June 16, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Being Bilingual Rocks! Family Concert with Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet
Intended Audience – Families with Young Children
Description – Being Bilingual Rocks! is an interactive, one-of-a-kind experience created by Parents Choice Award Winners Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet who are based in Chicago and travel the country sharing bilingual music, games, and culture. They weave an eclectic blend of original and traditional songs from Latin America, taking kids and families on a musical journey with a mix of bossanova, rumba-flamenco, contemporary Caribbean beats, bluegrass twang, and humor. Games and other musical activities are designed to be accessible and inclusive of diverse learners, creating a community experience that promotes self expression and confidence. Everyone will sing, dance, learn Spanish/English, and play musical games in a joyful, utterly unique blend of cultures, sound, and language.
This event does NOT provide any formal continuing education credit, such as CPDUs, CE credit, or EI credit. Certificates will not be issued.
Alina Celeste Hevia
Alina Celeste Hevia was born in Miami, Florida. She is a content creator, musician, educator and writer. She has performed for children and families and taught workshops for parents and educators throughout the United States, as well as in Melbourne, Australia and Santiago, Guatemala. She is a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner for her YouTube channel, Alina Celeste Music and a Parents’ Choice Silver Award winner for her bilingual album, Love Is Te Quiero. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Music Network and tours nationally, performing music for children and families and conducting workshops for educators.
Hamlet Meneses was born and grew up in Guatemala and settled in Chicago in 1990. Endowed with an artistic spirit, he sang in choirs as a teen and young adult but did not begin formal guitar studies until 2005, when he entered Chicago’s famed Old Town School of Folk Music. There, he learned flamenco fundamentals with the school’s flamenco and dance accompanist, Mehran Jalili, and bossa nova with Paulinho Garcia. These styles have greatly influenced his music. He subsequently became a Hola Wiggleworms teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and his musical contributions there continue to this day. Hamlet’s life has been marked by challenges. Raised by his grandmother, he grew up without parents, was hit by a car at the age of 11, became a gang member and lived on the streets of Guatemala City as a teen, and was the target of gunfire as early as age 16. Rescued from the streets by a Presbyterian church, he completely turned his life around and went on to become a successful graphic designer, musician, and visionary. The challenges did not stop, however, for the same year he arrived in Chicago, before he could even speak English, he broke his back, was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, and spent eight months in a wheelchair and walker while attending physical therapy to learn to walk again. Then at the age of 44 he was stricken with cancer, which later spread to his lungs. Hamlet survived all this, surmounting these obstacles with a strong determination to make the world a better place. In addition to his work with children in his GoCreative Programs, he recently founded the BeingBilingualRocks Foundation with the intent of bringing concerts to underserved communities. The change in the US political dynamic after the November 2016 presidential election spurred Hamlet to move forward with even greater determination to be a positive advocate for kids and families, teaching love and acceptance through well-produced, flavorful bilingual music, his GoCreative Programs, and his new BeingBilingualRocks Foundation.
Venue: Western Illinois University - Quad Cities Courtyard