Friday, March 18, 2016
KQED ARTS -- “It’s like a ballad, it’s a narrative,” says “El Son” composer and musician John Calloway. He’s been teaching music to Mission kids at Community Music Center and in east side high schools for 30 years. And many of the 45 singers and musicians in the show have been his students. “The piece is meant to be a neighborhood gathering,” CMC program director Sylvia Sherman says. “You see four generations transmitting culture. It’s like a large family.” That family shares its pride in its musical heritage and its grievances over the way the community has changed in the past decade. “This is the perfect time to tell this story because of gentrification,” Calloway says. “Maybe it’s too strong to use genocide, but there are things happening right now in the Mission that are very alarming.” “El Son” features bits of the neighborhood’s history, both cultural and political, written and performed by longtime SF State Theatre Arts Professor Carlos Baron.