Born in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, in 1945, Agustín Lira (NEA National Heritage Fellow, 2007) emigrated first to Lordsburg, New Mexico and then shortly after to California with his mother, brothers, sister, and a cousin at the age of seven. The family wandered through small farmworker towns and labor camps, following the crops up and down the San Joaquin Valley, finally settling in Selma.
In 1965, at the age of 19, he cofounded El Teatro Campesino with Luis Valdez during the Delano Grape Strike headed by Cesar Chavez. The company created songs and plays, performed on picket lines, at rallies and toured throughout the United States, giving voice to the farmworkers’ plight and demonstrating the power of artistic expression in uniting and inspiring the farmworker communities.Campesino received the New York Off Broadway Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award, appeared at the Newport Folk Festival and was the subject of feature articles in Time, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal.
Lira’s powerful singing and socially relevant lyrics were at the heart of El Teatro Campesino and established his role as the preeminent musical voice of the early Chicano Movement. After leaving Campesino in 1969, Agustin resumed his work in music and theater forming several theater groups notably El Teatro de la Tierra which performed throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles metropolitan area to critical acclaim. Lira also taught drama, music, and creative writing at universities, schools, and community organizations throughout California. With musical group Alma (formed in 1979 by Lira and Patricia Wells Solorzano), he has performed at national and international festivals in the United States, Mexico and Cuba.
Lira has produced music for films and recordings. His music appeared in the film documentaries: Students of Change: Los del ’68, (2010), by Martha Sanchez and Mario Zavaleta, KCTS 9 Television; “Viva La Causa!” (2008) by Bill Brummel and Alonso F. Maya (short listed for an Oscar). Lira was highlighted prominently on the Smithsonian Folkways retrospective Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement (2006). Previous recognition of Lira’s work includes Horizon Award (2010) by the Fresno Arts Council; Hispanic American Portraits of Success Award 2008, from KSEE Channel 24; the California Latino Legislative Caucus Award, 2007; Local Hero Award, 2006 from Valley Public Television, Channel 18 and Union Bank.
“Their use of music, theater and photographs is masterful. Lira and Wells could have taken roles in their play, Ricardo Magon, but their places as musicians, singers, narrators was perfect.” — Juan L. Esparza, VIDA EN EL VALLE, 201
Agustin Lira – Resume
Performing Ensembles – Founder and Director
Teatro Inmigrante with Patricia Wells in Fresno, CA (2001)
Musical Group Alma with Patricia Wells and Ravi Knypstra in Fresno, CA (1979)
El Teatro de la Tierra in East Los Angeles, CA (1971)
El Teatro Venceremos in Redwood City, CA(1970)
El Teatro Rebelde in Visalia, CA (1969)
El Teatro Campesino with Luis Valdez in Delano, CA (1965). Acted, directed, wrote original
songs and plays, and performed nationwide.
Recent Original Theatrical Plays and Scores
* “Covid 19, A Play,” written by Lira and Wells, to be premiered at Radio Bilingue in
* “Who is Responsible? The Immigrant Crisis at the Southern Border”, written by Lira,
produced by Wells, performed by Teatro Inmigrante, Sal Mosqueda Center, 2019
Ø “The Conscience of a Bully,” written and directed by Lira and Wells, and performed by
Teatro Inmigrante at EOC Sanctuary Stage Theater, Fresno, 2014. This work involved a
yearlong training of children, teenagers, and adults in theater.
Ø “The Weight of Things: Four Vignettes and a Song on Obesity,” a play with music,
written by Lira, produced by Wells, performed by Teatro Inmigrante at EOC Sanctuary
Theater and the Unitarian Universalist Church, Fresno, 2014.
Ø “Regeneration: Ricardo Magon and the Mexican Revolution of 1910,” a play with music,
written by Lira and directed by Lira and Wells, performed at venues throughout Fresno
by Teatro Inmigrante, 2010.
