September 16, 2013
Kansas City Latino big band leader and civic leader Lupe M. Gonzalez once said in an interview, “Música Es Mí Primer Amor.” (Music is my first love).
The Lupe M. Gonzalez Dance Orchestra was a popular local Latino orchestra that performed throughout the city and Midwest region, playing Mexican standards and popular swing and show music of the day – with a Latin flair.
The Kansas City Museum, with the generous support of the Gonzalez family and guidance of the Nuestra Herencia Advisory Committee, is launching a new fall exhibit to honor the Lupe M. Gonzalez Dance Orchestra.
Called, “Musica Es Mi Primer Amor / Music is My First Love: The Lupe M. Gonzalez Orchestra,” the exhibit is curated by Dr. Gene T. Chavez. and will explore the life of Gonzalez (1935-2008), from his early years playing in his father’s combo orchestra, the Gay Rancheros, to his many years leading his own orchestra. Several of his own instruments, including his famed alto saxophone, will be on display, as well as his own hand-written sheet music and photographs. The exhibit will also delve into his past as a civic leader in the Kansas City Latino community, such as serving as the executive director of SER Jobs for Progress, which facilitates the training and employment of under- and non-employed workers.
Several Museum programs will coincide with the exhibit, including the Museum’s Nov. 3 Family Fun Day and the Community Curator Speaker Series presentation on Nov. 19.
The exhibit will run from Oct. 12 to Dec. 29 and will be available to view Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit is available by tours on the hour only. The last tour leaves at 3 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit kansascitymuseum.org.