For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jim Motavalli at 203-610-0549
WPKN, Bridgeport’s free-form, listener-supported radio station (89.5 FM and wpkn.org), will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with wide-ranging special programming, including music, poetry, interviews, authors and film showings.
Luis Luna, host of “Módulo Lunar” on the station and chair of the WPKN Hispanic Heritage Advisory Committee, said, “WPKN is proud to elevate Latino culture and music during this important month-long celebration. We have a Hispanic Heritage Advisory Committee to help the station move forward in the next few years to be an inclusive space for all community members.”
Also on the committee are Emmy-winning film and television producer Frank Borres; Marisol Herrera of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center; John Torres, co-founder and executive director of the Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders; singer/songwriter Rick Reyes; Asher Delerme, executive director of C.A.S.A. Inc., a non-profit behavioral health agency based in New Haven and Bridgeport; Lissette Colón, executive director of the Norwalk Board of Education; and others.
Here’s a partial rundown of the events during the month:
September 15 and October 13: Berlinetta Brewing hosts a WPKN Night on the second Thursday of each month, and on the 15th WPKN DJs Herman Olivera, Luis Luna and others will conduct a soundsystem takeover. More guest selectors will be announced, and the Urban Taqo Company will be serving a special menu just outside the pub.
September 16: “La Gringa,” a play by Carmen Rivera about a New York woman who travels to Puerto Rico for the first time to meet her family and discover her roots. The play is presented in collaboration with Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders. According to the New York Times “‘La Gringa’ has complicated misperceptions that develop on all sides and unfold in comic dialogue that arouses constant shouts of laughter and bursts of applause.” The play will be presented September 16, 8 p.m., at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, with a $25 admission.
September 21: Frank Borres’ short film Cesar A. Batalla: A Documentary will be shown at the Bijou Theatre on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport on September 21 at 7:30 p.m. Also on the bill is the acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club, a 1999 documentary about the music of Cuba directed by Wim Wenders. Admission is $10, and Borres will introduce the Cesar Batalla film.
September 23: WPKN’s Luis Luna and Marisol Herrera will be MCing a concert by Peruvian singer/songwrier Ricardo Paredes, who plays the traditional Peruvian charango. New Haven-based Proyector Cimarron Folkloric Ensemble, playing Puerto Rican bomba music (with traditional dancing) will follow. WPKN Hispanic Heritage Advisory Committee member Rick Reyes will close the show with his band, which mixes rock, Puerto Rican roots and Caribbean rhythms.
September 28: The 102-minute Cesar Chavez, a 2014 biographical film directed by Diego Luna about the life of the American labor leader and co-founder of the United Farm Workers, will be shown at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, 7:30 p.m. The film stars Michael Peńa as Chavez and John Malkovitch as the owner of a large industrial grape farm opposing the unionization effort. It premiered in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.
October 2: The Sunday family film at the Bijou, screening at 1:30 p.m., will be Vivo, about a one-of-a-kind kinkajou (a rainforest honey bear), voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés, played by Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos.
October 12: In Latin History for Morons, comic/actor John Leguizamo examines the repression of Hispanic culture through American history in his award-winning one-man show. The New York Times called it “a panoptic survey of two millenniums of oppression in the Americas.”
October 15: Salsa Steps Dance Studio instructor Ramon Martinez will lead salsa lessons starting at 7 p.m. At 8, the Connecticut band Mikita, with WPKN’s own Richard Hill, will perform. Mikita offers new arrangements of jazz classics, original songs and gripping folkloric-salsa hybrids that foster a direct experience of the African-Caribbean roots of the music. After the performance, WPKN DJs will spin music into the night.
In addition to all these events, WPKN will present special programming on the air. For instance, on Monday, September 18, Francesca Rhiannon’s “Writers Voice” show will feature playwright and author Octavio Solis, talking about growing up the son of Mexican migrants in El Paso Texas. His book of stories based on that history is Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border. He will also talk about the August 3 mass shooting in El Paso and the impact it has had on Solis’ hometown. Also aired will be a 2018 interview with singer-songwriter Don Arbor about his song honoring immigrants, “Everyone Comes From Somewhere.”
On Monday, September 26 at 9 a.m, host Joseph Celli celebrates Latin Jazz. Emma Speer’s “Emuse” show on Friday, September 30 at 9 a.m. will include, in addition to Latinx music from all around the world, interviews with local Latinx musicians, artists, and activists. And Lou Pomales’ “La Esquina Latina” will feature special programming each Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.
Founded in 1963 as a 100-watt campus outlet, WPKN is today a 10,000-watt listener-supported community radio station broadcasting at 89.5 FM and streaming online at WPKN.org. WPKN’s terrestrial signal now reaches to a listenership of 1.5 million people in Connecticut, Long Island, parts of New York and Massachusetts. Operating 24/7 and largely run by volunteers, WPKN offers a unique and eclectic mix of live and recorded music, news, public affairs, spoken word, arts and culture and other free-form programming which defy genre. WPKN is proud to be listener-supported, commercial-free, community-driven radio available to the public at no cost, any time, day or night.