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We Are The World, We Are The Children

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Nearly thirty years ago, Bob Geldof, the leader of the very popular Irish New Wave Punk Rock group with the funky name of The Boomtown Rats, came up with the idea for an international benefit concert which he called 'Live Aid.' To get the world's attention, he recruited superstars Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to write an altruistic anthem to catalyze fundraising efforts. Producer Quincy Jones helped to attract celebrities to participate and provided the brilliant arrangements that contributed to the mutual success of the event and its musical message. The first stanza's lyric is universally acknowledged as pure genius, encapsulating the universal plea sung by superstars over the emotionally charged melody: "There comes a time when we heed a certain call, when the world must come together as one. There are people dying and its time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all."

In early April of this year, Baja Norte's 1st Lady, Brenda Ruacho de Vega, approached Rosy Torres , the President of The Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito, and asked her to set up a local Organizing Committee. Its purpose would be to come up with a plan for a fundraiser to help the state's special needs and at-risk children. The dual causa nobles to be served were the building and operating of the Centro Rehabilitacion Infantil Hospital to be built in Tijuana while simultaneously securing the future of the worthy daily service programs provided by the local Club de Ninos y Ninas. The challenge was great and the time short. The date on which the local event was to be held had to precede the national airing of CRIT. This event (T=Telethon), hosted annually in early August by the television network Televisa, had already been pivotal in providing the monies necessary to build hospitals in 21 of Mexico's 31 states and its Federal District. The local Committee's daunting task was to plan AND produce a quality production, from start to finish, in less than three months. Since the young people of the area were the focus, an event that borrowed the timeless theme (and, hopefully, the success) of 'We Are The World, We Are The Children' seemed to make the most sense.

The proximity of the U.S border and the incredibly diverse musical talent that existed on both sides, led to the creation of a theme that promised success. When this was coupled with the help of Senor Hugo Torres and his iconic oceanfront Rosarito Beach Hotel, the plan for an epic gala (on a shoestring budget) began to rapidly take shape. July 12th was the date that coincided best with the hotel's availability and Televisa's preexisting 1st of August deadline. The title for the one day Festival said it all: 'Dia y Noche de Estrellas Para Nuestro Ninos' (A Day and Night of Stars Performing For Our Children). Now the 'fun' began, finding top quality world music artists and groups that would be ready, willing, and available to perform on this special occasion for modest...or no... remuneration.

The lineup that 'heeded the certain call' to help was remarkable in its excellence and its diversity. The array of talent listed below (in alphabetical order) ranges from teenagers to seniors, from regional favorites to Grammy Award-winning international superstars. If those attending on the second Saturday in July aren't able to find music and entertainment that they will enjoy in this lineup, it probably doesn't exist: If you think of this as Baja's answer to Coachella, you won't be far off. And if you end up enjoying your favorites while discovering an emerging superstar or two, you will discover the magic the event's Organizing Committee hoped to provide while 'making a better day' for both the children who so desperately need your help...and yourself.

Angel Lopez (joining us all the way from Orlando, FL , this Puerto Rican Latin Grammy Award-winner is best known for his megahit 'A Puro Dolor.' His recently released hit climbing the charts is 'Hasta el Final.' Check out the videos on YouTube)

Annette da Bomb & da Bomb Squad ( this American 'down home' blues belter and her quartet, a huge hit at the Annual Baja Blues Festival, will be heading to us from their home base in San Diego, CA)

Ariel de la Rosa (the currently reigning 'Baja Idol', who resides in both Tijuana, MX and Palm Springs, CA, will be joined by the fabulous virtuoso guitarist Rafa, in a set of classic duets spanning many genres)

Baile Folklorico Ixtlazihuatl (under the Artistic Direction of Professor Efrain Preciado, this group, a past Baja state champion and present resident dance company at the venerable Rosarito Beach Hotel, was recently featured on the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas hit video of 'Mi Rosarito,' which can be viewed on YouTube)

Charley Chavez and Perla Negra (this San Diego-based quintet, an off-shoot of the wildly popular eleven piece Afrotruko 'juggernaught,' features an exotic amalgam of African, Cuban, and Latin Jazz selections)

Contraste Sierreno (this trio of maestros, hailing from the Baja Norte state capital of Mexicali, features a blend of tightly knit vocal harmonies backed by their own unique accompaniments on guitars. Their hit video, 'Don Gato,' can be viewed on YouTube)

Esteban & Charly (two of Rosarito's hottest instrumentalists, Esteban de Jesus and Charly Silva, both volunteer instructors of young music students at the Boys and Girls Club on guitar and harp respectively, put a new spin on Latin classics like Moliendo Cafe and Vuelo en Pajaros)

