Festival Latino has a new location this year, thanks to the Scioto River restoration project. That’s not such a bad thing for organizers, who love the permanent stage, sound and lighting equipment in Bicentennial Park, which will be the center of this year’s festival. The lineup is filled with artists who have topped Billboard charts, won Grammy nominations and awards and performed in the world’s greatest venues. A fancy new stage seems apropos.
“We try to get as much variety as we can and spread it out over the whole weekend,” says CAPA vice president for programming Rich Corsi. That means music, food and art from all over Latin America.
Here’s a sample of some of the best music the festival has to offer this year. festivallatino.net
Herman Olivera is considered one of the few remaining “soneros” (improvising lead singer) of salsa. He’s played with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Band. He is of Puerto Rican descent but was born and raised in New Jersey. Onstage, he’s expressive not just with his clear, precise voice, but also with his hands and hips. Bet you won’t be able to sit still, either. 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, main stage
Frankie Negron is also Puerto Rican and also makes salsa music, but he represents a style that’s radically different from Olivera’s. Negron injects his music with hefty pop influence, and he’s a theatrical, engaging performer, who’s been nominated for several Grammy awards. 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, main stage
Veteran 14-piece merengue orchestra Los Hermanos Rosario closes out the festival Sunday night. At the heart of the group are Dominican siblings Rafa, Luis and Tony Rosario. The band has toured the world since being founded in 1978, including shows at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, main stage