Ø “Esperanza and Luz: A Tale of Two Immigrant Women,” a play written and directed by
Lira, and Wells, performed by Teatro Inmigrante at venues throughout Fresno, 2009.
Ø “Emma Tenayuca: A Yellow Rose From Texas,” a play written by Lira, and directed by
Lira and Wells, performed in venues throughout Fresno by Teatro Inmigrante, 2007.
Ø “Candelaria Arroyo: The Music of Life,” a play with music, written by Lira and directed by
Wells and Lira, performed by Teatro Inmigrante, Tamejavi Festival, Tower Theater,
Ø “Cruz: Miracle at Giffen Labor Camp,” a play with music, written and directed by Lira,
produced by Wells, performed by Teatro Inmigrante at Tamejavi Festival, Tower Theater,
Ø “Esperanza and Luz: A Story of Two Immigrant Women,” a play written and directed by
Lira and Wells, performed at the Tamejavi Festival by Teatro Inmigrante, Tower Theater,
Ø Adapted the two plays, “Honest Sancha’s Used Mexican Lot” and “The Two Faces of the
Boss”; performed by Teatro Inmigrante at Arte Americas and at the Unitarian
Universalist Church, Fresno, 2008.
Ø Adapted and scored music for epic poem, “I Am Joaquin,” by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales;
performed by Teatro Inmigrante at the Fresno Art Museum, University of California San
Diego and Galeria la Posada, Sacramento, 2005.
Ø Wrote and Co-produced the play “Johnny’s Dream” with Patricia Wells, 1985-86.
Recordings and Film
• KPFA radio station airs special about Lira and Wells play, “Who is Responsible? The
Immigrant Crisis at the Southern Border.” 2019
• Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, “Songs of Struggle and Hope,” Lira’s original songs,
• Recorded in “Songs of Social Justice: Live performances from Edwards Auditorium,”
Rhode Island University, 2008
Ø Recorded on the film, “Students of Change: Los Del ’68”, by Martha Sanchez and Mario
Zavaleta and KCTS 9, 2010.
Ø Recorded on the film, “Viva la Causa!” by Bill Brummel and Alonso F. Mayo, a Southern
Poverty Law Center Teaching Tolerance Film (nominated for an Oscar), 2008.
Ø Recorded in the CD compilation,“Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement,”
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, curated by Steve Azcona & Russell Rodriguez, 2005.
Ø Recorded on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, “The Best of Broadside: Anthems of the
American Underground (1962-88),” 2001.
Ø Recorded on the film “So Why Is This So Important?” by Ana Garcia featured at the Los
Angeles International Shorts Film Festival, 2001.
Ø Recorded on the film “Making History: An Introduction to S.E.I.O.U. & the Labor
Movement,” by Lucia Duncan, 2001.
Ø Recorded album “I Have Been Here Forever,” Full length CD, a Lira/Wells Production,
Ø Radio program featuring Alma’s music won a Golden Mike Award from Radio Television
News Association, airing on Latino U.S.A. & National Public Radio, 1998.
Ø Scored music for film, “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’
Struggle,” by PBS & Paradigm Productions, 1996.
Ø Appeared in film series “Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Struggle,”
Ø Recorded on Columbia/Folkways album titled “We Shall Overcome,” 1991.
Ø Recorded album “Songs of Love and Struggle,” a Lira/Wells Production, 1991.
Ø Recorded on Latin American New Song Festival CD, 1991.
Ø Recorded album “Agustin Lira: From the Fields to a New Beginning,” Ambiente Records,
Ø Wrote music for film, “Heritage in Bronze,” 1969.
Ø Recorded the album, “Viva la Causa! Songs and Sounds of the Delano Grape Strike,”
Thunderbird Records, 1966.
Ø Recorded the album “The Time Will Come,” Broadside Records, 1966.
