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"Los Ciegos del Barrio" to Perform in West Orange


JSDD’s Wellness, Arts, Enrichment (WAE) Center will wrap up its 2011 Global Beat Series on December 8 with a performance by Los Ciegos Del Barrio, New York-based musicians whose Latin rhythm-driven melodies encompass a wide variety of genres including: cumbia, bachata, Reggaeton, salsa, merengue and even rock. Literally translated as “The Blind Boys of the Neighborhood,” this multi-genre Latin music group has been delighting audiences with their original combinations since their teen-age years.

The five members of the group, all legally blind, have never let their disability get in the way of their spirit as they entertain audiences around the United States and internationally. That spirit is shared and demonstrated daily by the members attending the WAE Center, an alternative learning center in West Orange.  Operating as a program of Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled, the WAE Center provides artistic, educational and health enhancing opportunities to people with disabilities.

“Los Ciegos del Barrio are passionate about their art. Their music comes from deep within, just as the art created by our WAE Center artists does,“ said Marilynn Schneider, Director of JSDD’s WAE Center. “Both groups are rightfully proud of their creativity and accomplishments and are eager to share them with the world. “

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A large selection of WAE Center artists’ original art work--affordably priced acrylic on canvas paintings, as well as drawings and photographs--will be available to view and buy, just in time for holiday giving.

Admission is free | B’nai Shalom | 300 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange (Entrance on Woodland Ave.) Doors open at 6pm with light refreshments, kosher wine tasting and Silent Art Auction. Concert begins at 7pm.

About Los Ciegos del Barrio

Alvin Suarez, the band’s leader, sings and plays lead guitar, drum kit and other percussion instruments. His twin brother, Derek, also sings and plays bass, congas and percussion. The Suarez brothers were children of a multi-instrumentalist musician, growing up in Spanish Harlem, where they were greatly influenced by the music they heard in their neighborhood. From a very young age, they began picking up and playing the instruments around their home and even performed with their father's band at age 10.

Machete plays keyboards, harmonica, accordion, percussion and performs some vocals.  Jaime Diaz is on rhythm guitar, bass and vocals. Jimmy Fontanez plays tambora, bongos and percussion. A sixth member, Angel Dueño, often joins the group on guira and timbales, two unique percussion instruments. Dueño is the band's only fully sighted performer. Their roots represent Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guatemala, and the United States. Recording since 2000, they have been featured on three albums, have received national airplay and have hit #1 on

About JSDD WAE Center’s Global Beat Series

JSDD WAE Center’s Global Beat Series, now in its sixth year, is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administrated by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Operating as a program of Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled, The WAE Center is an alternative learning center located in West Orange that provides artistic, educational and health enhancing opportunities to people with disabilities. For more information please call JSDD’s WAE Center at (973) 272-7154 or email or

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