Northwestern Events Calendar


LACS Faculty and Graduate Colloquium series

When: Tuesday, November 6, 2018
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Crowe Hall, 1132, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Linda  

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic


Over the past three decades, the widespread revival of colonial musics from Latin America has enriched the early music scene and spawned new traditions of performance practice. Much of this revival involves the religious villancico, a genre of vernacular church music that flourished from the late 16th through early 19thcenturies in the Hispanic world and now enjoys a small canon of frequently performed works. Looking specifically at Convidando está la noche, a piece from 17th-century Puebla (New Spain) by Juan García de Céspedes and probably the most canonical “Latin Baroque” piece, this presentation will explore how early music performers and administrators have transformed the religious villancico into a mode of contemporary performance that aims to build community and celebrate a sense of Latinidad in North America and Europe. Such interpretations, often by leading exponents of the early music scene, fuse techniques of early music performance with elements of contemporary Latin jazz and regional musics. With a text that calls upon shepherd girls to celebrate Christ’s birth through dance, Convidando está la noche serves as the ideal vehicle to reimagine Latin American cathedral music as participatory, folkloric, and relevant to our contemporary world. Nonetheless, such a festive approach sidelines – if not unwittingly reproduces - the colonial structures that originally shaped the work, and it raises new questions about the relationship between historically-informed performance and the presentist imagination in the 21st century. Is it time for an austere, more historically plausible antithesis to the Latin Baroque industry


Drew Edward Davies, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Music Studies and Associate Professor of Musicology at Northwestern University. He is a specialist in 17th- and 18thcentury music in Latin America, Iberia, and the wider European context, with complementary research interests in colonialism, contemporary architecture, and the music of 20th-century Britain.

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