JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural Festival at Queens Theatre in the Park, New York

Queens Theatre
Queens Theatre
Queens, New York, USA – The JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural Festival—presented by Queens Theatre in the Park (QTP) and now in its eighth year—will take place from July 28 through August 8. it will feature an eclectic line-up of artists from the Spanish-speaking world, including Grupo de Danzas Folcloricas “Jocaycu” (Colombia),
a Rock en Español Night, Super Uba (Dominican
Sol y
(US), ‘Manolín: El Médico de la Salsa (Cuba/USA), Fusion Tango (Argentina/USA),
the film New York Spin by Pedro Valiente (Spain), an Open Mic Night for poets and
spoken word, a commissioned dance piece
by Producciones La Lágrima (Mexico), Palo Flamenco (Spain), Simón Diaz (Venezuela),
a Sesame Street Workshop,  Illapu (Chile), and .Johnny Pacheco (USA).The JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural
Festival has become an international
springboard for the careers of artists
throughout Latin America and Spain.
Dozens of musicians, dancers, and actors
have made their USA or New York debut at
the Festival and become world renown
soon after. Festival organizers walk the
line between selecting performers with
name-recognition among the Queens Latino
community and those on the cutting edge
of contemporary performance.

Some of the artists we present are
well known abroad
,” says Festival
artistic director Claudia Norman. “The
funny thing is that newspapers from
Venezuela or Colombia will announce our
concert and people abroad will call
their relatives here in Queens and tell
them they cannot miss this or that
concert at our Festival! We have to use
some reverse logic to reach our
audiences, targeting newspapers
thousands of miles away

Audience members and
artists alike feel pride in being able
to be a part of an arts institution that
is putting their culture front and
center on stage. Latin great Johnny
Pacheco—who will return to the Festival
for the third time—has commented that he
appreciates the special respect
audiences give him when he performs at
Queens Theatre. Pacheco and other
members of the famed Fania Allstars
represent the end of a classic era in
New York salsa. By presenting this
living legend alongside current Latin
pop stars like invitee Manolín, “El
Médico de Salsa,” the Festival is
bridging this historic legacy with what
is happening in Latin music and
performance today.

Continuing the event’s tradition of
presenting powerful Rock en Español
performers, the Festival hopes to
announce a performance by a leading
group from the genre in the coming
weeks. In previous years the Festival
presented Coral and Ely Guerra’s USA
theatre debut.

This year QTP has commissioned
Producciones La Lágrima to present a
world-premiere dance piece at the
Festival. Onstage, the collective of
minimalist dancers, musicians, and poets
from Mexican border city Hermosillo—led
by choreographers Adriana Castaños and
David Barrón—evoke daily existence in
the desert. For their Festival premiere,
Castaños’ and Barrón’s duet draws on
historic icons and everyday life to
convey the diversity of expressions of

Festival performers extend
geographically from the folkloric music
and dance ensemble Jocaycu, whose
25-member ensemble will perform a wide
range of styles from Colombia, to Palo
Flamenco, a music an dance ensemble that
combines the flamenco of Spain with
traditions from the Basque country.
Stylistically, Festival music will range
from the reinvigorated Venezuelan son of
Simón Diaz, to the combination of jazz
improv, reggae, and rock of Illapu. New
York performers will include Fusión
Tango—who mix old and new tango; Super
Uba representing the best in modern
Dominican bachata, son, bolero, and
merengue; and Boston’s Sol y Canto
performing a bilingual family matinee of
toe-tapping, be-bopping arrangements
from Latin America. The Festival program
is rounded out with New York Spin
a film by Pedro Valiente, an Open Mic
Night for poetry and spoken word hosted
by Emanuel Xavier, and a bilingual
educational program by the Sesame Street

Tickets range from free to $35 and are
available in advance from Queens Theatre
in the Park’s


Festival program:

7/28 Grupo de Danzas
Folcloricas “Jocaycu.” Colombia.
Traditional dance & music from 25-member

7/29 Rock en Español Night.

7/30 Super Uba. Dominican
Republic/NY. Blends modern bachata with
classic son, bolero and merengue

7/31 Matinee. Sol Y Canto’s “El Doble
de Amigos/Twice as Many Friends.”
Traditional music from Latin America for
children. Bilingual program.

7/31 Manolin: El Medico de la Salsa.
Miami, FL. One of the world’s best Timba
performers now turned Latin pop star.

8/1 Tango Master Class. Fusion Tango.

8/1 Fusion Tango. Argentina/NY. A
unique combination of traditional tango,
fast milonga, new tango, and romantic

8/2 “New York Spin.” Spain/NY. Film
directed by Pedro Valiente;
multicultural portrait of 24 people of
different ages, occupations and races.

8/3 Open Mic Night for poets and
spoken word. Dedicated to the young and
upcoming spoken word artists and poets
from Queens.

8/4 Commissioned dance piece.
Producciones La Lagrima. Mexico. The 2nd
annual International Movements Project
presents a collaborative project
featuring a new duet by choreographers
Adriana Castaños and David Barrón,
from Hermosillo,
Sonora, Mexico
.  Set to original
music by composer Ramón Astrain.

8/5 Palo Flamenco. Spain. Music &
dance combining the flamenco of Spain &
traditions of the Basque country.

8/6 Simon Diaz. Venezuela. Back by
popular demand, he plays the
reinvigorated son of the Venezuelan

8/7 Matinee. Sesame Street Workshop.
NY. “Maravillas Musicales/Music Works
Wonders.” Bilingual educational program
created especially for Hispanic

8/7 Illapu. Chile. Experiments with
improvised jazz, the harmonic
constructions and counter-points of
classical music, the syncopation of
reggae, and a tremor of rock.

8/8 Johnny Pacheco. New York, NY. A
Latin music legend (and member of The
Fania All Stars that included Celia Cruz
and Tito Puente), El Maestro Johnny
Pacheco will return to the Festival by
popular demand.

[All photos courtesy of Queens Theatre in the Park. Photo 1: Queens Theatre
in the Par. Photo 2: Johnny pacheco. Photo 3: Super Uba].

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.