Immerse Yourself in a Full Weekend of Latin Music and Latino Culture in Boston’s South End: July 15th – 17th (Friday -Sunday)
Latino culture, on the whole, encompasses a vast number of varied individual ethnic identities. Wouldn’t it be just great to have the adventure of sampling them all in one convenient location in a matter of days? Well, now here’s your chance at the Festival Betances! This event, viewed as New England’s premier festival of its kind, is literally designed to expose the public to the rich diversity that is Latino culture in one short weekend, jam-packed with ethnic activity in the form of concerts, dance performances, ethnic food, arts and crafts vendors, and other specially created happenings for all ages. And yes, it’s all for free!
Festival Betances, named for renowned Puerto Rican civil rights activist Dr. Ramon Emeterio Betances, is the creation of Inquilinos Beriquas en Accion (IBA). Since its founding in 1968, thanks to the inspiration provided by Dr. Betances, the organization has sponsored a large number of local projects and events, all of which have been aimed at strengthening the Latino community’s presence in and around the Boston area. (See previous post on their Tito Puente Latin Music series) This year’s festival, entitled “I am Villa Victoria”, is in honor of this infamous local Latin cultural center and affordable housing project. The facility stands as one of IBA’s proudest achievements and is considered a historical highpoint in the history of Boston’s urban renewal efforts. Rightfully so, it serves as the site of this annual celebration of Latino culture at its finest.
This years festival welcomes international music stars Larry Harlow and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra as their very special guests.
Larry Harlow (Appearing 7/16 @ 7:30 p.m.) – This 3-time Grammy nominee, originally from Brooklyn, NYC, is considered to be the forefather of the present day salsa style. He introduced both heavy brass instrumentation and the use of the Cuban Bata drum to Afro-Cuban music ensembles in NYC, thus enhancing the dance quality of the genre. He was both pianist and producer for the once renown Fania All-Stars and has since continued to thrive in his solo career.
Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Appearing 7/17 @ 5:30 p.m.) – Founded by Oscar Hernandez, this 13-member all-star ensemble has been going strong for over a decade and is most famous for their truly authentic brand of salsa. The formula for this great success is based upon a steadfast loyalty to the age-old traditions of the music from its very roots. This old-school style has won the band a much coveted Grammy award and is well characterized in their latest release entitled “Viva La Tradicion”.
So what are you waiting for? Here is your big chance to get to know Latin music and Latino culture like never before in all of their wonderful diversity. This festival is sure to be not only entertaining, but highly educational, as well.
When: July 15th – 17th, Friday (4:00 p.m.) – Sunday (9:00 p.m.)
Where – Villa Victoria (South End)
Admission – Free
More Info: 617-927-1707
Entry filed under: Annual Events, Concerts, Dance Exhibitions, Dance Parties, Education, Festivals, Latin music, Local Artists, Organizations. Tags: Boston, Larry Harlow, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, world music.