SOURCE: Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University

February 02, 2011 16:55 ET

Sam Houston State to Host Latin Jazz, Arts Festival

HUNTSVILLE, TX--(Marketwire - February 2, 2011) - A National Medal of Arts winner is among the scholars and artists who are scheduled to share their Latin American-inspired work during the inaugural Festival Inspiración, Sam Houston State University's first Latin American Arts Festival, Feb. 21-26.

"Festival Inspiración is about education," said Sergio Ruiz, director of keyboard studies at SHSU and festival creator. "It's an exchange of culture; not only musical culture and educational culture but truly breaking international borders."

The educational portion of the festival will include presentations and panel discussions addressing Latin American scholarship, Mexico and Mexicans, and literature, the arts and publishing in Latin America.

"Many people are not aware of the breadth of Latin America," said Debra Andrist, who organized the festival's educational portion. "There are at least 21 different geographical countries and areas where variations of Spanish are spoken. The cultures are super different, as are the arts in each one."

Presentations will be given by such notable people as Nicolás Kanellos, founder and editor of the Arte Público Press; Rogelio García, founder of the Microcredits Project; John Burke, a well-known scholar of mestizaje; RoseMary Salum, founder and editor of Literal: Voces Latinoamericanas Magazine; and poet Sarah Cortez.

Music events will include a Latin Jazz Concert featuring Luis Marín and musicians from the Puerto Rico National Conservatory of Music; an improvisation concert featuring sculpture, modern dance and percussion; and a final Latin Jazz Concert featuring Panamanian music artist Danilo Pérez and the winner of the Invitational Latin Jazz Festival and Competition.

Other activities include music workshops; a Ballet Folklórico by the Huntsville LULAC chapter; three film festivals; and an exhibit and workshops by painter Adelina Moya and sculptor Jesús Moroles, a 2008 National Medal of Arts winner -- the highest award given to artists and patrons by the U.S. government and presented by the president.

Festival Inspiración is sponsored by SHSU, The City of Huntsville, Goya, American Airlines, Carbonero Restaurant in Huntsville, Buena Suerte Spanish newspaper, La Información Spanish newspaper, Sherman Clay, Texas Commission of the Arts State Cultural District, and Yamaha.

For a complete list of events, visit


Contact Information

  • Sam Houston State University
    Office of Communications
    Jennifer Gauntt, Write
    (936) 294-4406