Fuerza de Tijuana (Norteno is one of Baja Norte's most popular musical forms and this cutting edge group is at the head of the pack. The catchy melodies of their compositions blended with lyrics to match combined with their strong masculine voices and instrumental excellence are elements marking these young men as 'ones to watch'. Two of their most popular numbers, 'Los Ojos Tumbados' and 'Ondeado Decidido' are two of their aficionados' favorite videos on YouTube)

Junko Seki and Kotolan (she ...a native of Chiba, Japan now residing in Los Angeles... and her new multi-cultural group have just released an eponymous CD to rave reviews. Junko fell in love with the music of Mexico during a visit to Disney World in Orlando, FL where the famed Mariachi Cobre incorporated her into their group. Check out the delightful 'Boca de la Cultura' video on YouTube)

La Voz de Guitarras (this ensemble of fifteen guitarists, under the Musical Direction of Professor Saul Garfio, are all students at local Primo Tapia-Cantamar area schools. They surprised everyone when they beat out far more experienced groups to win the professionally adjudicated Competencias' 1st Prize at last year's 4th Annual Rosarito Beach International Mariachi & Folklorico Festival).

Leslie Eliam (this precocious youngster was only thirteen when she made it to the final five of 'Baja Idol.' Her vocal renditions of pop classics from both Mexico and the United States made her an instant favorite of the SRO audiences and now this Rosarito-area resident is back to amaze and astound once again)

Luis Villegas and Friends (born in East LA , he is a master of every facet of the Spanish guitar. His first CD, Cafe Ole, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best New Age Album and a Juno Award, Canada's Grammy. He has accompanied Janet Jackson, Marc Anthony, and Placido Domingo, amongst others)

Maricela Ibarra (this talented ranchera singer from Los Angeles is so much more. We hope she'll tell you about her special relationship with special needs children since her own three youngsters are battling disabilities. Besides first focusing on her family, she writes her own original music, has been the subject of a documentary film titled 'Mesamia.com,' won the 'Premios Expression Latina' Award, and raises money for worthy causes like this one)

Maryam Malak (known as 'El Angel de la Cancion,' her crowd pleasing vocal versatility extends from opera to rock & roll, making stops at all the stations along the way. Her many awards include runner-up in both the 'Baja Idol' and 'La Voz Tijuana' competitions)

Polo y Maya (a Baja-based, multi-cultural, vocal & multi-instrumental dynamic teenaged duo that has been performing at major festivals in North America for many years, including ones held in San Jose, CA, Ensenada, MX, and the 1st Annual Rosarito Beach International Mariachi & Folklorico Festival)

Santiago Saavedra (a native of Morelia MX, Santiago's move to Rosarito was propitious in every way. Not only does this talented guitarist-vocalist-composer teach the Boys and Girls Club music students, but he has continued to spread his performing wings in many different directions, achieving finalist status on 'Baja Idol' and creating great performances on 'Luna', & 'Chiquita Mi Nina')

Spelkin (Ireland's magical music re-imagined, as performed by a talented group now based in San Diego, CA, headed up by composer/director Tim Foley. They have won the much coveted, internationally prestigious John Lennon World Music Song Writing Award and the San Diego's Best World Music Award for their CD, 'Trip to Skye.' )

Spettacolare (the beautiful and exciting music of Italy, from rollicking folk dances to operatic arias, performed by an octet of world class musicians and vocalists under the Musical Direction of the multiple Grammy Award-winning Alberto 'Beto' Jimenez. Recently featured at the Morongo Casino in Palm Springs, CA)

The CNyN All Stars (the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito will open the festivities with its music students various groups, accompanied by their instructors, entertaining the attendees with a set of fast-paced musical selections. See...and be amazed...at what they have accomplished, without the benefit of an instrumental music program in.the public schools, in less than two years).

The Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea ( since being formed just fifteen short years ago, this all-female group has become the Official Mariachi of Disneyland, produced 10 best selling CDs, and won two Grammy Awards...while being nominated six times... in the category of Best Regional Mexican Music CD. World class world music!)

This incredible line-up of international talent will be performing on behalf of these two most worthy causes at Baja's most beautiful (and conveniently located) oceanfront hostelry for ONE DAY ONLY. You can be part of this historic event on July 12th by purchasing your tickets now. Your options to do so include on line , through PayPal, at this website address: www.clubrosarito.org , through the Rosarito Beach Hotel's Reservations Department, or by contacting Rosy Torres, the President of the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito via phone at: (661) 850-1773 or via e-mail at: rosymtorres@hotmail.com

And while you're booking your tickets, you can sing along with the chorus that has inspired us since 1985 and continues to inspire us all today:

We are the world, we are the children;

We are the ones who make a brighter day so lets start giving

There's a choice we're making

We're saving our own lives

It's true we'll make a better day

Just you and me!

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