For Immediate Release: The California Center for the Arts, Escondido Presents 2014 Holiday Concert Series

Escondido, California — :

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido Presents
2014 Holiday Concert Series

Mariachi Sol de Mexico: A Merri-achi Christmas
Christmas with Lúnasa featuring Special Guest Karan Casey
The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show

December 5 – 23, 2014

“(Mariachi Sol de Mexico) has gone on to become international cultural ambassadors of mariachi music.” -OC Weekly

“Anybody who listens (to Lúnasa) can’t help but find them contagious.” -Billboard Magazine

“Sixty years after they first appeared on stage, the Blind Boys of Alabama are still marching to the beat of a divine drummer.” -60 Minutes

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) is thrilled to host the 2014 Holiday Concert Series featuring performances from world-renowned artists and GRAMMY® nominees and winners: Mariachi Sol de Mexico: A Merri-achi Chrismas, Christmas with Lúnasa featuring Special Guest Karan Casey, and The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show. Please join the Center during this very special time of year for vibrant holiday celebrations in both the Concert Hall and Center Theater from December 5 – 23, 2014. For additional information, please visit

Unprecedented, unrivaled, and uninhibited, the impact of Jose Hernandez and his platinum-selling GRAMMY®-nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico on mariachi music is undeniable. After forming the group in 1981, Hernandez’s signature arrangements and charismatic trumpet playing made the band an instant and lasting success. Mariachi Sol de Mexico has performed to sold-out halls from Lincoln Center to Viña del Mar in Santiago, Chile to the White House. Hernandez’s fluent mastery of the medium has culminated in his ensemble becoming one of the foremost mariachi bands in the world.

The versatility of Mariachi Sol de Mexico has led to many unexpected collaborations, including with The Beach Boys and Willie Nelson. Within the world of Latin music, the group has played alongside stars such as Vicente Fernandez, Selena, Jose Feliciano, and a record-breaking concert tour with Luis Miguel. Their discography includes more than a dozen highly-successful albums, including GRAMMY®-nominated Tequila con Limon, La Música, and 25 Aniversario. At the Center, Mariachi Sol de Mexico will present a lively celebration of Mexico’s Christmas traditions, embracing the romanticism of Mexico’s land, culture and people. The show will include seasonal songs and dance along with select Mariachi classics.

*Mariachi Sol de Mexico performs at the Concert Hall on December 5, 2014. More information can be found on

Lúnasa, an “Irish music dream team” as dubbed by Folk Roots magazine (UK), brings a Celtic Christmas celebration to the Center with GRAMMY®-winning guest vocalist Karan Casey; Casey has been described as one of the most innovative and provocative voices in traditional and contemporary Irish music. Since the release of their 1997 debut album Lúnasa and the band’s first stateside tour, the all-star quintet has become one of the most popular bands on the international Celtic music scene. Comprised of Seán Smyth (fiddle, low whistles), Kevin Crawford (flute, low whistles, tin whistles), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes, low whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and Ed Boyd (guitar), Lúnasa delivers music with a passion that informs every note and continues to define and redefine the genre.

With eight albums already in their discography, and recording/performing credits including many of the world’s most well-known talents, the quintet introduced a rarity in the traditional music world with the 2013 release of Lúnasa with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. A glittering collection of tunes sparked from a brilliant union of two of Ireland’s brightest musical stars, the treasured national orchestra has long prided itself on its dynamic programs and stylistic range. Lúnasa’s innovative arrangements have propelled Irish acoustic music from familiar ground into surprising and exciting new territory.

* Lúnasa featuring Special Guest Karan Casey performs at the Center Theater on December 17, 2014. More information can be found on

The Blind Boys of Alabama are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, Prince, and Tom Waits. Founded in Alabama in 1939, the group consists of four blind singers — original founding member Jimmy Carter, Ricky McKinnie, Ben Moore, and Paul Beasely — guitarist and musical director Joey Williams, and a keyboardist, bassist, and drummer. The Blind Boys have persevered and flourished throughout the decades thanks to their singular sound, and since 2000, they’ve won five GRAMMY®s and four Gospel Music Awards.

The group’s upcoming album, Talkin’ Christmas!, will feature a highly-anticipated collaboration between two American music icons, The Blind Boys and roots musician Taj Mahal. The album, available October 21, 2014, includes new versions of Christmas standards, covers of hidden gospel gems, and seven brand-new holiday songs — six of which are the first Christmas songs ever penned by The Blind Boys themselves. The new original songs include the title track “Talkin’ Christmas!”, a funky tribute to the power of Christmas featuring Money Mark on keyboards, and the compassionate “What Can I Do?,” which showcases Taj Mahal on vocals and is one of two songwriting collaborations with Stax Records soul legend William Bell. The album also features a hand-clapping rearrangement of the usually-slower classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and an intimate, acoustic version of “Silent Night”.

*The Blind Boys of Alabama perform at the Concert Hall on December 23, 2014. More information can be found on

About The California Center for the Arts, Escondido
With a mission of bringing people together to discover, create and celebrate both the visual and performing arts, The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the cultural center of North San Diego County.

The Center’s unique campus includes a 1,523-seat concert hall, a 404-seat theater, a contemporary art museum, art and dance studios, and a full-service conference center with meeting and banquet facilities. The Center also runs an extensive education program and produces free community events, such as the Jazz Jam Sessions, Holiday Tree Lighting, Day of the Dead, 4th of July and WOW First Wednesdays performances.

The Center is located at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. The Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 988-4253. Tickets can also be purchased online. To learn more, including performance dates, times and ticket information, visit



About the California Center for the Arts, Escondido 

A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Center’s creation was sparked by a civic vision—one that recognized the vital role that the arts play in strengthening and uniting the community. Our commitment to enriching lives and improving access to the arts, especially for low-income individuals and families, is exemplified through our extensive educational programming and robust series of free community events. The Center is guided by an enthusiastic Board of Trustees and passionate staff who are dedicated to furthering arts education and access, and to creating programs that provide cultural enrichment for residents of North County and beyond.

You can join this inspiring mission by becoming a donor.  Visit or email to start a conversation about how you or your company can make a difference right here and right now in your arts community.


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