You're gonna give a biiiiiiig "Gracias a Dios" to the Fiesta Gods for bringing in the much needed fun and fabulous Darling Harbour Fiesta 2015, a Sydney event held every year in Darling Harbour that celebrates everything wonderful about Latino culture, from it's films, to the food, and, course it's music and dancing.
Much of the festivities will be held around Palm Grove, La Clave in Darling Quarter or the Tropicana stage at the Harbourside Amphitheatre. All you need to do is get yourself to the Darling Harbour Precinct to enjoy it all.
From Saturday, 10th October to Sunday, 11th October, you'll be able to catch some of the hottest Latin acts, both international and local - after all, it wouldn't be a fiesta without the music! Here are 4 acts you need to see at the Darling Harbour Fiesta:
El Orqueston, performing Saturday 10th October, 3pm-4pm at Beco Latino (Palm Grove)
They're a 12-piece Afro-Cuban band, playing Salsa, Timba and Changüi. What sets them apart from other salsa bands is their set-up, emulating a modern charanga style line-up. "Afro Cuban music has everything", says, El Orqueston's spokesperson, "Percussion, great brass arrangements, cool chord progressions, harmonies, deadly rhythms, syncopation and emotional connection". And don't worry - they're no strangers to non-Latino audiences. "We frequently do shows at a venue not specifically geared to salsa, let alone the Cuban style, so our music is exposed to people who are open to something from other cultures".
Ola Fresca, performing on Saturday, 10th October, 9pm-10pm at Beco Latino (Palm Grove) and Sunday, 11th October, 3pm-3.45pm at La Clave (Darling Quarter) Hailing from Brooklyn, NYC, Ola Fresca is led by Jose Conde, and mix modern and traditional Cuban dance music with salsa, funk, and world beat rhythms. Totally works for them - they've produced 2 award-winning albums! They're all about the rhythm, as Jose points out, "Some people are born gay and don't know it for a while. I was born rhythmically inclined and it took me a long while to come out!". They're also into next-gen Latin love, their Baby Loves Salsa performance teaches kids about salsa music and Latin rhythms (performing at La Clave, 2.00pm-2.45pm on Saturday, 10th October).
C Major, performing on Sunday, 11th October, 5pm-6pm at Beco Latino (Palm Grove) If he looks familiar to you, it's because, C Major, AKA Carlos Velazquez, has worked with Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy and Stan Walker, and has appeared on Ricky Martin's team in last years The Voice. But C Major is a musical talent in his own right, and has in fact been performing for 16 years. Mixing RnB, soul and latin sounds into his performance, C Major says, "Musically we are on point, and we respect our heritage through our songs. Playing both Latin and Pop music, and singing/speaking in English and Spanish pleases the crowds".
Pato Lara, performing on Sunday, 11th October, 12.30pm-1.15pm at La Clave (Darling Quarter)
Chilean-Australian Patricio "Pato" Lara plays a mix of Boleros, Salsa, Cumbia, as well as Reggae/Funky Soul, the Brazilian Samba, Bossanova and Spanish Rumba, and will definitely get you dancing (as will the rest of the fiesta, let's be honest!). Playing in front of audiences since the age of 17 has given Pato Lara a great sense of what he wants to give to them. "Life is beautiful, and sometimes we forget to see the beauty in the everyday life", he says. " The music I play with my friends is a reflection from life itself, a celebration of being alive. My main aim is for everyone to feel good within themselves and towards each other".