|Photo courtesy of Marisol Diaz.|
I've always been a bit jealous of some of the other boroughs (the one with the "too big to fail companies" and those on Long Island). It always seems like they have the best free concerts. However, because of a new summer concert series at Orchard Beach, the Bronx is showing that it has the ability to host those same great concerts.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and new hairdo (or lack thereof) helped kicked off SalsaFest over the weekend in the first of a three-weekend concert series in the Bronx.
A Warm-Up party preceded the concert last Thursday at Pregones Theater, where there was a screening of the award-winning documentary by City Lore, "From Mambo To Hip Hop, A South Bronx Tale” followed by a discussion on the history of salsa music by film co-producer Elena Martinez and multi-Grammy nominated percussionist Bobby Sanabria, who was inducted to the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2006 and appears in the film.
“The Bronx helped propel salsa into an international phenomenon, and we’re welcoming visitors and native New Yorkers to experience it here this weekend in what will become a new annual celebration,” Diaz said. “With the popularity of TV shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ more people than ever are curious about this rich, rhythmic music. The weekend festival is a chance to put down the remote and put on your dancing shoes.”
The first ever “Bronx SalsaFest” continues at Orchard Beach with two more weekends packed with live music and dancing.
On Sunday, July 17, jazz legend and Grammy award-winning flutist Dave Valentin performs live at Orchard Beach. On Sunday, July 24, sizzling salsa returns to the beach with popular band Tipica 73.
Both concerts are part of the Summer Music at Orchard Beach concert series hosted by Diaz and the Bronx Tourism Council. The events are sponsored by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Bronx Lebanon Hospital and Latino Sports. Sets start at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
I'm not much of a salsa fan, but if the crowds are passionate enough for this, I can imagine the borough's "music leaders" (whomever they may be) could entice some of those great free Central Park concerts to shuffle up here. Or is that just a pipe dream?