Despite being around since 1985 (and formally taking root in Walker’s Point in 1997), Latino Arts Inc. is only becoming more relevant with age. Recent seasons have brought Grammy-winning musicians and the work of respected contemporary artists to the space, which also makes sure to feature renderings from area creatives.
Latino Arts released its spring and summer schedule of performances late last week. This segment of the cultural and artistic hub’s 34th year looks to be equally impressive, including a guitar festival, performances by two NPR-approved groups, and Freddy Hernandez’s “Mas de Mil-Walk-Aqui” exhibition. Here’s Latino Arts’ full schedule of late winter and summer events.
The 6th Annual Guitar Festival & Competition
“The Latino Arts Strings Program invites classical guitarists ages 18 and under to participate in the festival that will feature a youth competition with world class judges. The winners of the competition will perform with guest artists Alfonso Moreno and Oman Kaminsky during the Guitar Festival Concert. Moreno has performed over 9,000 times throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia, his versatility gives him the freedom to alternate his musical activities with giving Master Classes, playing solo or chamber ensemble recitals, or as a soloist with world-renowned symphony orchestras. Kaminsky is one of Mexico’s leading guitarists and is the winner of numerous competitions around the globe; currently, he is a guitar professor in two of Mexico’s preeminent music schools.”
Mas de Mil-Walk-Aqui (Exhibit by Freddy Hernandez)
March 8 to June 7
“Freddy Hernandez combines his passion for landscape photography with his love of Milwaukee’s unique energy to emphasize the growing presence of the city’s Latino population and the places they occupy in the city. The title ‘Mas de Mil-Walk-Aqui’ is a Spanglish play-on-words of the city’s name which translates to “more than thousands walk here” as an observation of the Hispanic community’s contribution to Milwaukee, making the city a more diverse and beautiful place. This beauty is celebrated through imagery in this captivating photographic exhibition.”
The Pedrito Martinez Group
“Cuban born group leader, Pedro Pablo ‘Pedrito’ Martinez’s, career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation in NYC of The Pedrito Martinez Group. The Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition and in the Batá rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. The group has developed into an extraordinarily tight and musically creative unit. Their Grammy-nominated first album was released October, 2013 and was chosen among NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2013.”
“Making Movies blends pulsing Afro-Latino rhythms, psychedelic jams and rock ’n’ roll swagger into powerful live performances, full of theatrics and cathartic climaxes. Armed with the ambitious and politically charged 2017 release I Am Another You—’lyrically and sonically one of the best albums of the year,’ NPR raved—and a companion EP, You Are Another Me, the Kansas City band punches out one high-energy song after another. The foursome showcases their Latin American roots, with frontman Enrique Chi incorporating traditional instruments like the Panamanian mejorana alongside electric guitar, or the Chaurand brothers swapping drums and percussion for a dueling zapateado huasteco, a traditional form of dance from Veracruz, Mexico. The band’s political idea is straightforward enough that they can express it in four words: ‘We are all immigrants.'”
The Big Idea VII
June 27 to August 23
“This exhibition commemorates the Advancing Literacy and Math through Art Program (ALMA), which showcases the artistic knowledge and skill of Bruce-Guadalupe Elementary and Middle School and UCC Acosta Middle School students, in 3rd through 8th grades. Artwork demonstrates ALMA student’s exploration of culturally relevant ‘Big Ideas’ such as immigration and cultural identity, community, origin, perseverance, and the American dream.”
(All descriptions come courtesy of a Latino Arts press release)