Invited Performances (Selected),
• “Reuniting for Peace and Justice: 50 Years of Resistance,” Unitarian Universalist
Church, music presentation by Lira and Wells, 2019
• “La Muerte Viene Hechando Rasero,” Day of the Dead community celebration with
music, dancers and guests; Lira and Wells, Grupo Generaciones, Merlinda Espinosa,
Sal Mosqueda Center, 2018
• The Kodaly Center for Music Education, music presentation by Lira and Wells, San
• Migrant Education Symposium Merced—musical presentation by Lira and Wells,
• Smithsonian American Folklife Festival—Ralph Rinzler Concert—with musical
group Alma, Washington, D.C., 2015
• Chowchilla Valley State Prison inmate music and theater performances directed by
Lira and Wells, 2015
Ø University of Trinity and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, with Musical Group
Alma, San Antonio, Texas, 2014.
Ø Library of Congress American Folklife Center, Homegrown Music Series, with Musical
Group Alma, Washington, D.C., 2011.
Ø Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, “Songs of My Home: Chicano Music From
California,” with musical group Alma, Washington, D.C., 2011.
Ø San Jose State University, “Cesar Chavez: His Life and Times,” with musical group Alma,
Ø National Heritage Fellows Concert, at the Music Center at Strathmore, with musical
group Alma, Bethesda, Maryland, 2007.
Ø University of Rhode Island, with Patricia Wells Solorzano, 2006.
Ø Arte Americas, Chicano Music Festival, with musical group Alma, Fresno, California
Ø Oceanside Public Library and statewide California tour “Cesar Chavez: His Life and
Times,” with musical group Alma, 2004.
Ø Encuentro del Canto Popular Festival, with musical group Alma, San Francisco, 1988-
Ø Menlo College, Cesar Chavez Celebration, with musical group Alma, 2003.
Ø Chicano Park Celebration, with musical group Alma, San Diego, 2001.
Ø Labor Heritage Festival, Dublin, CA, 2001.
Ø On tour throughout the southwestern states including Texas, with musical group Alma,
Ø On tour throughout the Southwestern states with the musical program “Chicano! Five
Hundred Years of Struggle,” 1996-97.
Ø USA-Cuba Friendship Concert in Havana, Cuba, with musical group Alma, sponsored by
Freedom to Travel, 1995.
Ø “Chicano Heritage” music in the schools program throughout Fresno Unified School
District, sponsored by Fresno Metropolitan Projects Authority Grant, 1995-6.
Ø 2nd Chicano Music Festival, Denver, Colorado, 1994.
Ø “Chicano Heritage” music in the schools program throughout California Suisun-Fairfield
and Vacaville schools, and statewide musical presentations with Alma 1991–93.
Ø Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution,
Ø 17th Cervantino International Arts Festival, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1987.
Ø Performed at Primer Festival Internacional de la Raza on Mexico/USA border, 1983.
Ø Statewide performances with musical group Teatro de la Tierra, 1978-1984.
Ø Toured theatrical/musical program “Pieces” with Teatro de la Tierra throughout
Southern CA and Washington states, 1972-74.
Ø Toured musical/theatrical programs throughout California, 1969-71; 1975-76.
Ø Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island, 1965.
Ø Senate Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor at the U.S. Senate Courtyard, Washington,
Ø Teaching free classes in music and theater through collaborations with community
organizations from 1965 to the present.
Ø Taught music and theater to inmates producing half hour of music and half hour of
original inmate poetry including a performance at Valley State Prison, Chowchilla 2015.
Ø Taught theater at Cedar Lane School, Marysville, CA, for Migrant Education, 1985-86.
Ø Taught theater and creative writing at Fresno City College, 1978-82.
Ø Taught music theory and its practical application to teatro members and to the
community at large (1978-89).
Ø Taught theater at University of Southern California, 1975-76.
Ø Supervised workshops in drama and art for gang youth from East Los Angeles, 1975-76.
Ø Taught theater and music appreciation at Colegio de la Tierra, Del Rey, CA, 1972-74.
Ø Taught theater at Venceremos College, Redwood City, 1969-71.
Competitive Grants and Commissions (Selected)
The California Endowment, Building Healthy Communities, 2015
Ø Alliance for California Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grants, 2009-2014.
