At first blush, Love & Summer, the third full-length album from Chicago-based singer/songwriter, Kevin Andrew Prchal, is a rollicking celebration of its two titular themes. Radiating romance and whimsy, the album revels in the never-ending present of love; its songs ecstatic and tender, playful and impassioned. Early on, Love & Summer stakes out its territory—a green and blossoming world which Prchal explores with breathless wonder and delight. Musically and lyrically, its mood is pastoral: fiddles and pedal steel mingle with the recurring voices of cicadas, and Prchal draws on a register of natural images to populate its landscape. Yet even while Love & Summer presents an homage to this idealized world, the album is also—perhaps more so—a paean to an evanescent present, where, as Prchal sings, “time will fade like sugar on your tongue.” In this sense, the insistent optimism of Love & Summer is motivated less by the dizzy raptures of love than by a hard-won awareness of the fleetingness of things and a determination to remain focused on the here-and-now of real human connection.
A Flor de Piel was founded in April 2007 by Grammy® and Latin Grammy® nominee multi-instrumentalist Renato Ceron, and author, teacher, musician and entrepreneur Marisol Ceron. The mission of the group is to keep the traditional music from Latin America alive and fresh by performing and teaching workshops for all audiences. The educational background of the group’s founders is evident in their effort to share their appreciation for Latin music and culture by not only performing the music, but also by teaching workshops and creating classes/programs. The group’s diverse repertoire includes both, traditional music from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Spain and the U.S.A. as well as original compositions. The group has developed different shows for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, including concerts (listening) music, fandangos (dance parties), children shows for schools and festivals, and workshops for musicians and dancers in all levels. A Flor de Piel’s music, and diverse repertoire reflects its members’ rich cultural heritage as well as their fresh and creative ways to make the “old” sound “new.” Its multi generational membership as well as their ability to switch from one style of Latin music to another with grace and ease appeals to audiences of all ages and all musical tastes.