Latino USA

Author Archive

#1430 – Life Sentence

This episode: life before, during, and after prison. We meet a group of lifers trying to slow down the school-to-prison pipeline. We hear the story of Suave, who has gone from illiteracy and a life sentence, to finding meaning behind organizing behind bars. We learn about the trouble former inmates have re-entering society, and what they can do to succeed. Also, how one inmate has turned skills learned in prison into his business. And, how freedom can surprise you.

Photo by Michal Czerwonka

Education Over Incarceration

Luis Gonzalez, also known as Suave, was only 17 when he was charged with first degree murder. He was sentenced to life without parole and has been incarcerated for 27 years. In prison he was reckless, angry and frequently cited as a problem by authorities–a charge that landed him in solitary confinement and ultimately forced him to transfer prisons. All of that changed when he met Maria Hinojosa, who unknowingly inspired him to get a proper education, start reading, and focus his life on helping others.

The U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated. Of those who are incarcerated, between 60,000 and 70,000 are juveniles. Suave, as part of a small group of dedicated men all serving life sentences in Graterford state prison in Pennsylvania, is now committed to fighting those numbers. He and his friends have set up initiatives like a fully inmate-funded college scholarship called Education Over Incarceration and a fatherhood workshop called FACT (Fathers and Children Together) that aims to reconnect incarcerated fathers with their children.

Maria Hinojosa and producer Michael Simon Johnson visited Suave at Graterford to find out how he turned his life around, and how he and his fellow lifers have found meaning in the work they do every day.

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Exodus: Life on the Other Side

Prison life is hard enough, but getting out and re-adjusting to civilian life presents its own set of challenges. There to help the formerly incarcerated who need housing, employment, and plain old positivity is Exodus, a transitional community center located in East Harlem, New York City. In this audio postcard, we visit Exodus to find out what re-entry back into society sounds like.

Photo by Antonia Cereijido

Rossana Rosado: The Challenges of Re-Entry

Rossana Rosado is the Chair of New York State’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. A former journalist and editor-in-chief of El Diario, Rosado has been covering the issue of re-entry for years. She talks to Maria about the challenges and issues pertaining not only to former inmates but also the communities that grapple with how to integrate them.

Photo by Antonia Cereijido

guests

 

RossanaRosado

Rossana Rosado has been a dominant force in New York media for 27 years. Using her journalism degree from Pace University, she started as a City Hall reporter at El Diario La Prensa. She left the newspaper to join WPIX, Inc. as a Producer of Public Affairs programming. The move paid off‑ and she was later promoted to Public Service Director, responsible for the creation and placement of hundreds of Public Service Announcements on the air. Ms. Rosado was recognized for her talents when she won an Emmy in 1992 for the production of a series of public service announcements featuring organizations which helped children.

From Steel to Leather: An Entrepreneur’s Story

In college, Bronx-native Ralphy Dominguez was a straight-A student, a natural leathersmith, and a drug kingpin. His knack for business led to a $2 million cocaine ring that covered most of the Northeast, and ultimately ended in a 3-year stint at a federal prison. While serving time, Ralphy honed his leather-crafting abilities and set his sights on starting a fine leather business, Pen & Pistol. We hear from Ralphy in his own words as he recounts his story and the difficulties and rewards of going straight.

Photo by Sarah Barrett

This week’s captions: Life Sentence

This episode: life before, during, and after prison. We meet a group of lifers trying to slow down the school-to-prison pipeline. We hear the story of Suave, who has gone from illiteracy and a life sentence, to finding meaning behind organizing behind bars. We learn about the trouble former inmates have re-entering society, and what they can do to succeed. Also, how one inmate has turned skills learned in prison into his business. And, how freedom can surprise you.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:
Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.
For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

 

#1429 – Live at the Greene Space

This week, we bring you some creative insights from musicians and performers, live from WNYC’s Greene Space. Soundcheck host John Schaefer joins Maria Hinojosa to interview and hear performances from psychedelic salsa band La Mecánica Popular and Argentinian musician Juana Molina. We also look into diversity in New York theater with members of the Labyrinth Theater Company.


We would like to thank the folks at the Greene Space and WNYC, especially John Schaefer, Joel Meyer, Jennifer Sendrow, Katie Bishop, Dan O’Donnell, Ricardo Fernandez, and Irene Trudel.

Also thanks to Federico Mayol and Canyon Cody from the Latin Alternative Music Conference.

 

guests

 

 

john-schaeferJohn Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and theNew Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990);The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley.

 

fotonoticia_20131120133150_465 Juana Molina stands out as one of the most talented Argentinian singer-composers of her generation. Raised in a family of tango musicians, Molina first made her name as an actress, starring in a quirky and popular sketch comedy show titled “Juana y Sus Hermanas.” Since 1996 she has released six albums as a musician to great acclaim in South America, the US and Europe – most recently 2013′s Wed 21. Her music skirts many lines: both experimental and pop, electronic and acoustic, contemporary, yet rooted in Argentinean folk music.

 

 

48414-wppt_main_19553588271La Mecánica Popular puts a twist on a classic Latin sound: salsa. Led by Peruvian singer and pianist Efraín Rozas, the NYC-based band melds the heavy Afro-Caribbean grooves of salsa dura with the mind-warping textures of psychedelic rock. They replace the classic horn section with fuzzed out guitars and angular synthesizers, ultimately using the idea of “psychedelic salsa” as a meditation on the relationship between the body and the mind in representations of Latin culture. The group’s self-titled debut album is currently out on the Brooklyn-based label Names You Can Trust.

