In 1992, Annette A. Aguilar was asked by the former manager of Jerry Gonzalez and The Fort Apache Band to put together a band to play at a Mexican restaurant in the East Village. Hence Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans was formed, although "Beans" actually refers to the frijoles Aguilar consumed as a child growing up in San Francisco. StringBeans soon became a popular fixture of the East Village and Lower East Side music scene, playing at community festivals like Music in St. Mark's Park 10th Street & 2nd Avenue (now known as Abe Lebewohl Park), the Third Street Music School Settlement and other well-known East Side venues, such as the Nuyorican Poets Café. Stringbeans was featured in the 1998 and 1997 Concert Series at the Guggenheim Museum and performed in Central Park, The Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and many Manhattan clubs and festivals. In 2001, Stringbeans received a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz series.
In 2005, they are appeared at The Tito Puente tribute in San Francisco.
The versatile group has toured Southern Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya as part of the U.S. State Department, the Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Ambassadors Program, sharing their knowledge of music from the Americas and the Caribbean. They have two CD's on their own label Eagle Seeks Salmon: "Special Friends" and "No Cheap Dates."
About the Music Director
Annette A. Aguilar is a versatile percussionist and composer. Born in San Francisco, CA, she began playing music at age 11. Since then, Ms. Aguilar plays various percussion instruments including congas, hand drums, marimbas, and timpani. At 16, she was recognized for her percussion playing and began sitting in with internationally renowned Latin artists such as Chepito Areas, Cal Tjader and Pete and Sheila Escovedo (later known as Sheila E.). In a professional career that has spanned more than 20 years, Ms. Aguilar has recorded albums and television broadcasts and has toured extensively with Latin, reggae, classical, pop, and jazz artists. Ms. Aguilar's Broadway credits include Grammy-winning Smokey Joe's Café.