, Inc. (PRIAA) State of Rhode Island; nationally acclaimed Springfield poet María Luisa Arroyo, author of Gathering Words: Recogiendo Palabras; the Teatro V!da Ensemble; Sci-Tech Band and Teatro V!da member Jeremy Turgeon in duet with Taylor Ho Bynum; original media by Diego Angarita-Horowitz and Amherst Community Television; Springfield actor Mirtha Quiroz; and many other surprises, with opening address by Mayor Dominc Sarno. The performance will be directed by Gómez, who will also be performing.

During the 2010-2011 season Gómez will debut other new work at Pregones Theater, where she will be in residence as part of the NEA American Masterpieces Presenters award. Pregones is one of the premiere Latino Theaters in the country. Founded in 1979, and based in The Bronx, Pregones Theater has performed in more than 400 cities (including Springfield) and 13 countries, enjoying citywide recognition for lasting contributions to the performing arts field and is recipient of numerous distinctions and awards.