Ø Community Leadership Program Grants of the Hewlett, Irvine and Packard Foundations
Ø The California Endowment Building Healthy Communities, 2013-15.
Ø Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, 2013.
Ø California Arts Council Creating Public Value Program, 2002-2010.
Ø California Arts Council Touring Roster grants, 1992-94; 1999-2003.
Ø California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants, 1985-86; 1989-1990; 1990-1992; 1993-
Ø Villa Montalvo Artist in Residence Program, 2008.
Ø University of Rhode Island Peace and Justice Center, 2007.
Ø Fresno Arts Council—Community Enrichment Grants, 1994-2003.
Ø Pan Valley Institute of the American Friends Service Committee, 2002-2003.
Ø James Irvine Foundation—Civic and Cultural Grants, 2000.
Ø Meet the Composer, 1999.
Awards and Recognitions
Ø United States Artists Fellowship Nomination, 2015.
Ø Horizon Award, Fresno County’s highest artist award by the Fresno Arts Council,
presented to Lira and Patricia Wells, 2010.
Ø Hispanic American Portraits of Success Award from KSEE Fresno Channel 24, 2008.
Ø National Heritage Fellowship Award, National Endowment for the Arts, 2007.
Ø California Latino Legislative Caucus Award, 2007.
Ø Organizational Way of Peace Award, Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 2007.
Ø Fresno Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies Award for “career contributions in
music and theater,” 2006.
Ø The Local Hero Award by Valley Public Television, Channel 18 and Union Bank in Fresno,
Ø Radio Bilingue Award, the national Spanish public radio network, ‘for contributions to
the community,” 2006.
Ø Compadre Award, 15th Annual Latino Social Workers’ Network Conference, 2004.
Ø Outstanding Latino Leadership Award by California Assembly Member Sarah Reyes, 2003.
Ø Latino Legends of the 20th Century Award by Coalition for Rural Pueblos, 2003.
Ø Lifetime Achievement Award at 3rd Radio Aztlan Music Festival by KUCR 88.3 FM, at
University of California Riverside, 1998.
Ø ALMA Award, ABC, National Council for La Raza, 1998.
Ø Latin American New Song Festival Award, 1991.
Ø Teatro Campesino’s Feathered Serpent Award, 1985-86.
Ø New York Off-Broadway Award, 1967-68.
Ø Los Angeles Critics Circle Award, 1969.
Patricia Wells Solorzano
“A dazzling voice with an inner strength that warms the hearts of her listeners.” Juan Gonzalez, El Tecolote, San Francisco
Patricia Wells Solórzano was born in Brawley, California 25 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and spent her early childhood immersed in two different and distinct cultures. Playing various instruments in grade school, she was attracted to drama and Mexican folkloric dance in high school. While a college student at CSU Northridge in 1975, she participated in the Los Angeles Gallo boycott spearheaded by the United Farm Worker’s Union. Working together with UFW organizers, many of them farmworkers themselves, deeply impacted her. Patricia joined El Teatro de la Tierra, a non-profit arts organization and taught Spanish to children, studying drama and music with Agustin Lira (cofounder of El Teatro Campesino).
In 1976 she moved to Mexico City to study Mexican and World History at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico returning to Fresno 2 years later. She began an intensive study of singing and lead guitar gaining control of both disciplines within 6 months. She cofounded musical group Alma in 1979 becoming the manager, touring nationally and internationally at festivals such as the Smithsonian Institute’s American Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.; the Cervantino International Arts Festival, Mexico; the U.S.-Cuba Friendship Concert in Havana Cuba and so on.Patricia has recorded music for various labels and for film: Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement, Smithsonian-Folkways; The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworker’s Struggle, PBS/Paradigm film. For more than 30 years she has taught music to all age groups in her community, California schools, correctional institutions. She produced concerts of Latin American Folklore and Nuevo Canto at local venues from 1993 to 2003, as well as recitals by her student chorus throughout the community. In defense of immigrants, Wells cofounded Teatro Inmigrante (Immigrant Theater) in 2001 creating, codirecting and producing new plays such as:
- Regeneración: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution of 1910, (2010);
- The Life and Times of Candelaria Arroyo (2004);
- Esperanza and Luz: A Tale of Two Immigrant Women (2001); and others.
