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I S S U E N0.13 April -June 2017

WELCOME TO Culture is one of Latin America’s most enduring and exciting exports; we inspire, provoke and bring joy with our unique perspectives and creativity, whether through music, dance, film or art. And this Spring and Summer it’s already pouring culture, with new political thrillers, ground-breaking tango and flamenco and music that pushes boundaries. April’s La Linea will be hotly followed by three other Latin festivals in June and July (see guide pages) and we’re having to pack in two interviews per issue; in this one, Cuba’s biggest act of the moment, the charming boys from Gente de Zona, and Mexico’s biggest film star Gaél García Bernál. Yet, culture is not the only thing to celebrate. This issue we dedicate to the Latin Ladies, in all their forms, their beauty, their strength and their talents. Latinas of diverse backgrounds tell us what it means to be a Latina in the UK. Hopefully we’ll see them, and you, celebrating at one of this year’s fantastic events. Amaranta Wright, Editor


FRONT SECTION: Latin Hotlist, News and Gossip


LA GALERIA: Livin’ the Latin vibe






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FOOD: In Praise of the Plantain


FILM: Gael García Bernal The Power of Poetry


Top Ten Latin American Political Thrillers


MUSIC: Latest music reviews


TRAVEL: Top Ten Things to do in Mexico City


WHAT’S ON: Your listings guide to Latin London


LATIN LONDONER: Omar Puente The Jazz Violinist



Latinolife is produced by: Editor: Amaranta Wright • Music Editor: Jose Luis Seijas Film Editor: Corina Poore • Listings Editor: Lewis Blakeman Listings Editor: Jesús Gualberto • Designer: Antonella Perreca • •



LATIN MOMENTS… Reggeatón Revival

The name may not be in neon, but the Reggeatón beat is now the undisputed soundtrack to global dance floors. Once shunned by the music industry, few artists now resist its soulful (and commercial) pull if they want to keep their dance floors full. Just ask DJ Snake and David Guetta (All The Way up Remix) or Lethal Bizzle’s (Fester Skank) and Clean Bandit (Rockabye). Last month saw the 10th anniversary of London’s pioneering Reggeatón night, La Bomba, which sold out Islington’s O2 Academy and will soon be rolled out nationwide. Mirroring its resilience, Nicky Jam, one of Reggeatón’s original stars, played at Wembley Arena. Next up, DJ Cazzanova, on April 13th, and then comes a summer of Reggeatón love, proving the genre has defied its detractors and is very much here to stay.

Spanish Theatrics…

Why didn’t anyone think of it before, a Spanish Theatre in London? Well luckily, Jorge de Juan, the actor and director from Cartagena did. First came the Spanish Theatre Company, then came the Cervantes Theatre, whose highly-acclaimed productions are performed in Spanish on Monday-Tuesday, and in English Wednesday-Saturday. With the vision of putting on diverse Spanish plays from Lorca’s classic Blood Wedding to the surrealist ‘Darwin’s Tortoise’ (Juan Mayorga), the tenacious Spaniard managed to raise over £200,000, court patrons such as Antonio Banderas, Mario Vargas Llosa and Tamara Rojo, and even a host of footballers including Juan Mata and Chelsea’s John Terry. Impressive.

Let’s Latino Up the Oscars

While the Oscars responded to #OscarSoWhite, with a long-awaited recognition of Black film talent this year, the Latinos got the short straw. Some wondered if this was any surprise, when Hollywood’s biggest Latina star, Sofia “I’m not from here” Vergara seems not to mind mocking herself whilst presenting The Golden Globes, and its “anal” traditions. Some Latinos managed to make their voices heard in what was surely Hollywood’s most political year, with glorious Trump references from Gael Garcia Bernal’s and Lin Manuel Miranda. Still, The Trump was obviously too busy thinking about Sofia Vergara’s anus to rail against the other ‘fake’ Oscar presenters on twitter.

