Gracias a la Vida

Curated by J. Michael Walker



"Protect..." - Ed Fella


Peter Liashkov, Eloy Torrez, Carol Colin, Ted Waltz, Sophia Gasparian, Cindy Suriyani, Ed Fella, Kathi Oshima, Tammy Abbott, Poli Marichal, J. Michael Walker


Saturday, November 8, 2008 7-10 pm


In 1966 the Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra composed perhaps the most enduring and enchanting song of her time - "Gracias a la Vida" (Thanks to Life) - wherein she expresses undying gratitude, at an almost mystical level, for all the miniscule beauties and unexpected joys of a fraught and troubled existence. In 2008, we confront a failing economy, harrowing world violence, troubled and troublesome relationships; and an endangered, fragile natural world; and still we seek those poignant moments and scenes which enrich and nourish us. This Thanksgiving season, artist-author J Michael Walker - fresh off his exploration of Los Angeles' cultural heritage in "All the Saints of the City of the Angels" - gathers local artists and poets to seek, as Violeta Parra did four decades ago, the quiet, still reasons to be grateful for our world, our society, and our lives together.

About Gracias a la Vida: Gracias a la Vida is the best-known composition of the Chilean poet, artist, and musician Violeta Parra. Violeta traveled all over Chile and collected folk songs. She was friends with Pablo Neruda and shared his vision of art as being from and for the people. Joan Baez recorded a version of this song in the 60's, and there are numerous recordings of it by other artists. The original version (performed by Violeta) is in print but difficult to find.


November 8 through December 7, 2008