The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sep 30, 2010

The Oscar Fuentes Combo Fuses Poetry And Music

Posted by laflor

On Saturday, October 9th, The Oscar Fuentes Combo will perform original beat poetry during October's Second Saturdays, Wynwood Art Walk. They'll perform Fuentes' latest beat-poem: “I Am A Crystal And Your Lips Are of Honey”. I first met Oscar Fuentes, before The Combo, in a creative writing workshop about ten years ago when we were aspiring... poets. The workshop ended and we lost track of one another. Well, that was until last month. Fast forward to the future and Fuentes now fronts The Oscar Fuentes Combo, a community-based Latin fusion band featuring music, beat poetry and the sultry vocals of Paloma Dueñas.

Fuentes, one of the hearts and souls of The Combo, says he finds inspiration for his poetry in the beauty that surrounds him. "My life experiences, a bright colored leaf on a tree, women laughing, Thelonious Monk playing the piano....[and I] still believe in the magic of a kiss in the middle of Spring." Who wouldn't be inspired by kisses in the middle of Spring?  Or any time of year!

The Combo is a close-knit and cozy collaboration of longtime friends with common artistic interests. The music is directed by classical guitarist, Carl Ferrari, who also runs with the Gypsi Catz. According to Fuentes, the group came together through the power of poetry, music and Paloma Dueñas' voice. "It all goes so well together--it was always just a matter of time."

Paloma Dueñas, born and raised in Mexico City, began her music career at the age of 14 and eventually graduated from Berklee College of Music. After graduating, she moved to Miami, started a music therapy career working with children and adults with multiple disabilities using music, theatre and visual arts. Besides providing the lead vocals for The Combo, Dueñas will also exhibit “Catarsis”, a photo collection of self-portraits and photographs depicting urban life in Mexico City and South Florida.

"Sounds sweet!" I told Fuentes. "See you at the Artis Gallery Lounge."

WHO: The Oscar Fuentes Combo & Paloma Dueñas. WHAT: Multidisciplinary performance and photography exhibit. WHERE: Artis Gallery Lounge, 153 NW 36th St Miami, FL 33127 WHEN: Saturday October 9th, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. CONTACT: Erica Tarafa, 786-525-3014 or Oscar  Fuentes, for more information.

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