In the Spring of 2010 Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Goddard College in Vermont. She is the recipient of many awards among them the most recent are the Horizon Artist Award (2010) from the Fresno Arts Council and the Non-Violence and Peace Studies Award from University of Rhode Island. She is one of 72 women chosen to appear in Victoria Alvarado’s book, Mujeres de Consciencia/Women of Conscience (Floricanto Press, 2009), “A tribute to Latinas who have made a definite and long standing contribution to the Hispanic community and country at large.”
Patricia Wells Résume INA-21-13736
• “Covid 19, La Obra, The Play” by me and Agustín Lira, to be premiered on Radio Bi-lingue
in April 2020 on the program “La Hora Mixteca”
• “Who is Responsible? The Immigrant Crisis at the Southern Border”, written by Lira,
produced by Wells, performed by Teatro Inmigrante, on August 3rd & 10th, 2019; I played 3
roles and performed music in the show.
• “The Conscience of a Bully” written & directed by Lira & I, and performed by Teatro
Inmigrante at EOC Sanctuary Stage Theater, Fresno in 2014; I played 2 roles.
• “The Weight of Things: Four Vignettes & a Song on Obesity” written by Lira, produced by
me, and performed by Teatro Inmigrante at EOC Sanctuary and Unitarian Universalist
Church, Fresno 2011; I played and sang throughout the show; Lira and I put together music
• “Regeneración, Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution of 1910” a play with
music written and directed by me and Lira, I chose Nuevo Canto songs for the segues and
sang throughout the show. March 2010.
• “Esperanza and Luz: A Tale of 2 Immigrant Women,” a play written by Lira and co-directed
by Wells, performed in venues throughout Fresno by Teatro Inmigrante; I played Coyota, a
female version of El Coyote, the evil protagonist. 2009
• “Actos”- “Honest Sancha’s Used Mexican Lot” and “The 2 Faces of the Boss” directed by
Lira and produced by me for the 2008 Rogue Festival- 5 shows/venues; I played a Colonel
from the Mexican Revolution. Performed the show at UC Merced.
• “A Yellow Rose From Texas, Emma Tenayuca” a play written by Lira and directed by Wells
and Lira; performed in venues throughout Fresno 2007
• “I Am Joaquin” by Corky Gonzales, adapted by Lira, live music by Lira & Wells “Heroes &
Legends” music celebrating courageous figures in history. Performed show 3 times in Fresno,
then Butte College, La Raza Galeria Posada, Sacramento, and UCSD. 2006
• “Candelaria Arroyo, The Music of Life” written by Wells and Lira and co-directed;
Commissioned by Pan Valley Institute AFSC for the Tamejavi Festival 2004; I played music
throughout the play for the segues.
• “Cruz, Miracle at Labor Camp 12” written by Lira and produced by me for the Rogue
Festival 2003; I played the comadre busy body that connects the storyline.
• “Esperanza and Luz: A Tale of 2 Immigrant Women”, written by Lira and produced by Wells
for the 2002 Tamejavi Festival; I played one of the 2 immigrant women.
