WMU News

Folksinger featured Feb. 10 during Chicano History Week

Feb. 4, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Guitarist Jesus "Chuy" Negrete will use music to explore aspects of Chicano history during a lecture/performance from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, in rooms 157 and 158 of Western Michigan University's Bernhard Center.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is titled "Chicano-Minority Workers: An Ethnohistorical Perspective." It is being sponsored by the Division of Minority Affairs and the Latino Student Alliance as part of the University's celebration of Chicano History Week, Feb. 2-10.

The week is designed to increase awareness in Michigan about the ancestry and heritage of persons of Mexican decent. It is celebrated around Feb. 2 in large part to commemorate Feb. 2, 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, formally ending the U.S.-Mexican War.

Negrete is considered to be one of the nation's foremost interpreters of Mexican and Mexican-American folk music. He has been hailed by author Studs Terkel as "the Chicano Woody Guthrie" and has performed and lectured nationally as well as internationally for more than 25 years.

The folksinger and musicologist founded and leads the Mexican Cultural Institute in Chicago, which is dedicated to the study of Mexican-American musicology, Chicano folklore and culture, educational anthropology, and the social problems of Mexican-American communities. He also is the institute's Visiting Professor of Latino Studies.

The son of migrant farm workers, Negrete was born in Mexico and reared in Texas and Chicago. He went on to earn a master's degree from Chicago State University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, both in bilingual education.

In addition, he was a Tinker Scholar at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he completed course work toward a doctoral degree in educational anthropology, and has taught at levels ranging from preschool to adult remedial education to graduate school.

Negrete has received numerous honors and awards, including a Bannerman Fellowship, a Smithsonian Institution Fellowship, a National Institute of the Arts grant, the Stanford Humanities Award and the Rockefeller Foundation's New Artists Award. He also has an honorary doctoral degree from the ethnic studies department of the University of California at Berkeley.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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