Festival Latino Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

Columbus’ Festival Latino (photo by Randall L. Schieber), the largest Latin event in Ohio, marks the 20th anniversary of its 1996 founding with another excellent installment to be held in Bicentennial Park on Saturday, August 13th, and Sunday, August 14th. Presented by Honda along with numerous community sponsors, the festival includes a main music stage, along with dance performances, author presentations, children’s activities, and community information. The music schedule covers a wide range of Latin music styles, with a strong Columbus jazz element and multiple headliners with jazz influences. Saturday afternoon’s lineup features newly formed Brazilian jazz outfit Fa 2 and veteran Salsa jazz band Yumbambé, and Sunday sees the return of Enrique Infante with his Déjà Vu Latin Fusion Rhythms Band at 3pm. Keep reading for the full musical lineup, and visit the festival website for more info:

Saturday, August 13
– Al Son del Iya
This tropical music group pays homage to a variety of Latin musicians including Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Joe Arroyo, Olga Tañon, and more.

1:15pm – Fa 2
From the infectious rhythms of Brazilian samba and bossa nova to the swinging sounds of jazz, Columbus-based Fa 2 brings unparalleled experience and expertise to the stage.

2:45pm – Yumbambé
Yumbambé is Latin jazz, bringing together the lush sound of jazz harmony with the vibrant rhythms of Afro-Cuban drumming. Led by Eric “the Fish” Paton, the group performs a diverse collection of rhythms including meringue, calypso, bembe, cha cha, samba, and bossa nova.

4:15pm – El Prodigio
Dominican – Típico
Krency Garcia (El Prodigio – The Prodigy) is a merengue típico accordionist known for rapid instrumental solos and the fusion of típico with other music genres such as jazz.

6:15pm – Los Horóscopos de Durango
Mexican – Banda
Pioneers of Durango and “the tamborazo” (combination of tuba, drums, and saxophone), Los Horóscopos de Durango, fronted by sisters Vicky and Marisol Terrazas, are the first duranguense group to be awarded a Latin Grammy Award (Best Banda Album 2007).

Sunday, August 14
1:00 pm
– The Ark Band
Columbus-based The Ark Band has toured across the US, Canada, and Jamaica sharing its roots reggae, calypso, and soca music.

3:00 pm – Déjà Vu Latin Fusion Rhythms Band with Enrique Infante
Singer, songwriter, and musician Enrique Infante will perform with his band, Déjà Vu Latin Fusion Rhythms. Recipient of a 2010 “Premio Orgullo Peruano” (Peruvian Pride Award), Enrique’s song “Colors of Columbus” was selected as one of the winners for the “200Columbus in Song Contest.” At this year’s Festival, he will perform songs from his soon-to-be-released third album.

4:30 pm – Sergio Vargas
Dominican – Merengue
Merengue singer Sergio Vargas has also earned acclaim for his ability to sing other forms of Tropical music including ballads. Once a member of the bands La Banda Brava and Los Hijos del Rey, Vargas became a major star throughout Latin America, and remains one of the Dominican Republic’s top artists today.

6:15 pm – Grupo Niche
Colombian – Salsa
Known for vigorous, uptempo dance music as well as slower-paced romantic numbers, salsa orchestra Grupo Niche is recognized as Latin America’s most successful salsa group and is now celebrating their 35th anniversary!

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