music

Union Mourns Its Latino Culture Pioneer

February 14, 2019 // 2 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37, family and friends are shocked and saddened at the sudden death of Alfredo Alvarado, who died on February 9. He retired last August after 17 years as an associate editor at the union’s award-winning newspaper, the Public Employee Press. A media trailblazer, before joining DC 37 Alfredo founded and published Latino NY magazine and hosted the first Latin music radio show in the New York City market on WBAI. His groundbreaking radio show, and later Latino NY,  documented the birth and growth of salsa and Latin music and culture. Alfredo interviewed and befriended many music greats—Tito Puente, Rueben Blades, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, David Sanchez, Cachao, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin and other artists while carving a space for inclusion of Puerto Rican culture in New York City’s highly competitive media and entertainment fields. “Alfredo was a [More...]

The Motown Story

March 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The history of Motown is an American success story, a musical trajectory of glammed-up girl groups, silky harmonies and smooth dance moves crafted in Detroit at a tiny music studio called Hitsville, USA. The music captured the hearts of America’s youth at a time of unparalleled social upheaval. “The Motown Story,” a play written, directed and acted by union members, plots the record label’s course in a return finale production Feb. 28 to close DC 37’s Black History Month celebration. “These songs are the soundtrack of our lives,” said Associate Director Oliver Gray. “They tell our stories and are such a huge part of our lives.” Motown’s chart-topping tunes of first loves and loves lost gave solace to a nation grappling with civil rights, equality, and the Vietnam War. “The beauty of Motown,” Gray added, “is the music broke down barriers and [More...]

Black History Month: Heartbeat of America

March 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Photos: Mike Lee By DIANE  S. WILLIAMS The Motown Show’s two sold-out performances on Finale Night Feb. 27 ended the union’s month-long celebration of Black History. Motown Spectacular is a musical co-written and directed by DC 37 member Yolanda Brooks-Ruiz, a Local 768 Public Health Sanitarian, and retired New York City Firefighter Juan Ruiz, who studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg. Black History Committee Chair and Local 1113 President Deborah Pitts emceed the night with DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 768 President Fitz Reid. Local 768 and the DC 37 Black History Committee sponsored the event. Brooks-Ruiz’s Motown show highlights the genius of producer, songwriter and music pioneer Berry Gordy, who with writer Smokey Robinson, and later with the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, crafted tunes and smooth stylings that leaped past longstanding [More...]