On the CreativeGround with Czésare Santana
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage month, CreativeGround talked with Czésare Santana, a Latin musician based in Providence, Rhode Island for our “On the Ground With” blog. Born in the Dominican Republic, Czésare writes and performs alternative, folk, and world music style music, and took the time out of his busy day to answer a few questions about his life as a musician in New England.
CZÉSARE: As an artist, I am constantly looking for creativity. The great thing about creativity is that it is never monotonous, and because of that, the only typical thing about my day is that it’s always different than the last. My day encompasses a wide range of activities, from studying Spanish poetry, to recording a guitar or piano session for another artist; from continuing to produce a demo of an original song or jingle, to having a songwriting session with a collaborator overseas via internet; or from designing the new flyer for one of my upcoming local shows, to just going out to meet new local musicians and songwriters in order to widen the possibility of learning from them and keep creating new exciting music. I think that for an artist who is focused on satisfying the inner need to express him/herself through creativity, his/her typical days are never the same!
CG: You’re definitely busy! You mentioned that you perform - what is one of your favorite New England programs that you have been involved in?
CZÉSARE: Recently, I was invited to perform at the Pawtucket City Arts Festival in the city of Pawtucket, RI with my band at the Veteran’s Memorial Amphitheater, which is a great intimate space located just outside of City Hall. Its architecture resembles a Greek Amphitheater, and the acoustic response is amazing. But the most important part was the audience, which was comprised of children and our honored and beloved veterans. We had lots of fun playing for them and we are looking forward to doing it again soon. Truly, this has been one of my favorite experiences playing in New England.
CG: That sounds like a great experience. In addition to that festival and venue, name three New England artists, cultural nonprofits, or creative businesses that we should all know about.
CZÉSARE: I definitely think that everyone should know about these:
- First, The Anthony Quinn Foundation, which creates and administers innovative programs to advance the idea that art, in all its forms, is essential to learning and the enrichment of the mind. It advocates the important role arts education plays in personal development and in the overall improvement of social, economic and cultural systems. It provides scholarships that support gifted young adults seeking to further their talents in the areas of visual arts & design as well as the performing, media and literary arts. It sponsors exhibitions and retrospectives, and also provides access to the creative world of Anthony Quinn, including his private art collections.
- Second, The Boiler Room Recording Studio in Providence, RI. It is the place where ideas can come to reality. I am currently recording my upcoming album there.
- And the third would be Los Trovadores, a group of talented individuals (Carlos de Leon, Felipe Rosario, and Hugo González) who come together to bring an innovative, intimate, and acoustic style to an array of famous Latin songs. You can find them locally, every Thursday evening at Los Andes, Providence RI.
CG: These sounds like great artists and organizations. If you could collaborate with any New England creative business, cultural nonprofit, or artist, which/whom would it be and why?
CZÉSARE: In New England, we have so many talented artists and creative businesses that are striving to keep creativity alive, and the truth is that I would love to have the opportunity to collaborate with all of them. This is exactly where CreativeGround becomes a great tool for me, and for anyone. It allows me find artists and creative businesses and see their profiles, discover what we have in common, and by networking - expand the possibility of creating long-lasting collaborative relationships. As of now, I am mainly collaborating with artists internationally, but I am determined to change that by being more present and active here in New England, and the best way for me to achieve that is by being part of this great networking community.
CG: What was the last New England creative business or cultural nonprofit you visited and what did you see?
CZÉSARE: The last New England creative business I visited was Gallery Z in Providence. Gallery Z is magnificent place that is filled with new and vibrant expositions of local and international art. The day I visited, visual artist Kevork Mourad and the students from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra were showcasing their work. It was an amazing evening.
CG: What kind of things do you do to stay inspired as an artist? What fuels your work?
CZÉSARE: To stay inspired, I try to constantly interact with anything directly or indirectly that might resonate with me emotionally. A verse in a book, a scene of a movie, two people arguing at the park, a live concert, things like that. I can say that I find inspiration in anything that would make me feel something, either by consciously looking for it, or if it just happens unexpectedly. What I create will always be determined by the depth of emotion I feel when finding this inspiration.
CG: How do you think CreativeGround serves you as an artist?
CZÉSARE: To me, CreativeGround is one of the most important networking tools available right now. It provides me with everything I need to know: information about venues, non-profit organizations, artists, teaching artists, collaborators, etc. It is New England’s directory for finding and showcasing memorable artists and organizations, and for creating long lasting relationships through its vast networking features.
CG: Why should other New England musicians be listed on CreativeGround?
CZÉSARE: I believe that all New England musicians and artists should be listed on CreativeGround. CreativeGround is the place where artists can find the places where they can expose their music and find ways to collaborate with other artist - thus enriching their own craft. Most importantly, CreativeGround is where artists themselves can be found.
Thank you to Czésare for telling us a bit about his life as a musician in New England. Browse CreativeGround to learn more about what's happening in your neighborhood and throughout New England and stay tuned for our next installment of "On the CreativeGround With. . ."
Read our previous blog post featuring Easthampton City Arts+ here.