 

 

PaulPizzi_LAB

Paula Pizzi is an actress and director. Theatre: Los Monologos de la Vagina (Westside Arts), Unerneathmybed (Rattlestick Theatre), Face Cream (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Wit (original Off-Broadway company – Long Wharf Theatre, MCC Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Union Square Theatre), Where’s My Money? (Manhattan Theatre Club/Labyrinth Theatre), Clean (Atlantic Theatre/Hartford Stage), Another Part of the House, (Classic Stage Company) Dark Rapture (Pope Theatre) Dating Dummies (Labyrinth)  Director: All the Bad Things (Labyrinth) T.V./Film: The Smurfs, Fragil, Lloro. Law and Order, City of Angels, L&O: Criminal Intent. Paula wrote her first play “Hopping on Rooftops” and it was workshopped at Labyrinth where she is a founding member . She is also a member of Circle East.

 

 

CusiCram_LAB

Cusi Cram is a playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, teacher, occasional performer, and a passionate advocate for women in the arts. She is also one of very few people who can claim the honor of Bolivian and Scottish heritage – her parents met at the United Nations.

 Cusi has received three Emmy award nominations for her extensive writing in children’s television, most notably for WGBH’s, Arthur. She was also a writer on the Showtime series, The Big C, starring Laura Linney. Her play, Dusty and the Big Bad World, was optioned by Points West Films  (Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, producers). She is currently developing several original pilots for television, a web series about tour guides in the West Village, and a feature film titled, Three Graces, which she plans to direct.

 

 

Photo by Michael Katzif

La Mecánica Popular: Psychedelic Salsa

We hear the beats of the psychedelic salsa group La Mecánica Popular and Maria Hinojosa and Soundcheck’s John Schaefer talk to the band’s leader, Efraín Rozas, about the group’s inspiration and their new take on Latin dance music.

Watch their performance here.

guests

 

 

48414-wppt_main_19553588271La Mecánica Popular puts a twist on a classic Latin sound: salsa. Led by Peruvian singer and pianist Efraín Rozas, the NYC-based band melds the heavy Afro-Caribbean grooves of salsa dura with the mind-warping textures of psychedelic rock. They replace the classic horn section with fuzzed out guitars and angular synthesizers, ultimately using the idea of “psychedelic salsa” as a meditation on the relationship between the body and the mind in representations of Latin culture. The group’s self-titled debut album is currently out on the Brooklyn-based label Names You Can Trust.

 

 

 

Photo by Michael Katzif

Labyrinth Theater: Challenging the Status Quo

Maria Hinojosa and John Schaefer talk to members of the Labyrinth Theater Company, one of the nation’s leading ensemble theater companies that’s driven by a diverse group of over 120 actors, directors, playwrights and designers, about how they began and diversity within the New York City theater scene.

guests

 

 

PaulPizzi_LAB

Paula Pizzi is an actress and director. Theatre: Los Monologos de la Vagina (Westside Arts), Unerneathmybed (Rattlestick Theatre), Face Cream (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Wit (original Off-Broadway company – Long Wharf Theatre, MCC Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Union Square Theatre), Where’s My Money? (Manhattan Theatre Club/Labyrinth Theatre), Clean (Atlantic Theatre/Hartford Stage), Another Part of the House, (Classic Stage Company) Dark Rapture (Pope Theatre) Dating Dummies (Labyrinth)  Director: All the Bad Things (Labyrinth) T.V./Film: The Smurfs, Fragil, Lloro. Law and Order, City of Angels, L&O: Criminal Intent. Paula wrote her first play “Hopping on Rooftops” and it was workshopped at Labyrinth where she is a founding member . She is also a member of Circle East.

 

 

CusiCram_LAB

Cusi Cram is a playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, teacher, occasional performer, and a passionate advocate for women in the arts. She is also one of very few people who can claim the honor of Bolivian and Scottish heritage – her parents met at the United Nations.

 Cusi has received three Emmy award nominations for her extensive writing in children’s television, most notably for WGBH’s, Arthur. She was also a writer on the Showtime series, The Big C, starring Laura Linney. Her play, Dusty and the Big Bad World, was optioned by Points West Films  (Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, producers). She is currently developing several original pilots for television, a web series about tour guides in the West Village, and a feature film titled, Three Graces, which she plans to direct.

 

 

Photo by Michael Katzif

The Hypnotic Sounds of Juana Molina

Juana Molina plays music from her most recent album Wed 21 and Maria Hinojosa and Soundcheck’s John Schaefer talk to her about leaving television and creating the work she wants to create.

You can watch her performance here.

guests

fotonoticia_20131120133150_465  Juana Molina stands out as one of the most talented Argentinian singer-composers of her generation. Raised in a family of tango musicians, Molina first made her name as an actress, starring in a quirky and popular sketch comedy show titled “Juana y Sus Hermanas.” Since 1996 she has released six albums as a musician to great acclaim in South America, the US and Europe – most recently 2013′s Wed 21. Her music skirts many lines: both experimental and pop, electronic and acoustic, contemporary, yet rooted in Argentinean folk music.

 

 

 

Photo by Michael Katzif

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