¡SABOR! LATIN FESTIVAL RETURNS TO STEELSTACKS IN BETHLEHEM JUNE 20-22
Free Concerts by Joe Veras, Wito Rodriquez Orchestra and Pupi Legaretta Highlight Three Days of Music, Food and Family Fun
BETHLEHEM, PA–Three days of music, food and family fun including free concerts by Bachata star Joe Veras, the Wito Rodriquez Orchestra and Latin legend Pupi Legarreta highlight the fourth-annual ¡Sabor! Latin Festival June 20-22 at SteelStacks. The weekend will also feature arts and crafts, children’s activities, Latin dance presentations, a Mariachi Mass and 13 World Cup Brazil matches shown on a jumbo LED Screen on the Air Products Town Square as part of the FIFA World Cup™ SoccerFest and Viewing Party taking place on the arts and cultural campus.
A celebration of the region’s Latino culture, ¡Sabor! features live music by local, regional and national musical acts, as well as cultural programming presented by community organizations such as the Hispanic American League of Artists (HALA), Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, Borinqueneers and Latin American Motorcycle Association. The festival is an outreach program of the Sabor! Cultural Committee, which includes representatives from the region’s Latin community including Hispanic American League of Artists, Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, Panorama and La Ola Radio.
On June 20, ¡Sabor! welcomes Joe Veras to the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks stage at 8 p.m. Born in the Dominican Republic, Veras has achieved great success around the globe, performing throughout Europe, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the U.S. His hit, “Vencido,” is one of the most played Bachata songs in Latin America.
The following evening, June 21 at 8 p.m., the Wito Rodriguez Orchestra will perform at the Levitt Pavilion. Over the years, Rodriquez has accompanied artists such as Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez and Celia Cruz. He lived and performed in Europe for 20 years, leading a number of orchestras, and now resides in Pennsylvania, performing lively salsa, as well as beautiful jazz arrangements.
Other performers at ¡Sabor! include Aztec dance group Cenzontle Cuicatl, Latin jazz band Anaisa, Latin percussionist Hector Rosado and his band, and Pupi Legarreta, former member of the Fania All Stars. New this year at the festival are late-night performances (midnight-1 a.m.) by DJ Miguel Mixx from La Ola Radio June 20 and DJ Baby J, along with special guests, on June 21.
“Music connects Hispanics through not only melodies, but also geography and cultural background. As the Lehigh Valley’s largest Hispanic media, La Ola Radio partners with only the region’s best venues to provide entertainment, enrichment and celebration of the Hispanic culture,” says Matthew Braccili, owner of La Ola Radio. “In only a few short years, ¡Sabor! has become the largest Hispanic festival in the region. This year’s entertainment is especially diverse. Superstar Joe Veras will perform Bachata, with its origins from the Dominican Republic, Wito Rodriguez Orchestra will perform classic salsa, whose roots are from Puerto Rico, and Pupi Legarreta, a brilliant Cuban violinist will perform a fusion of Salsa and jazz.
“It’s truly a rare occurrence to have such incredible talent in one place, performing for the public for free. La Ola Radio is proud to be a sponsor of ¡Sabor! and looks forward to celebrating the Hispanic culture during this festival at SteelStacks.”
Coinciding with this year’s ¡Sabor! is the FIFA World Cup™ SoccerFest and Viewing Party, one of a select few outdoor viewing events in the nation officially approved by FIFA. During ¡Sabor!, guests will be able to enjoy 12 World Cup Brazil™ games on a 17-foot high by 27-foot wide outdoor LED screen on SteelStacks’ Air Products Town Square. The weekend will also be packed with soccer programs, hands-on activities and special events appealing to soccer fans, players, coaches and families.
Other ¡Sabor! highlights include:
– Delicious cuisine including Pernil (slow roasted pork shoulder), Pollo Guisado (chicken stew), Arroz con gandules (red rice and pigeon peas) and Pinchos (pork and chicken kabobs).
– Soccer-themed arts & crafts including a World Cup™ noisemaker inspired by the Brazilian caxirola
– Step dancing performances by Nitschmann Middle School Step Team
– Dance and visual arts presentations by Hispanic American League of Artists
– Puerto Rican and American Flag Raising Ceremony and Motorcycle Brigade – June 21, noon
– Mariachi Mass presented by Holy Infancy Catholic Church – June 22, 10:30 a.m.
The ¡Sabor! Latin Festival is made possible thanks to the support of Bethlehem Sausage Works, MetroPCS, La Ola Radio, Panorama Latin News and Noticias 69 Edición en Español. The festival begins at 11 a.m. each day. For more information, visit www.artsquest.org/sabor.
SteelStacks is an arts and cultural campus located on the site of Bethlehem, Pa.’s former Bethlehem Steel plant. Through a unique public-private partnership, this industrial site, one of the largest Brownfields under redevelopment in the nation, has been transformed into a dynamic destination for music, art, festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Public and nonprofit partners working together to bring new life to the former steel mill include the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, City of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Area School District, Northampton County, ArtsQuest and PBS39. For more information on SteelStacks, visit www.steelstacks.org.
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest