CLEVELAND - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will be presenting the Latino Heritage Festival, an annual event that celebrates the rich Hispanic culture and its musical traditions. The event will take place on the outside plaza of the Rock Hall on Saturday, from 3 – 7 p.m. and includes performances by Ismael Miranda featuring Sammy De Leon y su Orquesta, reggaeton artist Divino and dance group Grupo Isla Del Encanto. The Museum will also screen the PBS documentary Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles and feature Q&A sessions with the film’s co-producer Nancy Wilkman. The Latino Heritage Festival is FREE, however paid admission is necessary to tour the Rock Hall exhibits and participate in this film screening.
This community festival is a kick-off to Latino Heritage month, celebrated September 15 - October 15 every year. In tribute to Latino music and culture, the festival will feature an array of musical talent that will provide the soundtrack to an afternoon of lively entertainment:
Over the course of his career, Puerto Rico native Ismael Miranda has recorded more than 20 albums and performed with such noted Latino artists as Nicky Marrero and Ray Baretto. Growing up in New York City’s East Village, Miranda recorded his first single at the age of 17. He later went to tour with La Fania All Stars before launching his own record label, IM Records. Miranda continues to tour regularly, and in 2003, he performed at the legendary Copacabana nightclub in New York City.
Sammy De León, former musical director of the legendary Impacto Nuevo, has put together a combination of traditional salsa rhythms with a more aggressive and progressive style that lends an appeal to a multi-cultural audience. This style enables De Leon’s music to delight not only fans of salsa, merengue, and Latin Jazz, but of all music genres. The whole band, known for their lively performance, may stop on a dime, change directions in a heart-stopping second, speeds up or slows down with the sound of his stick and shifts grooves with a look.
Divino began his career at the age of 15 after his family moved from Bronx, New York, to Ponce, Puerto Rico. Already a songwriter, Divino immersed himself in the islands booming Spanish-language rap scene. He started recording his very own cassettes and selling them on the streets, thereby amassing a local following. Thanks to this growing buzz, Divino managed to book gigs as the opening act for Puerto Rican rap pioneers Vico C and Ruben DJ during their performances in Ponce. Impressed by Divino’s voice and his unique songwriting abilities, other artists began requesting that he appear on their records. Among them have been Daddy Yankee and Wisin y Yandel.
Cleveland dance group Grupo Isla Del Encanto consists of more than 30 dancers between the ages of seven and 19. The Group dances the traditional Puerto Rican folkloric dance called plena & bomba, as well as bachata, reggaeton, merenque, tango and hip-hop.
In addition to live music, the Rock Hall will also screen the PBS documentary Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles in the Museum’s Main Exhibit Hall Theater 3 on repeat from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. The film’s co-producer and co-director Nancy Wilkman will answer questions from the audience. Paid Museum admission is necessary to enter the exhibit hall and view this screening.
About Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles, produced, written, directed and edited by Emmy Award-winning filmmaking team Jon and Nancy Wilkman, tells the lively and inspiring story of how generations of young people in America's largest Mexican American community — caught between two cultures and not fully accepted in either — created a unique musical voice and in the process found and proudly expressed their cultural identity.
Narrated by Edward James Olmos, this lively one-hour documentary combines intimate interviews, rare archival film and photographs with exuberant music. Chicano Rock! is also an entertaining and informative journey through more than half a century of America's multicultural past. The story begins with Lalo Guerrero, a National Medal of the Arts honoree known as the Father of Chicano Rock. Arriving in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, Lalo found a city bursting with ambition, even in the last days of the Great Depression. During the war years that followed, many young Mexican Americans defied prejudice and stereotypes, adopting zoot suit fashions and a Spanglish slang called calo. Lalo Guerrero and his friend bandleader Don Tosti captured their spirit in music, mixing swing and boogie woogie in a cross-cultural dialog between African American, Anglo and Mexican American influences through the present time.
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles is a long overdue celebration of more than 60 years of music and social change, but it also offers inspiring and unexpected insights into America today and our new multicultural nation in the making.
About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.