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East Bay Couple Keeping the Music Alive During Shelter-at-Home Order

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An East Bay couple that provides unique music education to thousands of school children across the Bay Area is scrambling to find a way to keep their programs going during the shelter-at-home order. 

The musical duo Casacada de Flores has lost half their yearly income as schools and libraries cancel their contracts.

“For 20 years we’ve been playing the music from Mexico, the music that we love,” said Arwen Lawrence from Casacada de Flores. 

Arwen Lawrence and Jorge Liceaga have made it their mission to share their love of Latin music. The duo has been bringing their musical passion and programs into schools and libraries across the Bay Area for years in hopes of keeping a piece of Mexican tradition alive. 

“It’s important because they don’t lose the roots of their family, the music of the abuelo,” said Jorge Liceaga from Casacada de Flores. 

The COVID-19 crisis has changed everything. The 70 performances they have scheduled for this spring have all been cancelled.

“It feels like the carpet or the floor has been taken out from under us,” Arwen said. “We want to work.”

The couple is doing their best to reinvent themselves. They’ve been experimenting with delivering their classes online. The learning curve has been steep but they’re slowly connecting 

“We’ve heard ‘you’ve brought us so much joy my child has been so sad,’” said Arwen. “And jumping around and ‘so happy to see your faces.’”

Cascada de Flores is hoping to attract sponsors to keep them afloat and their programs running. They say it’s more important than ever to share the beauty of music.

“It’s essential,” said Arwen. “Music is essential, singing is essential, dancing is essential.”

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