Tito Puente Latin Music Series Returns with Free Outdoor Concerts Across Boston

By 
Nick Balkin
June 14, 2012
Combo Sabroso
Marcus Santos (left) and Mikael Ringquist
Gerami Groover of Revelación Latina: the Latin Project

The Tito Puente Latin Music Series takes place in July and August at outdoor locations across Boston. The six-concert series is an infectious soundscape of salsa, bolero, danzón, Afro-Latin, Caribbean, jazz, funk, R&B, and more. Performers include Berklee faculty, students, alumni, and world-renowned artists from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ecuador, Brazil, and throughout Latin America. 

The Tito Puente Latin Music Series kicks off July 5 at O'Day Park in the South End, then moves to Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain July 12; Blackstone Park in the South End July 19; the East Boston Greenway Caboose July 26; Sheehy Park in Mission Hill August 2; and O'Day Park August 9. 

All concerts are from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. except the Boston Landmarks Orchestra on July 19, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 617 927-1707, or visit berklee.edu/events/summer for information. All locations are wheelchair accessible. The O'Day Park concerts move inside to Villa Victoria Center for the Arts when raining. All others are canceled with no rain dates. 

The Tito Puente Latin Music Series is presented by Berklee College of Music, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, ParkARTS, and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events. The series is part of Berklee's Summer in the City, which features over 100 free outdoor concerts throughout the Boston area from June to September. As presenting sponsor of the 2012 concert series, Natixis Global Asset Management is committed to preserving cultural experience through the power of music. 

July 5 - Homenaje a la Salsa at O'Day Park, 85 West Newton Street, Boston

Puerto Rican percussionist Frankie Rodríguez has been a mainstay in the New England music scene as the go-to band leader whenever salsa super stars are performing in the region. Some of these artists include Ismael Miranda, Larry Harlow, Lalo Rodríguez, and Cheo Feliciano. His band Homenaje a la Salsa joins the talents of some of the best performers from the region and offers an exciting blend of salsa hits from the last four decades. 

July 12 - Revelación Latina: the Latin Project at Mozart Park, 10 Mozart Street, Jamaica Plain

Revelación Latina: the Latin Project is a diverse group whose mission is to educate, collaborate, and unite all of the performing arts through Latin music. Under the management of Mariano Neris and artistic direction of Berklee student Gerami Groover, the Latin Project blends Cuban salsa music with American influences. 

July 19 - Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Blackstone Park, 1525 Washington Street, Boston

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra presents exceptional orchestral music performances in significant architectural, historical, and geographical settings throughout the Boston area, always free to the public. Founded in 2001 by Conductor Charles Ansbacher, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra is one of only a few professional orchestras in the country whose mission is to perform all free concerts.

July 26 - Mango Blue at East Boston Greenway Caboose, 144 Marginal Street, East Boston

Mango Blue blends Afro-Latin and world music to create songs of celebration with a social conscience. Led by Ecuadorian composer, bassist, singer, and Berklee alumnus Alex Alvear, the group playfully integrates a wide array of influences, from R&B, jazz, and funk to Caribbean and Afro-Latin music—a stylistic fusion that transcends ethnic boundaries, providing new colors in the Latin music palette.

August 2 - Combo Sabroso at Mission Hill/Sheehy Park, 1545 Tremont Street, Boston

Combo Sabroso is a Latin dance band influenced by the ensembles of Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente. Led by assistant professor Matt Jenson, its repertoire ranges from cha cha, danzón, and bolero to salsa, Latin jazz, plena, and other styles.  

August 9 - Mikael Ringquist, Marcus Santos, and Bloco AfroBrazil at O'Day Park, 85 West Newton Street, Boston

Bloco AfroBrazil, led by associate professor Mikael Ringquist and alumnus Marcus Santos, is a 12-piece percussion ensemble with an interactive show that combines traditional Brazilian grooves like samba and axé with funk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop.

Now in its 16th year, ParkARTS began as Mayor Thomas M. Menino's initiative to present a yearlong program of arts- and culture-related programs and events in Boston's park system. ParkARTS, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department's multifaceted arts program incorporates the visual, performing, and participatory arts. The 2012 ParkARTS performing arts program, sponsored by Bank of America, will present concerts in Boston neighborhood parks that range from jazz to symphonic music. 

Villa Victoria Center for the Arts is a nonprofit arts and culture center dedicated to preserving, promoting, and celebrating Latino arts and artists, and creating dynamic cross-cultural collaborations.  Villa Victoria Center for the Arts is a program of Inquilinous Boricuas en Acción, a non-profit organization that since 1968 has been a leader in the Boston community for holistic community development and programming. Villa Victoria Center for the Arts is located in the heart of Villa Victoria, on West Newton Street (between Tremont Street and Shawmut Avenue).

The Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events (MOATSE) is responsible for advancing the arts, tourism, and culture in the city of Boston by providing advocacy, support, and promotional and technical assistance, and by producing special events and public celebrations that reflect the city's rich diversity.

Berklee's Office of Community Affairs and Campus Engagement (CACE) cultivates and manages institutional relationships, partnerships, and programs that advance the college, mobilize musicians as leaders, and contribute to the cultural, educational, and artistic development of the Boston area and our society.