Entre Amigos: Guanajuato percussionist to teach at SOU

Mexican percussionist Dr. Ivan Manzanilla faces a table laden with a variety of sticks and mallets used to play percussion instruments. Manzanilla will be a visiting music professor next year at Southern Oregon University, invited by SOU percussionist professor Dr. Terry Longshore. The two collaborated in concerts presented during Sister City 50th anniversary celebrations in 2019 in Ashland and Guanajuato.
April 3, 2022

Amigo Club to take part in renewed Ashland Fourth of July celebration

By Kernan Turner, Amigo Club

Mexican percussionist Ivan Manzanilla, a specialist in contemporary percussion music, will share his talents next year at Southern Oregon University.

Dr. Manzanilla chairs the University of Guanajuato music school’s percussion department. In Ashland, he will lead Left Edge Percussion, the master’s-level percussion ensemble at SOU, and coordinate with Dr. Terry Longshore and the SOU Percussion Ensemble.

Longshore has made January and February lodging arrangements for Manzanilla and his 16-year-old son, Ollin Niederhauser, but they are seeking homestay hosts for March through June. Anyone interested in housing them can contact Manzanilla at ivanmr@mac.com.

Manzanilla holds a bachelor’s degree from Mexico’s Autonomous National University, founded in 1515 in Mexico City, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, San Diego.

“Ivan and I collaborated here and in Guanajuato during … the 50th Sister City anniversary festivities (in 2019),” Longshore said in an email, adding that they studied together for two years at USC-San Diego.

A biographical profile provided by Manzanilla says his work “centers on the exploration and dissemination of newly created music and art.”  It adds, “His teaching practice and commissions for new works that explore sound, language and gesture reflect his commitment to new generations of percussionists, musicians, and contemporary forms of art.”

Amigo Club offers farewell to University of Guanajuato visitors

The Amigo Club Board of Directors and members will offer a farewell dinner for two visiting University of Guanajuato professors and nine students, the club’s first major function following nearly two years of COVID-19-induced inactivity.

The by-invitation-only dinner will be held on April 9 at the Grizzly Peak winery, featuring Argentine empanadas baked on-site. All Amigo Club members are welcome.

The professors, Drs. Lari Viianto and Martin Pantoja, and their students will have spent a week with Southern Oregon University faculty and business management students doing research, interviews, and analysis of a project titled “How to do Business in the United States.” The students will attend a seminar and research selected local businesses. At the end of their visit, they intend to present business development plans to advisory faculty and business owners.

SOU professors Dee Fretwell and Dr. Rene Ordoñez will take students to Guanajuato in May for a similar project related to doing business in Mexico.

The project grew out of the two business schools’ Collaborative Online International Learning Initiative (COIL) that substituted online connections for in-person contact during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Pantoja has said the program represents “a new stage and diversification of collaborative options” in the Amistad Program, an academic exchange begun 52 years ago between the two universities as part of Ashland-Guanajuato Sister City relations.

Ashland’s reduced Fourth of July activities this year will include only a few food booths along Lithia Park, including the Amigo Club’s Mexican paleta booth. Pictured at the 2019 booth: Amigo Club President Betzabe “Mina” Turner (left) and board member Marty Fabian-Krause. Amigo Club photo

Mexican popsicles returning to Fourth of July celebrations

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce has decided to hold its popular Fourth of July Parade this year for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced its suspension in 2019.

The chamber’s scaled-back activities this year won’t feature the usual fireworks show or dozens of food booths that usually line Winburn Way beside Ashland Creek, although the Amigo Club will be among a few vendors allowed near the Lithia Park bandshell.

The Amigo Club’s booth will again offer Mexican paletas, which are frozen treats mounted on a sticks like popsicles, but made from fresh natural fruits with or without milk-based ingredients.

The chamber also confirmed the American Band Concert will play in the evening of July 4, returning to Ashland after a two-year pandemic suspension.

Artist Betty LaDuke Opens Contemporary-Themed Show

Ashland artist Betty LaDuke, longtime friend of the Ashland Amigo Club, has opened an exhibit titled “Fire, Fury, & Resilience: Totem Witnesses and Turtle Wisdom” at the Grants Pass Museum of Art. The show runs through May 20.

Amigo Club’s Entre Amigos (Between Friends) column about Ashland ties to its sister city Guanajuato, Mexico, appears monthly. Longtime AP reporter and bureau chief Kernan Turner is an Ashland resident and Amigo Club member. Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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