Southern California is a very diverse melting pot of people from all over the world. We also have a large Latin community that consist of people from Central and North America, South America and the Caribbean.
Various cultures gathered at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach for the 2nd Annual Latino Festival. The event was held on Sunday, July 15th in the Robert Gumbier Sculpture Garden.
We were fortunate once again to be outdoors,enjoying beautiful Southern California weather with some tropical breezes. The music festival showcased the hybrid nature of Latin American Music in Los Angeles.
The program kicked off in high gear with Pedro Gutierrez leading the crowd in Zumba.This worldwide popular exercise allows participants to dance their way into shape with easy-to-follow moves that tone and sculpt the body. Mr. Guitierrez's program consisted of cumbia, merengue and salsa dance moves.
The Zumba class was a perfect segue into the next performance. Zapoteca Roots kept up the momentum with a set of high energy cumbia from Colombia and Oaxaca. The audience were dancing to the following tunes performed superbly by Zapoteca Roots "Ta Vaca," "Cumbia Samaria," "Barracho," and "Venga ese Sabor."
Roncovacoco rev-up the engines to full throttle with material from their debut CD Presenta.Their tight set featured the infectious grooves of Reggae and Ska to continue our musical journey to Jamaica.The tunes showcased were "Buscando Solucion," "Fotos y Recuerdos," "Nubes," and "El Hombre y La Sirens." The sight of talented Ska dancers on the dance floor was another highlight of their set.
Las Cafeteras closed out this joyful, crowd pleasing music festival with the exuberant sounds of Son Jaracho from the state of Veracruz in Mexico.The instruments performed in the band consisted of a marimbol, cajon, several jaranas, requinto and Tarima - a wooden platform to showcase Zapateado steps. Each member of the band took turns as lead vocalist on "Cafe con Pan," "Zapateado," "Mujer Eoy," "Luna Lover," "Ya Me Voy," "Trabajador/a" and concluded their set with "La Bamba Rebelde" from their soon to be release CD It's Time.
Additional activities to enjoy during MOLAA 2nd Annual Latino Festival were art workshops, face paintings, clothing and jewelry vendors and docent led tours of the galleries.Visit www.molaa.org click on Programs and Events to find out about future events at the Museum of Latin American Art.
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern Caifornia based writer,music reviewer and photographer with an emphasis in Latin and World Music.