The Western Folklife Center presents Gran Concurso de Corridos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2007
Contact: Darcy Minter
775-340-4240
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Western Folklife Center Presents Gran Concurso de Corridos in Nampa
Corrido Contest Showcases Traditional Music


Elko, NV – On Sunday, July 15, the Western Folklife Center will present Gran Concurso de Corridos, a contest to showcase original and traditional corridos (a Mexican ballad) composed and performed by members of the community. The contest is free and open to the public – anyone with a corrido to share is welcome to participate. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best original corridos in various categories. The Grand Prize is $300; four additional prizes of $200 will also be awarded.

Gran Concurso de Corridos will take place Sunday, July 15, 2007, at the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, 315 Stampede Drive, Nampa, Idaho (www.hccidaho.org). Registration begins at 2:00 pm and performances begin at 3:00 pm. Contestants should plan on arriving before 2:30 pm to register in-person for the competition. Contestants will be charged a $10 administrative entry fee payable in cash at the time of registration.

“It is going to be a very exciting project for the community,” says Jesus DeLeon, Federal Project Director, Caldwell School District, Caldwell, Idaho. “A growing number of Hispanic families have settled in Caldwell and call this community home. This segment has brought a diversity that is welcomed but often times with some hesitation for lack of understanding. Having this corrido contest will serve to give legitimacy to a style of music that is appreciated in the community by a growing segment of the population as evidenced in community celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo, Farmworker Appreciation Day, and Dia de los Niños. In some neighborhoods in Caldwell, and certainly in the Mexican restaurants, corridos are often heard as background music to the activities of the day. This project will also serve to connect the older members of the Hispanic community to the teens in the group.”

The Western Folklife Center will make high-quality recordings of the corrido contest and will offer a free CD recording of each contestant’s song as a gift to the contestant. The recordings will also be preserved in the Western Folklife Center Archive of folk culture. Selected songs may be included on a CD that will be released later this fall on the Folklife Center’s Deep West Records label. The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage will also be documenting the Corrido contest for its upcoming online exhibition Música del Pueblo, which will feature a national panorama of profiles of Latino musicians in their community settings.

Additional contest rules include
Both original compositions and traditional renditions of corridos are welcome.
Contestants are limited to one corridor performance each.
Individual performers, as well as musical groups, are welcome.
If a contestant needs musical accompaniment there will be a musician on hand to assist the contestant with the performance.
Contestants must bring a written copy (lyric sheet) of their corrido lyrics.

For more information about the contest, or to express interest in participating, please call Ricardo Quilantan at 208-602-6683 or Maria Carmen Gambliel at 208-334-2119 ext. 111.

In conjunction with the corrido contest, the Western Folklife Center will also produce corrido composition workshops for high school students in Nampa. In the workshops students will learn about the historical roots, themes and structure of this traditional song form through listening to and studying popular corridos, and writing their own corridos to commemorate a personal or community story.

Gran Concurso de Corridos is presented by the Western Folklife Center, a nonprofit organization. Producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for 23 years, the Western Folklife Center strives to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West. For more information about the Western Folklife Center visit www.westernfolklife.org.

This program is sponsored by: the Western Folklife Center, National Endowment for the Arts, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho