EPISODES OF AMERICAN ROUTES WITH OFELIA ESPARZA
From the show "Dance Around in Your Bones: Halloween, All Saints and All Souls" originally aired on October 27th, 2021
From the show "Thanksgiving: NEA National Heritage Fellows 2018" originally aired on November 21st, 2018
It's Halloween night, then Toussaint (All Saints Day) and All Souls Day, also Dia de los Muertos. We mark the season with songs and stories of hauntings, voodoo, and the afterlife in a devout and disruptive mix that honors and humours the dead, past and present. Hear from native New Orleanians Dr. John and Charles Neville about their encounters with the spirit world, and a trip to the local botanica in search of potions and charms to conjure good luck. Then California ofrenda maker Ofelia Esparza reveals the meanings behind her altar work for remembering loved ones on the Day of the Dead. Plus holiday and holy day sounds from Cassandra Wilson, Muddy Waters, Ana Tijoux, Gene Vincent and Santana.
As part of our annual Thanksgiving tradition, we celebrate America's diverse heritage by spotlighting this year's National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellows--recognized for their excellence in folk and traditional arts. Live in concert, Texas guitar maven and singer Barbara Lynn commands the stage with her brand of Gulf Coast rhythm & blues; old-time fiddler Eddie Bond shreds Appalachian-style; Don & Cindy Roy from Gorham, Maine, punch out French reels; and New York City cultural documentarian Ethel Raim sings a Yiddish song of her own. We talk tradition and technique with Native American basket-weaver Kelly Church; Palestinian embroiderer Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim; rodeo tailor Manuel Cuevas; Chicana altarista Ofelia Esparza and African American quilter Marion Coleman. And we revisit performances and conversations with past NEA fellows like Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Ledward Ka'apana, circus aerialist Dolly Jacobs, soul singer Mavis Staples and the late guitar virtuoso Doc Watson, among others.
From the show "NEA National Heritage Fellows 2018" originally aired on May 22nd, 2019