• “La Muerte Viene Echando Rasero – Death Comes Wielding Her Scythe”, I produced and
performed, with Generaciones student group, a show of songs in English and Spanish about
death, a song/poem; 2 speakers on Mixtec Traditions for Día de los Muertos; Oct 27, 2018
• “Songs of Struggle & Hope” CD release Celebration with performances by me, Lira, Merlinda
Espinosa, and Generaciones Students June 25, 2016 Chicano Youth Center
• “Chicano Music Festival: I produced, performed in concert, and facilitated a panel of Chicano
Artists who spoke of the role of the arts in social change. July 21 & 22, 2006
Patricia Wells Résume INA-21-13736
• “Johnny’s Dream” co-wrote & co-produced health-related play with Lira, for the Yuba/
Marysville Unified School District Migrant Education Program; 3 months in Summer of 1985;
performed twice with live music for farm worker families and special show for over 800
Unified School District Elementary & Jr. High students. The play was produced again by
several schools in the USD;
Recordings and Film (I sang vocals, played leads & rhythms on guitar and requinto)
• “Songs of Struggle & Hope” Smithsonian Folkways; my vocals, guitar/requinto leads, rhythms
on 15 songs by A. Lira released June 2016
• “Students of Change: Los del ’68” film by Martha Sanchez and Mario Zavaleta and KCTS 9,
• “Viva la Causa!” By Bill Brummel and Alfonso Mayo for Southern Poverty Law Center
Teaching Tolerance film (nominated for an Oscar) 2008
• “Songs of Social Justice, live performance from Edwards Auditorium” Honors Colloquium; U
of Rhode Island Center for Non-Violence and Peace Studies 2006
• “Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement” Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Curated by Steve Azcona and Russell Rodriguez 2005
• “Best of Broadside: Anthems of the American Underground” (1962-1988) Compilation 2001
• “So Why Is This Important?”music for short film By Ana Garcia featured in the LA Short Film
• “Making History: an Introduction to S.E.I.U. & the Labor Movement” by Lucia Duncan 2001
• “I Have Been Here Forever” a Lira/Wells production (CA Arts Council funding) collection of
12 songs recorded at DD Studios in Fresno 1998
• Radio Show featuring Alma’s music on Latino USA & NPR won a Golden Mike Award from
Radio Television News Association 1998
• “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez & the Farm Worker’s Struggle” by Ray Tellez and Rick
Tejada-Flores Paradigm Productions and PBS, recorded vocals, guitar, and requinto music for
the film 1996
• “Songs of Love & Struggle” a Lira/Wells production collection of 13 songs recorded at DD
Studios in Fresno 1992
• “We Shall Overcome” Columbia/Folkways music (live recordings) from the American
Folklife Festival World Music of Struggle 1991
• “Encuentro del Canto Popular” CD of live performance songs, Acción Latina, El Tecolote
Newspaper & SF Cultural Arts 1991
• “Agustín Lira, From the Fields to a New Beginning” produced by Phil Sonnichsen &
Ambiente Records 1983
• “Vietnam Anti-War Movement Reunion” at the Unitarian Universalist Church; the Community
Alliance Newspaper, WILPF, the Social Justice Com at the UU 6-22-2019
• Northern California Association of Kodály Educators NCAKE invitation for Concert
Performance and Q & A at the San Francisco Community Music Center Capp St. 2018
Patricia Wells Résume INA-21-13736
• Migrant Education Conference for Teachers and Program Facilitators & Liaisons . Merced
Unified School District; Lira & Wells performed an hour of music and narrative. March 2017
• American Folklife Festival Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert Series; Lira, me, and Russell
Rodriguez performed 2015
• Trinity University and the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center San Antonio TX, 3 day
Residency, with Lira and Bassist Ravi Knypstra 2014
• Library of Congress American Folklife Center, Homegrown Music Series wLira & Knypstra,
Washington DC 2011
• Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, “Songs of My Home: Chicano Music from California,” with
Lira & Knypstra, Washington DC 2011
• “Cesar Chavez: His Life & Times,” San Jose State University Chicano/Latino Faculty & Staff
