I have never been more eager to write about someone for my blog, save for Bill Hemmer (Day 30), than I am to write about my close friends, the Segreles. I have mentioned them in previous posts, and in truth, to me they are more an extended branch of my off-the-wall family tree than local celebrities in Puerto Rico (although they are!).
My beloved uncle Ivan Calderon (sorry, this keyboard does not apply accents) is the director of this very original group, the folkloric musical troupe of la Universidad del Sagrado Corazon. Begun in 1993 by several Sagrado alumni, the group has traveled to many countries, including Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and the U.S. They have placed in numerous musical competitions abroad, for best group and best soloist, among other titles.
Last year, they celebrated their 15th anniversary with a concert at Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan.
Two other people who are extremely important to me have also been members of this group– my cousin Kevin (also my best guy friend in Florida!), and my cousin Eduardo, who recently moved to Las Vegas.
Each year they have a Christmas bash at my Aunt Lavinia and Uncle Jorge’s house here, and this time, it’s pretty special, as Eduardo is visiting.
Music was my grandfather’s most treasured legacy to all of us, and that legacy has brought us to the end of another great year.
But, like any other “hero,” the Segreles need to pay their dues. Let me tell you a bit about what they’ve done to serve their community. They’re avid supporters of SER, an organization which, (from their Web site, in Spanish) “provides programs and services which help people with disabilities live in equality with dignity and independence.” Other entities that have benefited from their caring support include The Latino Institute, Artistas Frente al SIDA (“Artists Against AIDS”), and the scholarship programs for their alma mater, Sagrado Corazon.
They have also performed free of charge occasionally for different community organizations.
But, more important than their “charity resume,” is that they’ve got heart. I don’t know any musical group (at least not personally) that exists more sincerely for the purpose of bringing joy to people through song. It’s what they’re all about, and I feel so privileged to have basically grown up with their music. They also have no problem making fun of themselves, and that always makes for an interesting concert!
So, that’s the Segreles in a nutshell. They never do what’s expected, but they always do what everyone will love!
If you want to know more, or hear some of their music, or contact my uncle about a gig, please visit:
A big hug and kiss to each and everyone of the Segreles gang! I love you all with my whole heart! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a party to go to. (Can you say “groupie?”)
Con mucho amor siempre,