The Afro-Latino community has blessed us with some incredible talent in art, culture and music — from the “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz to Cuban singer and composer Compay El Segundo, percussionist Sheila E., singer and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding.
In celebration of these amazing talents and heritages, on July 10-12 the Afro-Latino Festival of New York is paying tribute to the African roots of people from Latin America and the Caribbean with performances from the Grammy-nominated duo Les Nubians and world-class acts Cultura Profética, Kafu Banton, Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, Danay Suarez and Que Bajo?!
This year the Festival has expanded to a multi-location, three-day event with over 20 artists representing “Afrolatinidad” in over 10 countries as well as cultural activities, documentaries, dance classes and art exhibits.
This year, the Afro-Latino community is especially proud as the festival is an official supporter of the International Decade for People of African Descent declared by the U.N. (2015-2024) and its principles of “justice, recognition and development.”
The three-day Afro-Latino extravaganza kicks off with some prominent forces within the Afro-Latino community on Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m.
The Opening Gala Reception will honor New York Times Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Randal Archibold; New York State Assemblyman 68th District Robert J. Rodriguez; founder and Director of the Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute Dr. Marta Moreno Vega; and author Willie Perdomo.
Afro-Latina milllenial, tech journalist and CEO Janel Martinez will also be honored. Martinez, who is the founder of the “Ain’t I Latina?” blog, which delves into what it means to be Afro-Latina, was born to Honduran parents who identify as Garifuna.
The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats youth orchestra directed by 2015 Latin Jazz Grammy winner Arturo O’Farrill and NYC salsa band Los Hacheros will rock the house. Conjunto Nuevo Milenio will be performing “Congos from #Panama,” a traditional Afro-Panamanian cultural dance performance with roots in maroon history, and special guest Cuban songstress Danay Suarez will close the event.
On Saturday, July 11, the festivities will start at Cubana Social in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with three live talks that will explore the intersection of Afrolatinidad, Culture and Technology. The evening doesn’t stop there but continues onto the Wick in Bushwick where you can dance the night away with the hip NYC tropical bass DJs Que Bajo?!
On Sunday, July 12, at Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Plaza there will be a pumping block party and street fair with dance workshops, art exhibitions and musical performances by artists, including Chop and Quench “The Fela! Band,” Les Nubians, Kafu Banton and Cultura Profética.
Want to know more about the musical genius behind the iconic “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz? You’re in luck: In addition to the Afro-Latino beats, the yummy food and festivities, you can see a free documentary screening of “Celia: The Queen” and performances at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx.
For tickets, full lineup, program, directions click here.
By Latino Post Staff [Latino Post]