Mongorama’s Latin jazz, art from Getty headline May arts, music fest


Latin jazz band Mongorama and Grammy-nominated trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez head the list of musical guests — while lovers of the visual arts enjoy an exhibit of antiquities from the Getty, live art demos, a chalkwalk, events for kids and great food—at Cal State San Bernardino’s Second Annual Arts and Music Festival coming Friday, May 2.

Arts-Music-Fest_2014_The festival, which will run from 4-9 p.m., is free. Parking also is free in Lots C, D and L. The festival will stretch from the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art on the west side of campus down Camphor Way heading east. The music portion of the festival will be held in the Lower Commons Plaza. It begins there at 6 p.m.

For the visual arts part of the festival, artists will show viewers “how it’s done” when they hold live demonstrations in painting, woodworking, ceramics and glassblowing.

Beyond the art demonstrations, the festival will hold a juried art walk. Artists will include CSUSB students and other artists from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

At CSUSB’s Pfau Library, festival visitors can demonstrate their creative side at the chalkwalk event, enjoy live music, browse through a brown bag book sale and amazing art exhibits inside the library. Also at the festival, RAFFMA will give children the opportunity to do their own arts and crafts.

Finally, RAFFMA will feature exhibits of ancient Egyptian antiquities and ancient Italian pottery that reflect strong Greek influences. Portions of the pottery exhibit feature objects on loan from the Getty Villa in Malibu.

A third exhibit at RAFFMA marries words and pictures. “Vital Signs,” a recently published book by CSUSB professors Thomas McGovern, a photographer, and poet Juan Delgado, is a tribute to one aspect of San Bernardino art and culture.

The 4th annual CSUSB Jazzfest, which became a part of the Arts and Music Festival last year, will feature the infectious Latin beat of Mongorama.

Mongorama is one of the nation’s – if not the world’s — premier Latin jazz bands. The band’s “Baila que Baila” was among the best Latin albums of 2013. The group name and music pay homage to Mongo Santamaria, considered by many the best conga drummer of the 20th century.

Bobby Rodriguez will be a featured guest artist with the CSUSB Jazz Ensemble. He has performed with jazz and pop greats such as Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner, Kenny Burrell, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente, Ray Charles and Poncho Sanchez, who was last year’s festival headline act.

Currently, Rodriguez is director of Latin jazz at UCLA, whose university Latin Jazz Ensemble also will be appearing at the Arts and Music Festival. Rodriguez also is director of Latin jazz at UC Irvine, and director of the Latin Jazz Ensemble at Pasadena City College.

And this year, the Arts and Music Festival will welcome local high school bands and will conduct musician clinics during the day.

A Best of the Bands competition also will be hosted by CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union Program Board and the Underground Music Society. The contest will feature local bands competing for the top prize. The winner will perform at CoyoteFEST — the students’ end of the year celebration — on Friday, June 6. The semi-finalists and winner also will perform at the university’s Summer Entertainment Concerts Series in July.

Food trucks at the arts and music festival will include Carl’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, Kettle Tyme, California Grill, Rolling Sushi, Pearson’s Louisiana Cajun and Suite 106 cupcakes.

For more information, call (909) 537-7360 or (909) 537-7373, or visit the festival’s website.