Berklee Summer Concert SeriesGrupo Fantasia
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Originally from the Dominican Republic, Angel Wagner began his career playing with a cheese grater and fork. At age 11, he went on professional tour with a merengue band, later performing in Miami and at Madison Square Garden in New York. Warner has performed with such groups as Aramis Camilo, Orquestra Cafe, Luis Ovalles, and Manguito. Wagner formed Grupo Fantasia in 1993, with musicians from all around the world. Over the years, Fantasia has performed at the Calle Ocho festival in Miami, as well as touring extensively throughout the Northeast. Wagner's performances include a multitude of schools, universities, colleges, fundraisers, private functions, and musical galas, affording him to team up with the most exclusive event coordinators and party planners in New England.
Wagner provides traditional island entertainment for all people and much of the music is performed on original, handmade indigenous instruments. The extensive repertoire includes original and cover songs from the Caribbean and Latin America. Also represented are various Cuban, Dominican merengue, Puerto Rican vomba and plena, Colombian cumbia, Mexican mariachi, calypso, reggae and salsa music.
Some of Wagner's performances include, the Lowell Folk Life Center, Museum of Fine Arts, the Concord Museum, the Museum of Science, the De Cordova Museum, Castle Hill, and the Boston Children's Museum. In July of 1996 he performed on the State House steps for the passing of the Olympic Torch in Providence, Rhode Island. Wagner was honored on two occasions in 1998 by performing for President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton. In 2008 Grupo Fantasia was honored by performing the 76th birthday party for Senator Ted Kennedy at his Hyannisport compound.
Fantasia has won many awards in Latin categories, including Boston's prestigious 1993 Expose Award for Best Spanish Band (1993), runner-up in the Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce Award for Education (1999) and the 2003 Boston Music Award Nominee for Best World Class Act. Grupo Fantasia was the 2009 winner of the New England Urban Music Award for Best Latin Band.
Wagner has filmed television programs including: for WUNI 27, PBS programs and Mosaic for WLVI TV 56 in Boston. Film credits include The Blue Diner (2001) and My Best Friend's Girl, (2008) starring Kate Hudson and Dane Cook.
The Grupo Fantasia concert is hosted by the Hyde Square Task Force.