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PARADE TALENT

Abya Yala Arte y Cultura

Abya Yala Arte y Cultura, a New York-based non-profit cultural organization, presents diverse art projects that maintain Andean cultural expressions and promote cultural awareness. Their programs are community grounded, intergenerational and inclusive. Each year, Abya Yala presents and produces a season of events that include: educational and artistic workshops, art exhibitions, community forums, theatrical representations, and culinary and art festivals. Their mission is to present, promote and celebrate the cultural identity of the native communities of Peru, focusing on the Andean region and the diffusion of its living and thriving culture.

BombaYo!

BombaYo, a youth project dedicated to preserving the rich Afro Puerto Rican tradition of Bomba. BombaYo emerges from the streets and schoolyards of the Bronx, where salsa and hip-hop were born. Under the direction of Jose L.Ortiz aka Dr.Drum and Melinda Gonzalez, BombaYo’s young people bring new energy to a centuries-old Afro Puerto Rican music and dance tradition. Bomba starts from within. In the spirit of Sankofa, BombaYo members draw from the bomba tradition to enrich their lives, embrace their cultural legacy, and share this gift with others. In a short time, the group had been invited to perform at schools, youth conferences, and Latino Heritage Month events across NYC.

Annette Aguilar & The String Beans

Combining superb musicianship with unique string and percussion arrangements of Latin Brasilian jazz, contemporary jazz, classical and world music, Annette A. Aguilar & String-Beans are very Special Friends. Annette A. Aguilar, the band’s talented and versatile percussionist and musical director, produced, arranged and shared in the mixing of the tunes. She was also fortunate to have the constant support and consultation of well- known producer Frank Dorieti. A long-time friend of Aguilar, Dorieti has twice produced Grammy award winning recordings, for Latin jazz great Cal Tjader and the eminent jazz artist Art Blakey (Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.)

Los Pleneros de La 21

Los Pleneros de la 21  is a non-profit community based organization and music ensemble located in the heart of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem). They are dedicated to fostering awareness, appreciation and understanding of the richness and vitality of Puerto Rican artistic traditions of African and Creole descent, as well as to promote their further development. Their goals are to present accessible public traditional music programming, to expose inner city youth and others to the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and encourage their active participation in these traditions, and to perform a repertoire of works embedded in the rich tradition of Puerto Rican folk music to audiences everywhere.

Yackez

Larissa Velez-Jackson is an independent choreographer, multimedia artist, dancer, and vocalist in NYC. For the past four years LVJ has embarked on a musical collaboration with her husband Jon Velez-Jackson called Yackez, “The World’s Most Loveable Hip Hop Duo.” Jon Velez-Jackson is a songwriter, writer and full-time journalist, and co-founder and co-creator of Yackez. He currently is a Senior Editor at The Week magazine, which he helped launch in 2001 and is also an avid pro-wrestling aficionado. She stage-directs their multi-cast ensemble works and has thoroughly enjoyed working with her Yackez dance collaborators at a recent residency at El Museo del Barrio in Winter ’14-’15. They have presented work at NYC venues such as: Dixon Place, Roulette, People’s Improv Theatre, New Museum of Contemporary Art,  (the former) Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project Fall Platform ’10, and American Realness Festival ’11 at Abrons Arts Center.