Afro Latino Festival NYC 2015

You can't tell the story of Latin America without telling the story of Africa.  There's no such thing as a "Latinx" without the Africanx.  Africa is in our music, in our food, in our words and in our blood.  And yet, somehow, the Afro-Latino experience is constantly ignored by the media and by the history books.  The Afro-Latino Festival of New York City aims to shine a light on that unique and complicated experience in the form of a 3 day celebration.  

The Festival was founded by Mai-Elka Prado, an Afro Latina singer/photographer/artist etc. etc. etc. (she does it all) from Panamá.  It consists of educational conferences, culinary presentations and artistic performances that aim to "Affirm, Educate & Celebrate".  Day one began with a gala out in Harlem headlined by the talented Cuban songstress Danay Suarez and her band, who performed a really dope, intimate, groovy set.  There were some educational conferences during day two, which culminated with a Que Bajo?! party at The Wick in Brooklyn with a special performance by Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, straight out of Colombia.  These dudes absolutely slayed, and it was awesome to see their music transcend generations, as there were 60-year-olds dancing as much as there were 21-year-olds dancing.  The Sunday all-day event took place at the Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn, and it featured vendors, a domino tournament, impromptu backstage jam sessions and a concert headlined by Cultura Profética, from Puerto Rico.  Among the other bands that performed were Les Nubians, Kafu Banton, Los Hacheros & CaribeFunk.                  

I had the opportunity to photograph the celebration earlier this year.  Check out some of the pictures:

For the rest of the series, check out the festival's website (www.afrolatinofestnyc.com) or my personal website (www.marioruben.com).  

Peace!

Mario