It is amazing how music can also bring food, culture, and dance from all over latin america to Denver, which also spurs growth of businesses. Check out the list below for a summary of the top ten latin music events this summer. In case you missed any one of these celebrations, some are annual events and many of the participants perform throughout the year at different venues. Check the website (if available) for full details of sponsors, organizers, and entertainers at these events. The events are not listed in order by preference but by date–all were equally fun and good. Our city is full of sabor!
1) Taste of Puerto Rico Festival: This festival started out modestly seven years ago and has grown substantially every year. This year, it was celebrated at Stapleton’s Central Park featuring live bands, Puerto Rican food, and happy people. Pernil and tostones are popular foods in Puerto Rico. http://www.atasteofpuertoricofestival.com
2) Joan Soriano Bachata concert: Adam Taub of Boulder made a documentary film “El Duque de Bachata” in the Dominican Republic years ago, before Joan Soriano became as famous as he is today. So it was an honor to have Joan Soriano and his band perform live at La Rumba on July 11 with Adam Taub watching. It was a very lively, energetic concert. Some guests said it was the most successful latin music event Denver has had for years, and possibly thee most successful bachata concert in Denver. http://www.iasorecords.com/artists/joan-soriano
3) Colombian and Peruvian Independence Festivals: Although these were two separate events, they were held only days apart (the last week of July). Live bands and DJ’s entertained the crowd, vendors sold food and crafts from Colombia and Peru. Arepas are a signature dish in Colombia; Peru’s ceviche is internationally renowned by chefs.
4) Colorado Brazil Fest: On August 2, 3, and 4th, Boulder hosted the first ever Brazilian festival and it’s anticipated to become an annual event. It was immensely successful and extremely fun. The quality of the music and performers was very good, the food was delicious. Hopefully it will be held in 2013, so stay in touch through the website: http://coloradobrazilfest.org
5) KUVO’s Mambo at the Vineyards-Tribute to Tito Puente: Tito Puente’s music is very difficult to immitate but also very fun to listen to. The band Salsa con Jazz did an excellent job performing Tito Puente’s songs at KUVO’s (radio station, 89.3 FM) signature annual fundraiser–it is not easy at all for a band to play one of Tito Puente’s songs. The sound system was perfect. It was an evening of food, music, and wine at Balistreri Vineyards.http://www.kuvo.org
6) CelebrARTE at the Denver Art Museum: The Denver Art Museum launched a new program this summer named CelebrARTE, scheduled to take place every 3rd Sunday of the month. It was recently featured on NBC-Denver. The program hopes to incorporate music from all over latin america as well as hands-on artistic activites, such as mask-making. Every month will have a different theme but still focused on art forms from Latin America. Contact Madalena Salazar: firstname.lastname@example.org
7) SABOR by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Denver: The 5th annual fundraiser event SABOR was celebrated on August 3rd at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The setting was beautiful, along with delicious food and of course music! These elements made a great environment for Denver’s top professionals to network and socializehttp://www.sabordenver.com
8) Salsa Picnic at Cheeseman Park: On August 19th Salsa Central Denver, a non-profit organization that promotes salsa music and dancing in Colorado, held its annual salsa picnic at Cheeseman Park. This was the first year that a live band, Son Tres, performed at the annual event. Live music was a great addition to the fun performances, food, and dancing.
9) Central American Festival: The Central American festival has become an annual tradition at City Park, usually held in late August. Organized by ACAUNIDA (Asociacion Centro Americana Unida/United Central American Association), who provides services to Central Americans througout the year. Individually, the countries in central america are small so the event supports all the countries in that region–Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Pupusas, tamales, and horchata were some regional foods featured. Punta music is heard in many parts of central america.
10) Labor Day Tango Festival: For 13 years, the Labor Day Tango Festival has attracted hundreds of people from all over the country, who travel to Denver just for this event. Featuring live music, tango dance workshops, parties called milongas and top Tango music DJ’s, the seductive sounds of tango music have captured the passion of many followers. This year’s festival details are on the website: http://www.denvertangofestival.com