CLU hosts musical tribute to Latino heroes
Actor portrays painter, archbishop and desperado

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A musical theater production based on the lives of three heroic Latinos will be performed at California Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 5.

A chamber music trio and solo actor will perform “Los Valientes (The Courageous Ones)” at 7 p.m. in Samuelson Chapel. The show explores the artistic and political passions of Mexican painter Diego Rivera, the unwavering commitment to human rights of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and the pursuit of social justice by Mexican American desperado Joaquin Murrieta, the historical figure who some say inspired the character of Zorro.

“Los Valientes” is a production of the Core Ensemble, a musical theater group that has performed throughout the United States and in Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the Caribbean. Actor and singer Kevin Melendez will portray Rivera, Romero and Murrieta. The music ranges from traditional Latino folk and popular songs in Spanish to instrumental works by Latin American composers. Cellist Ju-Young Lee, pianist Cyrus von Hochstetter and percussionist Michael Parola will perform. Parola recently completed his 20th year as producer, executive director and percussionist of the Core Ensemble.

The performance is part of a 14-state Hispanic Heritage Celebration Tour.

Since its founding in 1993, the ensemble has garnered international recognition for its efforts to commission new works and has been the catalyst in the creation of several works weaving narrative and theater into the chamber music experience. It receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Humanities Council, BankAtlantic Foundation, the A.D. Henderson Foundation and others.

The ensemble has toured throughout the United States with a series of multicultural and feminist performance pieces since 1999 and performed “Ain’t I A Woman!” at CLU in 2009 as part of the group’s Women’s History Month tour.

CLU’s Artists and Speakers Committee is sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Eva Ramirez at 805-493-3349 or