Fiesta concert gives songs without borders


Photo courtesy of Exo Roast Coffee – Starts with Liudvik Cutiño Cruz on the left, followed by Arnulfo Velásquez, Alfredo Quiahuitl Villegas, and Beatrice Velázquez.

Arnulfo Velásquez and his piano accompaniment, Liudvik Cutiño held a concert for Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 6 in the Performing Arts Center.

Mexican Tenor Arnulfo Velásquez began his vocal training under the guidance of José G. Briano in Mexico City. He then graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Vocal Performance. For 15 years, he worked alongside the Arizona Opera Company, where he performed in operatic productions. He came down to Corpus Christi to perform his latest musical work.

The concert was kicked off with an instrumental piece called Oblivion, with William Lipman on the clarinet, and Philip Hii on the guitar. Then followed by two instrumental Venezuelan pieces, again played by Philip Hii on the guitar, and Jose Flores on the Venezuelan cuatro.

After the introduction, the talented Velásquez came on stage to introduce one of his latest musical projects – “Canciones Sin Fronteras,” or “Songs Without Borders.” A project which resulted as part of the international festival Fiestas del Pitic.

“Our message through music, through our songs is message of friendship, brotherhood, love, diversity, respect of diversity, acceptance, and enjoyment,” says Velásquez, “the value of the Hispanic-Latino culture in building this great nation is great and it is amazing, we have about 50 million Hispanics, Latinos, living in the United States… that’s why we decided to dedicate this event, this concert to Latin American songs.”

Velásquez began with a segment called, “Cuba Siempre en Mi Corazón,” or “Cuba Always in My Heart.” Pieces that were close to Cuban pianist Cutiño’s heart. A silent subject that immigrant families deal with is not being able to return to their homeland, to visit family and friends back in their home country, this segment dealt with that emotion.

“It’s a remembrance of  how you’re always in my heart, regardless of the distance, regardless of the circumstantial reasons why you’re away.”

After, Velásquez moved onto “Méjico lindo y Querido,” which translates to “My beautiful and Beloved Mexico.” Performing songs that reflected the Mexican culture and its diversity.

After the concert, Velásquez and Cutiño were applauded with standing ovations. Velásquez then held a Q&A and even offered one on one mini mariachi lessons for anyone interested.

Upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month events will be posted on the TAMUCC events calendar page and will be available until Oct. 19.