NYC Latino Band's New CD Honors Late Blind Poet - Proceeds Support Performing Arts Scholarship

New York, NY (PressExposure) June 29, 2009 -- "¿Por Que? ¡Porque…!" the latest CD from NYC Latino band Los Ciegos Del Barrio was released Tuesday, June 23. It pays tribute to the late blind poet/educator/activist Mary Anne Parks. Through August 31, 25% of proceeds from the sales will help support a scholarship set up in her honor. Visit: Click on "Buy" and the DigStation link.

"We would like to thank the members of Los Ciegos Del Barrio for this generous and thoughtful gift," said Dennis Holston (31, Manhattan), president of the non-profit Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the Blind (PAD, NFB), "This is a fitting tribute to Mary Anne, and I know she would be excited about this new collection."

Though they never met, Mary Anne's work as Performing Arts Division secretary touched their lives. Los Ciegos Del Barrio is featured on PAD's "Sound in Sight" CD, a multi-genre compilation of 18 original tracks and covers all donated by blind recording artists. The CD, available at:

Or, from CDBaby at: celebrates the talents of blind Americans and raises funds which support PAD's work. Mary Anne was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

"Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mary Anne personally," says Los Ciegos Del Barrio group leader Alvin Suarez, "we know she had a significant hand in including us in "Sound in Sight." I never got a chance to thank her personally. We recognize how dear Mary Anne was to so many people and we understand how incredibly energetic and sweet she was and it was certainly devastating to us when we learned about her passing."

According to Holston, a talent recruiter for the Manhattan-based Visionary Media Company who is in his second term as PAD's president, copies of the new Los Ciegos del Barrio CD will be sold at the NFB's upcoming national convention in Detroit (July 2-8); proceeds from these sales will also support the Mary Anne Parks Performing Arts Scholarship.

Parks was killed at age 31 when a car broadsided the Hands on Atlanta van in which she was riding. A master's candidate who held several leadership positions in the National Federation of the Blind, Mary Anne was on her way to do volunteer teaching at the time of her death.

"Los Ciegos Del Barrio" is a multi genre Latin music group. They play Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton, and Rock music in both English and Spanish. "Los Ciegos Del Barrio" literally translates to "The Blind Boys from the Hood". The name was originally meant to be a joke, but they ended up keeping it as an ice breaker. Most of the band members, who have been playing together since 1997 and recording since 2000, are legally blind.

Members include: Alvin Suarez - Band director, lead guitar, drum kit, percussion and vocals. Derek Christopher Suarez - Bass, Congas, percussion and vocals. Jaime Diaz - Rhythm guitar, bass and vocals. Machete - Keyboards, harmonica, accordion, percussion and vocals. Jimmy Fontanez - Tambora, bongos and percussion. Angel Dueno - Guira and timbales. He's the only member who's actually not visually impaired. Angel and Jimmy both live in upstate New York.

For further information about Los Ciegos del Barrio, call: (718) 886-8686, or visit the group's MySpace page at:

About Performing Arts Division, National Federation of the Blind

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.

It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.

Press Release Source:,_National_Federation_of_the_Blind.html

Press Release Submitted On: June 30, 2009 at 11:27 am
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