Philadelphia is a vibrant city full of a multitude of diverse backgrounds and communities. Central to the work that Esperanza does to enrich the Latino community is the outreach to local artists and musicians. Daniel de Jesús is one of these artists that the Latino community is fortunate to be represented by. Although they may not look it, at 41 years old Daniel is an enthusiastic, humble, intelligent, and energetic member of the sprawling Philadelphia artist community. A cellist, painter, aspiring violinist… as well as other talents, Daniel is a multidisciplinary artist.
In getting to know our community’s artists, it is important to look into the people that have inspired them. Daniel gets very passionate when bringing up the name Jacqueline du Pré. Jacqueline du Pré was a young British pioneer cellist born in 1945. She challenged the restrictions of women in art, as well as most careers, and rose to the most elite levels of instrumentalists at the early age of twenty. Daniel grows emotional when recounting that Jacqueline’s career was cut short by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. She would pass away at the age of 42 in 1987.
Similar to Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel is also an enthusiastic, young instrumentalist rising in the field of art. Daniel describes Philadelphia as the perfect city for aspiring artists, as so many important musicians and artists have come from this city.
In order to foster the growth of artists of all backgrounds and identities, organizations such as Astral Artists are involved in providing funding and guidance for rising musicians in Philadelphia. A non-profit organization, Astral Artists focuses on directing resources to a talented group of soloists, vocalists, and chamber ensembles to access the necessary space and materials for creativity and artistic expression. It is thanks to groups like Astral Artists that Daniel de Jesús, and other artists in the Latino community are given to opportunity to shine through Esperanza Arts Center’s season programs.
The Steven R. Gerber Trust, as stated on their website, is “dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the music of Steven Gerber through the support and creation of projects, programs, and initiatives…” Steven R. Gerber, born In 1948, was a renowned composer who dedicated his life to composition and the musical community. After he passed in 2015, his Trust was set up to provide funding to groups such as Astral Artists that commission artists such as Daniel de Jesús.
Premiering on February 16th, 2024, by Astral Artists Katie Hyun (violin), Luiz Fernando Venturelli (cello) and Priscila Navarro (piano), Daniel de Jesús’ three-movement piece, Interview, will first reach the audiences of Philadelphia at the Esperanza Theater. This work is in part dedicated to Steven R. Gerber and imagines an interview between Daniel and Steven, two people who never met in real life but whose efforts culminated in the grand premiere of this three-movement piece.