Grammy winning singer-songwriter and University Professor Martha Gonzalez is a 2015 Latina of Influence named by Hispanic Lifestyle. Professor Martha Gonzalez is being recognized for her passion to educate and entertainment our community. Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2015 Latinas of Influence will be recognizing Professor Gonzalez and her fellow Latinas of Influence during a luncheon held in their honor on at Latina Conference 2015.
Martha Gonzalez is a Chicana artivista (artist/activist), feminist music theorist and academic who was born and raised in East Los Angeles. A PhD Candidate in the Gender Women Sexuality Studies (GWSS) department at the University of Washington Seattle, Gonzalez is currently finishing a dissertation on Chican@ Artivista resistances in East Los Angeles entitled, “Chican@ Artivistas: East Los Angeles Trenches Transborder Tactics.”
Gonzalez was awarded a Fulbright Garcia-Robles fellowship (2007-2008) for her research on transnational musical social movements across the Americas and Europe, with a specific focus on innovations of women in the music and dance of the son Jarocho. She is a Ford Dissertation Fellow for the 2012-2013 scholastic year, as well as a recipient of the Doman Award for Excellence in Teaching (2011) from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Her academic interests in music have been fueled by her own musicianship as a singer and percussionist for East L.A’s Quetzal for the last 17 years. Quetzal has made considerable impact in the Los Angeles Chicano music scene. The relevance of Quetzal’s work has been noted in a range of publications from dissertations to scholarly books, most recently Patricia Zavella’s I’m Neither Here Nor There: Mexicans’ Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty (Duke University Press, 2011). As a result, the U.S. Library of Congress andKennedy Center extended an invitation to perform and speak in September of 2011 as a part of their “Homegrown” music series. In addition, the traveling exhibit “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music” sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, featured Quetzal as leaders and innovators of Chicano music. This feat coupled with their fifth album on the Smithsonian Folkways label was released in May of 2012 titled “Imaginaries” marks the importance of Gonzalez’s past and ongoing work.
Gonzalez has collaborated, and/or toured with artist such as Los Lobos, Los Van Van, Jackson Brown, Susana Baca, Perla Batalla, Jaguares, Ozomatli, Jonathan Richman, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, iCubanismo!, Taj Mahal, Tom Waits, Los Super Seven, Lila Downs, Raul Malo, Rick Treviño, Son De Madera, Relicario, Chuchumbe Charanga Cakewalk, The B-side Players, Teatro Campesino, Aloe Blacc, Maya Jupiter, and Laura Rebolloso.
Gonzalez has published extensively. Her most recent publication is titled “Sonic (Trans)Migration of Son Jarocho Zapateado: Rhythmic Intention, Metamorphosis and Manifestation in Fandango and Performance” and appears in Ethnic Identity Politics, Transnationalization, and Transculturation in American Urban Popular Music: Inter-American Perspectives, edited by Wilfried Raussert and Michelle Habell-Pallan.
Finally, Gonzalez’s Fulbright research project, which has come to be known as Entre Mujeres: Feminine Translocal Music Composition, was released in the Summer of 2012 as a CD compilation. This release was accompanied by a multi-media performance/lecture tour funded in part by The Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures. In conjunction, a theoretical analysis of Entre Mujeres project entitled, “ ‘Mixing’ in the Kitchen: Entre Mujeres (Among Women) Translocal Music Dialogues” is scheduled for publication in Performing Motherhood on Demeter Press in the Summer of 2013.