BIO

I am a songwriter, touring artist, storyteller and poet. I am an independent artist and have produced all my CDs under my own label. Since 1996 I have shared Aztec Stories presentations with interested listeners and participants of all ages across the United States.

Many years ago I found a book at a yard sale that not only changed me, but also changed the way I identified myself. The book was a fictional account of the Aztecs. But, it peeked my interest enough to start reading books I thought were more authentic with regards to an accurate account of the Mexica/Aztec people and their culture. Reading every book I could get my hands on revealed some very important realities.

 

First I realized that there are many, many misconceptions about the indigenous people who populated this continent. Second, I learned that very rarely is an indigenous perspective presented. And third, I belonged to this indigenous group. Being Mexican, I was connected to them in a very real way and I was becoming aware of my true identity. 

 

Identity became an important element that I needed to understand. Rather than rely on others to create my identity, ¬I needed to identify myself. Knowing who you are and where you come from forms the foundation of self-esteem, self-awareness and inner strength. It is because of this understanding that I created the Aztec Stories program. I wanted to share the valuable information I discovered and share it from an indigenous perspective.

1951

Born in Los Angeles, CA

 

1968 to 1979 

Musician and songwriter - played guitar (acoustic and electric), bass guitar, and keyboards (acoustic and electronic), in many different types of groups. 

 

1979 to 1983 

Studied commercial art and design at Trade Technical College (2 year program), and took evening classes in illustration and design at Art Center College of Design, Glendale College, and Pasadena Community College.

 

1983 – 2015

Professional Graphic Artist/Designer.

 

1993 

Started development of the Aztec Stories program.

 

1994 

Recorded “Aztec Stories” - my first CD. It is based on the information I had researched in books. During this same time period I was also experimenting with new instruments, indigenous instruments. I met and performed with artists and musicians who shared the love of indigenous music like Xavier Quijas Yxayotl, Martin Espino, and members of Tribu (in Mexico), I started focusing my attention not only on playing these ancient instruments but also on learning to make them myself.

Following my first CD and after spending time researching ancient oral tradition stories and meeting people who were willing to share indigenous knowledge with me, in Mexico and here in the USA, I began writing new materiel that reflected an indigenous perspective. 

 

1999 

Editor of Ketzalkoatl – a bilingual cultural resource magazine.

 

2001 

Second CD titled “Tonalmachyotl – The Memory Stone” was recorded.

 

2002 

I had the distinct honor and privilege of being the first invited presenter, outside of Mexico, to teach a two-day program at La Universidad Nahuatl in the autonomous city of Ocotepec, near Cuernavaca, in the state of Morelos, Mexico.

“A man who works the land” (a short story) was accepted for publication in "Cantos Al Sexto Sol" An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing, edited by Cecilio García-Camarillo, Roberto Rodríguez, and Patrisia Gonzales, published by Wings Press.

 

2003 

Started researching the origins of the ceremony known as Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead for development into a CD and presentation program.

 

2004 

Third CD titled “Miccailhuitl – The Journey to Mictlan” was recorded. The information shared in this work came from ancient codices as well as from knowledgeable people and artists in Mexico and in the United States.

 

2005 

Contributed original music compositions for a full length documentary titled "Weaving The Past". To learn more about this documentary film by Writer-Director-Producer Walter Dominguez click on this link: http://www.weavingthepast.com

 

Recipient of the Durfee Arc Grant. This was an award for completion of my “Miccailhuitl – The Journey to Mictlan” presentation that was scheduled and performed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

Recipient of the Elaine Weissman L.A. Treasures Award.

 

2006 - 2014 

Developed and presented a first-person account on the life and times of Huey Tlatoani Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin – the 9th elected ruler of the Mexica people who reigned during the early 1500s and during the arrival of the first Europeans to visit this continent. This was a specialty program developed for Forest Lawn Memorial Park and was presented annually for eight years during the first week of May.

 

2007 

Recipient of the Elaine Weissman L.A. Treasures Award.

 

2008 

Developed a new program titled ”The Seven Warrior Foods of the Mexica People.” 

Recipient of the Elaine Weissman L.A. Treasures Award.

 

2009 - Present 

Touring and writing new songs/stories as well as presenting workshops on indigenous instruments and oral tradition storytelling.