National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated at MOLAA

Museum of Latin American Art usheres in National Hispanic Heritage Month with a phenomenal program

By Ricky Ricardo, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: September 16, 2013

National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated at MOLAA

A bit of background information. Each year Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The Day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of Independence for Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence days on September 16 and 18 respectively.

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) ushered in National Hispanic Heritage Month with another phenomenal Target Sunday program, on Sunday, September 15, 2013. The hot weather made it feel like we were on a Caribbean Island on this day. Target Sundays at MOLAA celebrates the growing Latin-American communities in Long Beach and neighboring cities. This was apparent in the eclectic program that was scheduled for today's event.

The program got underway with Alina Mendez (pictured) and the Fiesta Dancers. Their program consisted of a colorful, sparkling performance as they took the crowd and me on a visual dance journey through various regions of Mexico, the Caribbean (i.e. Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico).

MOFO (pronounced MOFU) is LA's newest group playing in the traditional pe de serra style of FORRO (pronounced FA-HO), which features the following instruments - accordion, guitar, zabumba, triangle, agogo (coco), and voice. The members of MOFO played a joyful set of FORRO. Nominally, people would be up and dancing to the contagious rhythms of this style of music.

The heat caused people to sit out of this dance card. FORRO (FA-HO) is a traditional music and partner dance from the Northeast of Brazil, which has different rhythms such as xaxado, baiao, and xote. The members of this fun band are Simon Carrol-zabumba, Gee Rabe (LA's Accordion Diva), accordion, Fabiano do Nascimento - 7-string guitar, Kena Shimanuki- voice/reco-reco, Beto Gonzalez-voice/triangle, and Emina Shimanuki -voice/coco.

Abe Torres led the crowd in Zumba. This exercise craze has taken American exercise fans by storm. The exercises got some people up and moving that incorporates dance moves of salsa, hip-hop, meringue and cumbia. These workouts are sure to amp up your energy.

There was a unique Fashion Show entitled Earth Conscious Creations by the Presentation Learning Center. Creative and awe inspiring dresses, suits and purses were made out of recycled discarded materials. This was an amazing addition to the program.

Closing out the lively program was Jungle Fire. Their sound is a global mix of Afro-beat of Fela, funk grooves of James Brown and the gumbo of New Orleans Brass Bands that is authentic and highly explosive. They are known to cause a Tropical heat wave wherever they perform. Hot musical embers are known to left on the dance floor before, during and after their performances. This venue MOLAA was no exception. The crowd was swaying and tapping their feet throughout their set on the tunes "Firewalker," "Crying Time," "Culebro," "Pilon," and "Comencemos."

The program featured various vendors selling original clothing's, jewelry, and other original art work. The art workshops allowed families to make Lucho Libre masks, and Mexican Aztec Fans and face paintings.

Mark your calendar for the next Target Sundays@MOLAA. Sunday, October 27, 2013, for Dia De Los Muertos Festival. Museum of Latin American Art is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue. Long Beach, CA. 90802.

You can call the museum (562) 437-1689 or visit their website www.molaa.org for more information about upcoming events and exhibits.

About Ricky Ricardo, Contributing Writer:
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer.

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