This Saturday, April 22, Puerto Rican-founded cultural collective Cosa Nuestra is hosting the second edition of their powerful event that celebrates Latin culture and empowers today's young Latinos.
Titled ¡Pa' la Ciudad!, the event presents a truly immersive experience for attendees through the combination of art, culture, and cuisine, and aims to reshape anti-Latino rhetoric in the midst of today's anti-immigration politics and Puerto Rico's economic crisis.
On Saturday the spotlight will shine on Afro-Latinos, with all aspects of the event united by the rhythm of one of the most meaningful instruments in Afro-Latino culture: the drum. "The drum is the pulse of our culture and it unites all of our people regardless of where we come from," Manolo López, founder of the collective, said. "Since slave times, the instrument has been a symbol of liberation, and we're using it to liberate ourselves from anti-Latino rhetoric and reshape how we are viewed."
New York-born Puerto Rican poet and actor Flaco Navaja will narrate the show, demonstrating the evolution of Afro-Latino culture by following the history of the drum, moving from its birthplace of Africa through Latin America to New York City, the birthplace of salsa music. Musical performances from Ilu Aye, female trio Émina, and Afro-Latino group IFÉ will enhance Navaja's storytelling and an awesome selection of NYC's top salsa musicians will participate in a jam session to conclude the event. All performances will be accompanied by tracks from DJ Christian Martir.
The event will also feature the best food and drink from some of the top mixologists in Puerto Rico as well as from critically acclaimed Puerto Rican chefs from the island and the New York area.
Cosa Nuestra, Spanish for "our thing," found its name in salsa legend Willie Colon's album as part of Fania All-Stars. With their latest edition of ¡Pa' la Ciudad!, they establish a launching point for their traveling pan-Latin platform and global movement.
Cosa Nuestra- ¡Pa' la Ciudad! takes place this Saturday, April 22, at Greenpoint's Dobbin Street. Visit Cosa Nuestra on Facebook for more information.