Music and Breezes: Resembling Puerto Rico

Dia de San Juan at Long Beach's Queen Mary Events Park resembled a park like those found on the enchanted island

By Ricky Ricardo
Published on LatinoLA: June 22, 2012

Music and Breezes: Resembling Puerto Rico

A huge celebration was held in Long Beach at the Queen Mary Events Park. Dia de San Juan is a celebration of people who come from the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. The festivities was held on Father's Day, Sunday, June 17, 2012.

The 17th Annual Dia de San Juan presented an array of vocalists and bands sharing the spicy sounds of salsa, merengue y bachata. Fiestalegre Promotions Inc.,held its 17th Annual Dia de San Juan, a cultural extravaganza to showcase the best of Puerto Rican culture in Southern California. People traveled from all over California to attend this popular festival.Attendees were able to interact, dance, savor Puerto Rican cuisine and celebrate Father's Day.The festival site was framed by the historic Queen Mary and the beautiful Long Beach Shoreline.

Summer officially began on June 21st. It is already promising to be hot, as it relates to the weather, musically and culturally. This was quite evident during the Dia de San Juan. The Queen Mary Events Park resembled a park like the ones found on the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. The cool ocean breeze added to everyone's enjoyment of the day.

Paloma served as Mistress of Ceremony for the popular Dia de San Juan, a fun-filled day for the entire family. DJ Robby spent tracks in between acts, so that salseros of various dance levels could continue dancing throughout the day.

The crowd was made up of people from many Caribbean cultures, proudly dressed in attire of the country of their birth. The attendees were wearing caps, visors, t-shirts, bandanas, flags and other accessories.

Dia de San Juan is a national holiday in Puerto Rico.The holiday honors patron saint of the island, Saint John the Baptist. The island was known as San Juan Bautista, which was renamed to Puerto Rico (Rich Port). San Juan is the capitol of Puerto Rico.

The sounds of bachata, merengue y salsa permeated throughout the park and the sorrounding area. Each band engaged the audience with their infectious rhythms,which propelled salseros to dance.

The heat continued to rise with each performance.The festival got underway with Tabaco Y Ron.This twelve piece "Big Band" orchestra composed of musicians from all over Latin America including Puerto Rico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru and Mexico. They set the stage for the festival with a blistering set of original material with the stand out tune "Como Grita."

La Bomba Mix is another popular, talented,tight band. They opened and concluded their set with a merengue tune. Their set list featured the tunes "Ta Cache," "Ismael Miranda Mix"-tunes from Ismael Miranda catalog. Their set continued with a medley of songs by Hector Lavoe, including "El Cantante," and "Periodica de Ayer."

Salsa Y Mas Dance Team took over the dance floor to perform to the sounds of Hector Lavoe's catalog of hits.

Sensational singer, dancer, and percussionist Choca Orta wowed the crowd and I as she took her show up a notch. Choca Orta is an energetic performer who sang, dance, played congas and told a few jokes throughout her explosive set. The crowd wanted Choca to continued performing beyond the time allotted for her set. Their set opened with "Choca Swing" a blazing tune that remings me of the Big Three Latin Orchestras that performed at the Palladium back in the day. Choca Orta continued with "Por Accidente," "Que Pague," "Rata en Munda," "Yo Perti el Corazon" and concluded with "Marido Majadero."

NG2, salsa duo from Puerto Rico, kept up the tempo with an electrifying set of tunes "Quitemonos la Ropa," "Si la Vez," "Como Amigo No," and "Mi Salsa se Respeta" which is receiving plenty of air play. DJ Robby provided the sounds as the salseros gathered their belongings to exit the park.

About Ricky Ricardo:
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer with an emphasis on Latin and World Music.
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