The celebration of Dia de los Muertos has become a globally recognized Mexican cultural symbol, a much-anticipated and grandly celebrated holiday in Latino neighborhoods across the United States and by people of Mexican heritage nearly everywhere.
Traditionally observed on the first two days of November, Dia de los Muertos sees families and friends of loved ones who have died pay respect with colorful, memorial gatherings often taking the air of a joyful celebration rather than of mourning for the departed.
On October 28th, PBS will present a musical celebration in honor of these two important days on the Latino calendar. This dedicated Day of the Dead event was taped before a live audience deep within the unique and beautiful “underworld” of The Caverns, a subterranean amphitheater in Middle Tennessee.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Special Guests for PBS are:
LOS LOBOS with their driving GRAMMY-winning amalgamation of rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños
OZOMATLI also from Los Angeles bringing the evening’s energy up with their spectrum mash-up of salsa, jazz, funk, reggae and rap
FLOR DE TOLOACHE, the Latin GRAMMY Award-winning, New York-based, all-female group mixing old-style Mariachi with a contemporary flair.
Scores of neighbors representing Tennessee’s Latino communities flooded the concert in the cave dressed in skeleton make-up with costumes designed to reflect the day’s celebration, all organized by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “As a multi-generational, multi-cultural immigrant and refugee rights organization in the south, we are overjoyed and honored to be bringing our Mexican and Guatemalan communities together to celebrate the traditions that originated in our indigenous Aztec lands,” says Lisa Sherman Luna, TIRRC’s Executive Director.
Intermixed in this PBS special program will be short video vignettes produced by San Francisco filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor on the meaning and the iconic images of Dia de los Muertos.
A truly exciting music-cultural celebration, ¡DIA DE LOS MUERTOS! is produced for PBS by Todd Jarrell (The Caverns Sessions (fka Bluegrass Underground), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 50th Anniversary, Havana Time Machine, Rock My Soul, Songwriting With Soldiers, and more).