401Cortland Ave
San Francisco, California 94110

La Familia Peña-Govea
Friday, August 8 - 7:00PM

“The family that plays together stays together. That is certainly true of the Peña-Govea clan in the San Francisco Mission District. …they have become a cultural force in the Bay Area. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela, Latin Beat Magazine, Jan. 2001)

Do you remember the scenes in Sam Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch” where, between battles in Revolution-era Mexico, the people are resting and drinking and eating and there’s always a band playing? The Peña-Govea family could have been that band! The music they play has the same post-colonial European influences performed on traditional instruments and their family history shows deep musical roots in the region. In the early 1900’s, grandfathers on both sides of the family played fiddle in the Monterrey area of northern Mexico. One of these grandfathers, Jesus Govea, later migrated to Mexico City where he and his son Juan played live music to accompany silent movies in neighborhood theaters. In 1942, Juan dropped his studies at the National Conservatory of Music in order to help support his mother and 8 younger brothers and sisters. World War II had just created a great demand for labor and the U.S. government opened its arms to millions of Mexican braceros. A young Juan Govea was among these millions - coming to California as a railroad worker, meeting his future wife, and raising a family - all the while instilling a passion in his children for music and culture, education and social justice.

60 years later in the San Francisco Bay Area, these generations of musical forebears have borne fruit inc. Two multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/composer daughters (Rene, age 21 and Cecilia, age 13) have been exposed by their parents (Susan Peña and Miguel Govea) to music and art from the earliest ages. The result of this exposure is an exciting, living, breathing tradition of music making that gathers influences from Mexico, Colombia, jazz and salsa.

La Familia Peña-Govea is performing at Red Hill thanks to the generosity of the San Francisco Public Library! To update yourself on the progress of our beloved branch in Bernal see their new blogspot: http://bernalheightsbranchlibrary.blogspot.com/

Official Website: http://www.dogearedbooks.com/redhill

Added by redhillbooks on July 30, 2008

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