Dr. Jose B. Cuellar, a Raza studies professor at San Francisco State University and an acclaimed multicultural anthropologist, musician and activist, will speak at the third annual Chicano Alumni Scholarship Banquet on Friday (Sept. 21) in the Satellite Student Union at California State University, Fresno.

The theme for the event, which runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, is “The Golden Age of the Pachuco, the Suave Forties.”

Cuellar is known in the Latino community for creating one of the nation’s top Latino cultural music groups, Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, which also will perform.

The banquet honors 10 Chicano Alumni scholarship recipients who have excelled academically and been involved in community service.

They are: Albert Aguilera of Turlock; Gabriela Diaz of Fowler; Jaime Flores of Hollister; Diana Gonzalez of Woodlake; Amanda Kjar of Clovis; Janette Lomli of Madera; Jose Martinez of Stockton; and Milagro Gonzales, Josephina Mijangos and Sarah Rios of Fresno.

Also featured at the banquet will be Ernie G, one of the top Latino comedians in the country, who will serve as the emcee for the evening. He is one of the original stars of the hit comedy show “Que Locos,” hosted by George Lopez.

Aguilas de Oro, the Clovis West High School folklórico dance troupe, will perform ‘40s music and disc jockey Oscar Peña of Fresno will close the evening with dance music.

Cuellar, who has taught at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara among other institutions, will provide guests with a historical review of the era of El Pachuco.

He has published several books on Chicano music and culture, the United Farm Workers union and immigration. He earned a bachelor’s degree at CSU, Long Beach and master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology at UCLA.

Cuellar most recently conducted research on the history and heritage of the Tex-Mex saxophone with a Gatesway Fellowship, provided by the Rockefeller Foundation through the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio.

He formed Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band in 1989 and it “has been playing a rich melange of mestizo and mulatto styles in celebration of the diverse origins of their Mexican-American musical heritage,” according to its web site. “Based in San Francisco, this award-winning band transmits the joy inherent in this música and the pleasure they feel making it.”

Friday’s event begins at 6 p.m. with a no-host social and silent auction followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. The Rockin’ Jalapeños kick off the evening dance at 9 p.m. DJ Peña will play salsa, meringue, cumbias and other top contemporary music.

Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased by contacting Frances Peña-Olgin at 559.278.5374 or francesp@csufresno.edu. Tickets for the dance only are available for $20 or $30 per couple.

Tax-deductible contributions support Chicano Alumni scholarships for students at Fresno State.

BACKGROUND — Chicano Alumni Chapter of Fresno State

Since its inception in 1976, the Chicano Alumni has played a vital role in representing the interests of Chicano alumni from California State University, Fresno. Chicano Alumni raises funds for scholarships and coordinates events to benefit students, valley businesses and the community. The organization founded the Chicano Commencement Celebration in 1976. The event is now the Latino Commencement Celebration, hosted by the College of Social Sciences and held in the Save Mart Center. See the chapter website at www.chicanoalumni.com

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