Haydee’s Restaurant features images of musicians such as Juan Gabriel and Selena. However, it’s their relationship with the local music scene that has made this restaurant a place of encounter in the Mount Pleasant, a historically Latino neighborhood in the nation’s capital.
On March 16, the theater production “La Paloma at the Wall” was celebrated through a workshop and fandango with Son La Lucha. The group is described as: “a space to learn and share El Son and other traditions, to organize and resist as a group, to strengthen ourselves, our youth and our community, to learn skills from volunteers and support social justice efforts.”
Referring to Son Jarocho, a musical tradition from Veracruz, Mexico, this event brought a workshop of the jarana and the requinto. After learning about these instruments (both beginners and more experienced musicians are welcome), we walked downstairs where the fandango was about to take place – a participatory gathering where the performers improvise. In addition, dancers are invited to dance on the wooden stage in the middle called the tarima.
The participatory nature of the tradition lends itself very well for the context. According to Alfredo, “In the past 8 years the son jarocho movement in Washington D.C. has activated the fandango as a way to create community for progressive politics and community resistance throughout the US, but most importantly to keep the torch of the son jarocho tradition alive for future generations.”