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Photos provided by Claudia Salguero. Credit: Andre Gagne.

Gig Pick: Claudia Salguero at the National Arts Centre—05.05.18 & 05.06.18

By Taymaz Valley on May 2, 2018

Claudia Salguero is set to perform, alongside a number of notable local musicians, for a new Latin jazz show titled MADRE TIERRA at the National Arts Centre on May 5 and 6, 2018. This show promises to be a passionate and powerful take on the subject of Mother Earth and what it means to Claudia Salguero musically, and includes original compositions. She discovered her deep connection with Madre Tierra when she and her daughters backpacked their way through Columbia and experienced a transforming musical journey.

Photos provided by Claudia Salguero. Credit: Andre Gagne.

Diosa Madre, or Goddess Mother, has a long tradition in South and Central America, but digging a little deeper reveals that the figures of mother deities have existed in human consciousness for as long as we have been kicking around. Mothers, what they represent, and how we need to protect them literally and symbolically have preoccupied our daily conducts. From anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology to all of modern religious practices, mothers play important roles. Politicians even invoke a sense of nationalism by referring to the home nation as motherland, and summon soldiers to defend this figure, even making the ultimate sacrifice.

Perhaps the most famous prehistoric figure of mother deity is the Venus of Willendorf, dating 28,000-25,000 BCE discovered by Josef Szombathy in Austria. Looking at the carved figure one gets a distinctive feeling that someone wanted to communicate something akin to fertility with this creation. Indeed, productivity and abundance are what successive civilizations hoped to gain by praying to goddess deities. The figure of mother has always been associated with life, birth and giving. This has been true with the Sumerians and Inanna, Assyrians and Ishtar, Egyptians and Isis, the Greeks and Aphrodite, India and Parvati, Romans and Venus, and Christians with Mary Mother of God.

It is important to note that at every stage this female mother like figure has been held up as an exemplary model for women, and in many ways used by the patriarchal societies to supress and oppress women. The two main Mary’s in The Bible are a very good example of how a masculinized viewpoint sees the roles of women being divided into the two polar extremes. One, a mother to be protected, and the other, a sexual playmate there to be exploited yet remaining ever loyal.

With all the repressive and oppressive male driven views of mother, the Diosa Madre should not be underestimated as a trivial figure in humanity, because with all the efforts to present her as a mere inconsequential virginal vessel, the figure of mother has become a strong and dominant symbol for life, giving and peace amidst chaos, disorder and war. Mother goddess has morphed into Mother Earth in our consciousness and has become a celebrated figure all around the world, religious or secular, regardless of nationality or affiliation. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly decided to adopt the Harmony with Nature resolution 63/278 by which April 22 was designated as International Mother Earth Day.

Mother Earth, Madre Tierra or Pachamama as she was known to the indigenous population of Inca in South America, is the substance of this Universe. Sub-stance meaning that which stands under, primary, beneath it all, and is to be associated with the philosophical negative principle where everything drives from. The singularity in time and space, where the universe expanded from, and eventually remain. Our contemporary culture’s obsession with the outstanding positive protruding convex principle is coming from a very chauvinistic place. Our civilization reveres masculinity and tries to suppress femininity, however the ubiquitous principle of Madre Tierra is what allows for all to exist and be eternally created. She is the foundation, the ground from which all has risen and will rise, and obeying and listening to her seems like a good idea to me.

Claudia Salguero will be accompanied by Sylvio Modolo (Brazil, piano), Izzy Martinez (Mexico, guitar), Juan-Pablo Carmona (Colombia, bass), Alvaro de Minaya (Chile, drums and percussion), Jasmin Lalande (Canada, sax), Luis Abanto (Peru, flutes), and JL Vasquez (Chile, percussion).

Latin Jazz Show MADRE TIERRA will be at the National Arts Centre on Saturday May 5 and Sunday May 6, 2018. Tickets are available online from the NAC. The show will start at 8:30pm and the doors will open shortly before. A portion of the sales will go to “Casa Taller las Moyas,” a community organization for low-income neighbourhood of Bogota where kids and families build better lives through the arts.