About the Production:
A MEXICAN AFFAIR, Uniting Mexico and USA through Music
Created and performed by
With new arrangements by Musical Director FELIPE FOURNIER
Directed by JEREMY WILLIAMS
SAT, APRIL 8 AT 7:00 PM THU, APRIL 20 AT 9:30 PM
THE METROPOLITAN ROOM
FOR TICKETS VISIT METROPOLITANROOM.COM
Review Fix: What was the inspiration behind A Mexican Affair?
Rafa Reyes: It was exciting to find so much influence of Mexican culture in American music and to discover old recordings of classic Mexican songs by great American artists. It is beautiful as well to see how much people appreciate this influence, sometimes unaware of its origin. It was lovely to see as well Ricardo Montalbán in movies with Cyd Charisse and Esther Williams, and to look at the stories and fantasies that inspired songwriters, filmmakers and animators to create pieces like the musical Paint Your Wagon, the movies Fiesta, The Three Caballeros, and others. Music is certainly one of the most beautiful links between Mexico and the United States, and when I embrace that, I feel closer to my home country. Being proud of my heritage and my admiration for American music from early last century were big inspirations.
Review Fix: What are your creative goals here?
Reyes: The main goal has been to create a new sound of Mexican music influenced by Latin and American Jazz. Musical director, Felipe Fournier and I have worked in creating a new blend of classic boleros and songs written by Mexican composers with music written by American composers, uniting them through Jazz. His arrangements bring influences of various rhythms from Latin America to The Great American Songbook, and influences from American Jazz to popular Mexican songs. I want this fusion of musical styles and the stories in the show to represent the positive impact that Mexico and Mexicans have in American culture, society and economy. I want to break stereotypes about what it is to be an immigrant and a Mexican worker living in the United States, and through this new music style celebrate and showcase the connection and love between Mexico and the U.S.
Review Fix: Who do you think will be affected by seeing A Mexican Affair the most?
Reyes: Many people: Jazz lovers, immigrants and people connected to the immigrant experience, older generations who grew up with this music, younger generations who discover it for the first time. Anyone who wants to fall in love and wants more love in the world.
Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Reyes: I want people to leave the show humming these songs and touched by the influence of Mexico in The Great American Songbook. I want this show to awake in people the desire to travel to Mexico. I want this show to inspire people to spice up their lives with a bit of Mexican attitude towards life, always keeping a sense of humor, working hard, holding on to your family values, being romantic and not being afraid of pursuing your dreams.
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Reyes: Recording an album and making music videos for A Mexican Affair. We are working on more performances in New York and touring to continue bringing this music to many audiences around the world.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Reyes: I recently joined a new dance company that is working on a fusion of styles from Mexican folklore with modern dance. It is a great team, and I find exciting that more artists are interested in exploring these two different cultures and blending them into a new concept. I’m excited to work with them and explore this new project.