World-class tango dancers and musicians come to the Kirkland Center for Fine Arts to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. – Decatur Grandstand

A special show by Tango Del Cielo showcases dance and music from the Latin Diaspora.

Kirkland Fine Arts Center celebrates Hispanic American Heritage Month with the award-winning show Tango Del Cielo, Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Based in San Francisco, Tango Del Cielo is a unique theatrical performance that features a fusion of Latin styles including tango, flamenco, classical Spanish and Latin jazz. The performance includes live musicians and dancers, as well as film, art, lighting and effects in homage to the silent film era.

Anna Maria Mendieta, founder, artistic director and harpist of Tango Del Cielo, has toured the world and performed for Pope Benedict XVI, President Clinton, President Gorbachev and the King and Queen of Spain. Tango Del Cielo not only features Latin music and dance, but is a tribute to Mendieta’s own heritage; she is the great-niece of Nita Naldi, the 1920s silent film star and frequent costar with Rudolph Valentino.

On the day of the concert, the performers of Tango Del Cielo will offer two masterclasses to the student body and the Millikin public. At 11 a.m. on October 15, a special tango masterclass will take place on stage at the Kirkland Center for Fine Arts for all who can join, along with a masterclass in guitar, violin, cello, bass or percussion at follow (depending on interest). Both courses will be offered free of charge.

Internationally and nationally, Tango Del Cielo has already won several awards, including the LIT International Talent Award for Best Show. It was also the show presented at the 2019 World Tango Festival in Victoria, Canada. The tie-in album of the same name features Argentine tango and Spanish flamenco arranged for harp and orchestra, and it debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart. Multi-Grammy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated Jorge Calandrelli and multi-Grammy Award-winning Pablo Ziegler, as well as several other illustrious musicians and producers worked on its creation.

The Kirkland Fine Arts Center was supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. To purchase tickets and for a full schedule of events, please visit kirklandfinearts.com.

About the Kirkland Center for the Fine Arts

The Kirkland Fine Arts Center is located on the campus of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Since its grand opening in 1970, the Kirkland Fine Arts Center has played a vital role in the pursuit of the arts in Decatur and central Illinois. The center houses a 1,903-seat auditorium and is home to several musical and choral facilities, amphitheaters, art galleries, and other multi-purpose halls. Kirkland Fine Arts Center has hosted many nationally acclaimed musical tours including Rent, 42nd Street, Grease, Godspell, Side by Side, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats and many more. World famous artists such as Trace Adkins, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Vicki Lawrence and others have also performed at the center. Visit kirklandfinearts.com to learn more.

About Tango Del Cielo

With standing ovations across the country and beyond, Tango Del Cielo, a unique program of theatrical music and dance, features a fusion of Latin styles including tango, flamenco, Spanish classical and Latin jazz. Performances feature award-winning musicians and world champion dancers. The concerts pay homage to the silent film era and are uniquely captivating, incorporating multimedia use of film art, direction, lighting and effects. Concerts can be formatted as a concerto element with orchestras or as its own stand-alone concert performance. The Tango Del Cielo show was the featured show at the 2019 World Tango Festival in Victoria, Canada. Outreach and engaging virtual concerts are available. The programs are full of surprises and suitable for all audiences! Visit tangodelcielo.com to learn more.

About Anna Maria Mendieta

“Artistic excellence,” “charismatic,” “exciting” and “brilliant” are the words critics have described for concert performer Anna Maria Mendieta. Ms. Mendieta performs all over the world and enjoys a busy career as a concert soloist, symphonic soloist, recording artist and teacher. She is the Principal Harpist of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera and has performed with numerous symphony orchestras and chamber music groups in the United States and abroad. She performs all styles of music from classical to contemporary as a soloist and with her many ensembles. Specializing in classical Spanish and Argentine tango, Ms. Mendieta often performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s concertos as well as special tango arrangements created for her for harp and orchestra by Grammy Award-winning composers and arrangers. She received international recognition and standing ovations as a pioneer and “outstanding soloist” by the League of American Orchestras for the tango music of Astor Piazzolla who made history with the unique programming and use of harp in this musical style. His nationwide touring concert-show of award-winning artists, “Tango del Cielo” (Tango of Heaven) is the focus of a documentary film. Her educational outreach ensemble “Del Cielo” was a two-time winner of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra’s Adventures in Music program and she has since gone on to create and perform numerous outreach productions for the Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Mendieta has appeared as a soloist for motion pictures, television, national public radio and the Emmy Awards. She has performed for Pope Benedict XVI, for President Clinton, President Gorbachev and the King and Queen of Spain. Visit annamariamendieta.com to learn more.

William E. Bennett