Summer in Nueva York brings a bundle of arts events, but the myriad choices sometimes may feel like too much of a good thing. Fear not the summer bounty! Viva has once again combed the listings and offers you a month-by-month guide to the Latin performances that have us most excited.
BALLET NACIONAL DE CUBA – In post-Revolutionary Cuba, ballet is as popular a dance form as the rumba. Take a rare opportunity to appreciate Cuban ballet virtuosity at the source with a selection of classics performed under the direction of prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso. Thorugh Saturday 11, at BAM, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, part of Sí Cuba! festival, 7:30 p.m., $25-$75.
JUNE 10 & 11
EL GRAN COMBO – Almost 50 years and still going strong, the quintessential Puerto Rican salsa big band – this year’s Puerto Rican parade kings – returns for another tour through their scores of dance-inspiring hits, such as “Timbalero,” “Me liberé” and “Nadie como ella.” At Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx, 8 p.m., $40-$55.
THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO/DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS – These back-to-back one-man show stage adaptations of the popular novels by Piri Thomas and Junot Díaz promise to showcase not just the stories of young Afro-Latino men in the U.S., but the bravura performances of Jamil Mena and Elvis Nolasco, who play multiple characters from the novels. At Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center, 3940 Broadway, part of TeatroStageFest, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $18-$25 or $40 for both.
DOMINGOS COLOMBIANOS – This interactive program, titled “Bailes Cantados: Atlántico y Pacífico” (“Sung Dances: Atlantic and Pacific”), will showcase the great variety of Colombian rhythms beyond cumbia and vallenato, including currulao from the Pacific coast and bullerengue from the Caribbean. There will be workshops and performances by Diego Obregón and Grupo Chonta, Moris Canate and Grupo Rebolú and more. At the Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Queens, 2 p.m. FREE.
FROM HAVANA TO HARLEM: 100 YEARS OF MARIO BAUZ?/a>? – This tribute to one of the creators of Afro-Cuban jazz celebrates what would have been his 100th birthday. Bauzá’s music will be performed by the Bobby Sanabria Big Band, led by renowned Bronx-born percussionist Sanabria, who worked with Bauzá and other Latin music greats. At the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., 8 p.m., $25-$45.
LARRY HARLOW LATIN LEGENDS BAND – Harlow, the Fania-era great nicknamed “El judío maravilloso” (the marvelous Jew), is known as a pianist and bandleader. But in this concert he puts a band of veterans at the service of what is dubbed “the Battle of the Salsa Violins,” between Cuban Alfredo de la Fé and Brooklyn‘s own Lewis Kahn. Bronx salseros La Excelencia open. At Prospect Park Bandshell, part of Celebrate Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. FREE
OZOMATLI – The Los Angles-based multi-lingual, multi-racial ensemble that remixes hip hop, cumbia, dancehall and more returns to New York to encourage social- and-booty movement. At Red Hook Park, Bay and Hicks Sts., Brooklyn, part of SummerStage, 7 p.m. FREE
ENANITOS VERDES & HOMBRES G – This double bill featuring two pop-rock bands from Argentina and Spain could have been transported via a time-machine from 1985, when “rock en tu idioma” (rock in your language) first took hold in Spain and Latin America. And admit it – even if you find “Lamento Boliviano” by Enanitos and “Devuélveme mi chica” by Hombres G irritating earbugs, you know all the words. At LaBoom, 56-15 Northern Blvd., Woodside, Queens, 8 p.m., $60.
WISIN & YANDEL – The duo that has dominated reggaetón playlists for the past few years may not have a new album to promote, but if ticket sales for other dates in the “Los Vaqueros: El Regreso” international tour are any indication, fans don’t need new songs to flock to the act that now bills itself as “Latin pop.” At Prudential Center, 165 Mulberry St., Newark, N.J., 8 p.m. $35-$95.
JOSÉ MANUEL CARREÑO FAREWELL – The Cuban-born Carreño retires after 16 years as the principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. An on-stage reception will follow his last performance in “Swan Lake.” At the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, 7:30 p.m. Sold-out.
