De Inga y Mandinga

DE INGA Y MANDINGA: A Tale from Latin America, is a multimedia, multidisciplinary, multilingual, and intergenerational performance that celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity in Latin America. “Inga” is a Castilianization of the word “inca,” a reference to Peruvian indigenous peoples. “Mandinga” refers to the enslaved West African peoples brought forcibly to the Americas during the colonial period. De Inga y Mandinga (roughly “of Indigenous and African heritage”), is a colloquial phrase used broadly in Latin America to point at their mixed blood and rich cultural heritage. Seattle based performing artist Monica Rojas converted this phrase into a brand name and artistic platform to explore different points of old and new cultural connections born of a history of colonialism, migration and cultural influences. The 2023 version of De Inga y Mandinga explores Sephardic and Afro-Latinx musical repertoire.

After the show there will be a 10-minute documentary projection about the history of De Inga y Mandinga followed by a short panel discussion and Q&A with the artistic crew.

The artists for this show include the Seattle-based Afro-Peruvian band DE CAJóN Project (Eduardo Montero, Taryn Webber, Reynaldo Ruiz, Jabali Stewart and Monica Rojas-Stewart), Milvia Pacheco, Lian Caspi, Ke Guo and Gus Denhard among other guest artists. The 2023 DE INGA Y MANDINGA: A Tale from Latin America is a collective creation by the members of the cast with script writing support of Antonio Gomez and under the artistic direction of Monica Rojas-Stewart. This show is co-presented by Early Music Seattle and LANGSTON and co-sponsored by the Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle (MAS) the University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and La Sala.

Artist Biographies

Project updates

READ: De Inga y Mandinga x El Sefardim
by Antonio M. Gómez

With sponsorship from:
Early Music Seattle
La Sala: A Latinx Artists’ Network
Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle (MAS)
University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies
Sephardic Studies program in the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

To better understand how to create a just partnership between a white-led arts organization and BIPOC artists, staff and board members of Early Music Seattle and members of the project’s cast met to plan the production using the peacemaking circle format. Peacemaking circle format, a process that builds relationships so complex problems can be addressed. Our partnership has many aspects to discuss, such as audience access, the portrayal of people of color in EMS advertising media, cultural appropriation of African and Latin American music, and more. We are finding, after  meeting that this extended planning process allows us to get to know each other and begin to build the trust we need to have in place to be able to present this, and future projects in a just, authentic way.