Association, Dr. Ernesto Galarza Institute, and Associated Students Feb 7 2009
• National Heritage Fellows Concert at the Music Center at Strathmore, to Celebrate Lira’s
induction; Lira, me, and Jemmy Bluestein
• University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium “Songs of Social Justice” four day residency
with concert & classroom presentations, with Lira and I. Oct 2006
• UC San Diego, La Jolla CA, Chicano Studies Dept. 2006
• El Paso Community College, El Paso TX 2006
• CSU Sacramento CA, Performing Arts & Drama Department 2005
• Stanford University, Chicano/Latino Performing Arts (Chris Clark) 2004
• Butte College, Butte CA, Professor Leonard Adame & MEChA 2004
• Encuentro del Canto Popular/Latin American New Song Festival SF CA 2003
• Oceanside Public Library Summer Concert Series and statewide tour with Lira & Knypstra
new program “Cesar Chavez, His Life & Times” songs and narrative 2003
• Self-Help Graphics East Los Angeles performance with Lira & Knypstra 2003
• Menlo College, Cesar Chavez Celebration with Founders, Lira & I performed 2003
• The Claremont Colleges, Claremont CA 2002
• UC San Diego Performing Arts, La Jolla CA 2002
• Texas A & M University, Associated Students Corpus Christi TX 2001
• U of Texas, Austin TX 2001
• U of North Texas, Latino coalition of students, Dallas/Fort Worth TX 2001
• U of WA, Chicano Studies Seattle WA 2000
• U of Oregon, Coalition of Human Rights Organizations on campus Eugene OR 2000
• UC Boulder , Boulder, Performing Arts CO 2000
• U of Colorado, Performing Arts Colorado Springs, CO 2000
• WA State U Bellingham, Performing Arts Bellingham WA. 1999
• Swallow Hill Music Association, Denver CO 1999
• San Jose Stage Theater, Performing Arts San Jose CA 1998
• Taos Community Auditorium, Performing Arts Committee of Taos, NM 1997
• Marquette University, MEChA & coalition of student organizations Milwaukee WI 1997
• Ohio State U, Bowling Green OH ASB & Performing Arts 1996
• New York State U, Freedonia NY, ASB & Performing Arts 1996
Patricia Wells Résume INA-21-13736
• Concert performance w Camelia Symphony Orchestra director’s special invitation in “Gran
Hombre de la Tierra,” an event celebrating the life of Cesar Chavez; Lira, Knypstra, me, and
Gabriel Tenorio (mandolin) 1995
• US – Cuba Friendship Concert, Global Exchange and the Pablo Milanés Foundation Teatro
Mello in Havana Cuba 1994
• 2nd Annual Chicano Music Festival, Su Teatro and co-sponsors, Denver CO 1994
• American Folklife Festival World Music of Struggle section, Ralph Rinzler & Worth Long
producers week-long residency and live recordings with Lira and other musicians 1990
• 17th International Cervantino Arts Festival (Mexico’s Premier Festival) Guanajuato MX 1989
• Día de los Muertos, Fresno Metropolitan Museum and Arte Américas, Fresno CA 1986
• Primer Festival Internacional de la Canción en la Frontera, Dept of Culture and Arts of Baja
California in Mexicali and Tijuana, BC 1984
• Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, CA 1983
• Encuentro del Canto Popular/Latin American New Song Festival, El Tecolote Newspaper,
Acción Latina, SF, 1982, 1984, 1990
• La Peña in Berkeley CA 1982
• Voices of the Nations Music & Poetry Festival Dr. Enslin and Music Dept CSU Fresno 1980
As part of Teatro de la Tierra, I taught music (free classes) in the community funded through the
Fresno Arts Council – from 1983 through1989, CAC Artist in Residence AIC from 1987 through
2003 (with every 4th year off) then again through the Local Impact Grant from 2006 through
2017, Alliance for CA Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grant program 2004 thru 2019 (every 4th
year off), the CA Endowment 2013-2015, 2017-2019, Fidelity Charitable Foundation 2016-2019,
and so on. Collaborating/co-sponsoring organizations that provided classroom space (Theater
classes from 1999 to early 2020) through the years: Fresno Arts Council, Arte Américas, Catholic
Charities, the Unitarian Universalist Church, Fresno Center for Non-Violence, Centro BiNacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño CBDIO, and the Chicano Youth Center. I began
teaching on Zoom in March of 2020 through the present.