DIOGO NOGUEIRA – One of the fresh faces of samba and other popular Brazilian dance genres such as choro and pagode, Nogueira performs in New York for the first time. The son of renown composer João Nogueira, he also hosts a samba-centered talk show. The concert is preceded by dance lessons and smoking selections from local deejay Greg Caz. At Damrosch Park, 62nd St., between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves., part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, 7:30 p.m., $17.
GILBERTO SANTA ROSA – Santa Rosa, “El Caballero de la salsa” (the Gentleman of salsa), commands the stage like few, prompting ladies – and gentlemen – of all ages to offer up flowers, requests and all sorts of gifts at every performance. At Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, 62nd St., between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves., 8 p.m., $17.
LOS LOBOS, HELLO SEAHORSE! & ZIGMAT – The Mexican-American band from East L.A. continues to show that experimental and rootsy can play well together, and alt-Latino critical darlings Hello Seahorse! from Mexico City have a dreamy take on pop angst, as does Brooklyn band Zigmat. At Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, part of the Latin Alternative Music Conference, 7 p.m. FREE.
Choc Quib Town, Rita Indiana, Ursula 1000, Qué Bajo – Dominican cult merengue sensation Rita Indiana is paired with headliners Choc Quib Town, a Colombian hip hop group with its own avid following, and Qué Bajo, one of the sweatiest monthly deejay parties in town. This show promises to blow up brighter than illegal fireworks. At Central Park SummerStage, part of the Latin Alternative Music Conference, 3 p.m. FREE.
JOSE ALBERTO “EL CANARIO” – The Dominican-born sonero made his salsa career in Puerto Rico, and he celebrates his 35th anniversary in salsa-biz alongside a crew of masters of the genre: Puerto Rican sonero Andy Montañéz, Cuban violinist Alfredo de la Fé, Venezuelan percussionist Luisito Quintero and Puerto Rican arranger Isidro Infante. At Lehman Center for Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $45-$60.
LISANDRO MEZA – Watching this vallenato master wield the accordion is a privilege that should be experienced not just once, but multiple times. Even better if done while dancing. Meza’s son Juan José performs at his side and has become a cumbia star in his own right. Qué Bajo deejay Geko Jones primes the cumbia and vallenato pump. At Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, 7:30 p.m., $17.
MUJERES DE AGUA – Spanish composer Javier Limón presents selections from the project and album “Mujeres de Agua,” which explores the musical traditions of Mediterranean cultures. Three contemporary singers in the flamenco tradition will perform: Mallorcan singer Concha Buika and La Shica and Sandra Carrasco from Madrid. The 30-piece New York Arabic Orchestra, led by Bassam Saba, opens. At Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7:30 p.m. FREE
GRUPO FOLKLÓRICO Y EXPERIMENTAL NUEVAYORQUINO – The cult band from the 1970s, where the hardest of salseros played to let their roots show, has found a second life around the core of brothers Andy and Jerry González, with new blood from more recent newcomers such as Cuban percussionist and rumbero Pedrito Martínez. Sharing the bill is Ladrezo, another Caribbean roots musician, from Guadeloupe. At Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7:30 p.m. FREE
[TOP PICK] JOE BATAAN, JOHNNY COLÓN, “WE LIKE IT LIKE THAT” – The film is not the 1994 comedy with Lauren Vélez and Jon Seda, but a new documentary by Matthew Ramírez Warren on the musical genre popular in the mid-1960s. Two bugalú originals, Bataan and Colón, show they’re still in full swing. Deejay Turnmix, host of the monthly Let’s Boogaloo party, opens. At Central Park SummerStage, 7 p.m. FREE
HENRY SANTOS – In Aventura, heartthrob Santos tended to play second fiddle to cousin and bandmate Romeo. But now that the members of the bachata-plus-R&B innovator have put out solo projects, fans of the group can see for themselves whether the parts are more than the whole. At Highbridge Park, W. 155th and Amsterdam Ave., part of Summerstage, 7 p.m. FREE
[Daily News Latino]