The Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) is hosting a celebration of the lowrider culture with a concert and car show in the courtyard next to their Arts & Cultural Center on Friday, June 22. The event’s theme is “Dale Gas!,” which translates to “give it gas” or “step on it!” It begins at 5:30 p.m., with a popular cumbia band from Mexico, Jarabe Mexicano, performing from 8:30 to 10:15 p.m. The NMSU DanceSport team will be on hand performing and getting people out on the dance floor. Two car clubs, The Imperials Car Club El Paso and the Good Times Car Club of Las Cruces, will exhibit 12 to 15 stylish lowriders. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase from Paisano’s Restaurant in the courtyard or inside the restaurant.
This event is inspired by the photography exhibit “Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods,on loan from the New Mexico State History Museum archives, which follows the history of the lowrider car in New Mexico and which will be on display at the DAAC Arts & Cultural Center during the month of June. The exhibit opens Tuesday, June 5. and runs through Monday, June 25, with an opening reception on June 9th from 4 – 7 p.m. during the 10 – 10 Arts Hop: 12 Hours of Art in Las Cruces every Second Saturday
A lowrider is defined as a car that is lowered, painted with intricate, colorful designs, rolls on wire-spoke wheels with whitewall tires, and fitted with hydraulic or air bag systems that allow the vehicle to be raised or lowered at the flip of a switch. Lowrider shows and parades feature elaborately decorated cars that bounce or can be raised on one or both sides.
Music at the Dale Gas! event will be provided by Jarabe Mexicano. Jarabe Mexicano hit the Latin music scene in 2015, electrifying audiences throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Performing on traditional mariachi instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe’s arrangements feature stunning harmonized vocals in Spanish and English. Along with traditional boleros, huapangos, sones, and rancheras, audiences thrill to their upbeat cumbias, revamped rock & roll hits, and reggae classics. The irresistible synergy between lead vocalist Tavo Alcoser, Kevin Lomes on vihuela and vocals, Chris Behrens on guitarron and vocals, Jose Martin Marquez on requinto and vocals, and artistic director Danny Brito on percussion leaves audiences chanting for encores.
The Imperials Car Club and The Good Times Car Club will bring some of their prized cars to display at the event. These local car clubs have been living the lowrider life since 1979. Lowriders have been around since the early part of the post-World War II era. They first gained popularity in Southern California, and by the 1970s, Mexican-American lowriders were commonly seen cruising Whittier Blvd. in the barrio of Los Angeles. With a slogan of “low and slow,” the proud owners of the elaborately decorated and technically enhanced vehicles cruised to see and be seen. The culture of lowriders spread around California and then gained popularity around the country, and has even recently been adopted by young people in Japan.
DAAC’s Executive Director Kathleen Albers says, “This is a celebration of the culture that has developed around these cars. The music, the food, the dancing, the cars and the lowrider photo exhibit will all add to the fun.”
Ticket holders can visit the car show and photography exhibit and enjoy the music and dancing. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and are available at the DAAC office at 1740 Calle de Mercado, Suites B – D, in Mesilla or online at www.daarts.org.
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