From 1986 through 2003, as part of Teatro de la Tierra and with co-sponsors, I presented artists
from Mexico- Jose de Molina, Gerardo Peña, Federico Borja, and Tribu; from Chile- Rafael
Manriquez, Quique Cruz, Maria Fernanda, Mochi Parra, Lichi Fuentes, Horacio Durán (founder
of Inti-illimani), and Isabel Parra (daughter of Violeta Parra); and many local concerts of student
groups- featuring Merlinda Espinosa and Generaciones for the last 11 years.
Awards, Recognition, & BA
In the Spring of 2010 Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts (History & Theater) degree at
Goddard College in Vermont. She is the recipient of the Horizon Artist Award (2010) from the
Fresno Arts Council; She is one of 72 women chosen to appear in Victoria Alvarado’s book,
Mujeres de Consciencia/Women of Conscience (Floricanto Press, 2009), “A tribute to California
Latinas who have made a definite and long standing contribution to the Hispanic community and
Patricia Wells Résume INA-21-13736
country at large.” Montalvo Artist Residency (4 months) in 2008; “Premio Mujer” honoring
women for life-long contributions to their community from Caminante Cultural Work of San
Francisco 2007; U of Rhode Island Center for Non-Violence and Peace Studies special
recognition “for career contributions using music & theatre on the pilgrimage to social justice,”
Honors Colloquium ‘Songs of Social Justice’ 2006; “Rebozo Award” from Arte Americas 2005;
“Woman of the Year” from the Club Latinoamericano of Fresno 2004; “Mujeres
Revolucionarias” for cultural work addressing social justice from Pan Valley Institute AFSC
2004; and other local awards/recognition
Ravi Knypstra was born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up in North Hollywood. At the age of six Ravi started playing the trumpet, and played all the way through his first year in college, when he began to play the bass, discovering that when played well, the bass actually has the power to steer the music in more directions than lead instruments do.
Ravi played in blues, country and rock & roll bands for the first couple of years he spent as a bass player, playing all over the San Joaquin valley while attending college. After spending three-plus years pursuing an engineering degree at Fresno State, Ravi dropped out, moved home to Los Angeles and attended the Musician’s Institute in 1992-93, leaving the school with honors from their BIT program. Even though the school did and still does have a reputation as a “rock” school, Ravi spent all his time at the school in the care of tremendous players and teachers, who could answer any musical question arose, in any style, and it was there that he began to learn about the role the bass carries in that great traditional American art form known as Jazz. He didn’t realize it at the time, but as far as the bass goes, Ravi was already hooked.After school Ravi toured the coast of California extensively with Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells-Solorzano’s group “Alma.” Ravi also toured extensively in Europe, playing roots and country music, and toured across the United States from coast to coast as well. Since then he has played literally thousands of shows, primarily in California but also in Japan, India, Thailand, Cuba, and across the United States. Ravi’s musical tastes run the gamut, including folk music, Mexican, Cuban, Brazilian, funk, soul, R & B, blues, rare groove, fusion, pop, songwriter stuff, and of course, all forms shapes and sizes of jazz ensembles, from two- to 20-piece bands.
Around 2000, Ravi started to become interested in recording music, and since then he has engineered and produced several full length CDs. He remains active a live performer and stufio bass player in all styles, playing upright and electric bass, as a tracking/mixing studio engineer for ensembles from two-piece to twenty-piece, and a live performance mix engineer as well. He is also faculty at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood where he teaches the incoming bass students music reading.
Ravi has appeared on television shows for MTV, Showtime, Bravo and on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show and The Carson Daly Show. His playing has been in movies for HBO and the Sundance Film Festival. His true love is jazz, and he has played or recorded with jazz artists such as Plas Johnson, Sam and Abe Most, Kim Richmond, Joey Heredia, Paul Kreibich, Jake Hanna, Steve Pemberton, Dale Fielder, Dave Pell, Pete Christlieb, Gary Herbig and Bob Summers and dozens of others.