…And World Cup Drama

The World Cup’s most exciting qualifying group just got hotter. With Messi-less Argentina feeling the heat, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay all have a chance for Latin America’s three remaining places. Messi was issued a four-match ban for verbally abusing a match official, hours before Argentina lost to Bolivia. Now the albicelestes face Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela, without Messi, before he is allowed back to play Ecuador. Not that anyone would want to gloat about Messi’s troubling relationship with his national football, and the ensuing unpopularity its caused him in Argentina. But let the race for the World Cup Finals begin!.



Inca Silver Inspired by her trip up the Inca trail, Bali-based jewellery designer Mariella Pilato couldn’t help but craft a number of gorgeous pieces. Indeed, her sterling silver and gold plated earrings, rings and necklaces with turquoise at their heart, capture the beauty and history of the Sacred Valley. Born and raised in Sorrento – land of great myths linked to the Homeric heroes – Mariella gravitates to magical places, rich in history and ancient arts, for inspiration.

The Scent of Andalucia

Our favourite Spanish perfume house has come up with yet another intoxicating scent, in a deep red colour, translating the tempo, the ritual, the fire and passion of Flamenco. “Hyponitic and exciting” is how master perfumer Ramon Monegal, whose family founded the 100-year-old House of Myrugia, describes his latest creation. The price is not cheap, but neither is the smell. One wouldn’t expect anything less sublime from a brand that has long served the Spanish Royal Family. Take a sniff and you’ll see what we get so excited about. Available exclusively at Harrods

Summer Latin Takeover

The Snack of Gods

After a drought of Latin festivals over the past few years, suddenly it pours. This year you can delay your summer holidays until August to enjoy not one, not two but three exciting events. La Clave, London’s only FREE Latin multi-Arts festival kicks us off with everything from the best live music, a futsal Copa America, dance parades, film screenings, talks and workshops, to a 1940s-style Latin dinner experience and an after party till 2am. If that doesn’t quench your thirst Reggeatón Fest hits Wembley Arena in July with Daddy Yankee and Ozuna, and two weeks later you have ¡Hola London! featuring Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, and David Bisbal.

Just like empanadas, every Latin American country boasts to be the owner of the delectable dulce de leche and its sister, the alfajor; the two crumbly cookies that sandwich the gorgeous caramel stuff. But in our opinion no one does them quite like the Argentines, where they can be covered with chocolate, glazed sugar, powder sugar or meringue to create a melt in the mouth treat. There are many versions of alfajores, and each Argentine province has its traditional type, including jam-filled alfajores. Get yours at



Explosive ALEGRÍA 8

Gente de Zona

It would seem that anything touches turns to gold. Whether it’s putting Enrique Iglesias back at the top of the charts, or keeping Marc Anthony relevant, everyone who’se anyone in music goes to this Cuban Reggeatón outfit to make global hits. But it hasn’t happened over night. Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcolm, whose songs have amassed almost 9 billion YouTube views, know the meaning of endurance. Ahead of their UK debut in May, where they will also receive the LUKAS international Act of the Year, Latinolife found Cuba’s most famous duo oozing the best of Cuban pride and happiness. It’s no surprise they are so contagious.


Latinolife: Coming from an island that has given so much music to the world, how does it feel to fill the shoes of so many great musicians? Gente de Zona: Well, you can-

not hide from the musical heritage that Cuba has, as the birthplace of so many great musicians and genres that have conquered the world! It makes us super proud to be the group which, at the moment, is representing Cuba globally, especially with a genre that was frowned upon by the authorities. We feel like we’ve broken a barrier, here and also abroad with Reggaetón Cubano, by showing it is also part of the same tradition that created Cha Cha Cha, Songo, etc. We mix the roots of Cuban music with what is happening right now, but like all new things, not everyone accepts it at first.

LL: Well that takes me straight into my next question, how did you manage to thrive doing Reggaetón when at one point there was talk of it being banned in Cuba? GDZ: When the music is good,

when there are well-written lyrics and a positive message, no barrier can stop you. The new generation and the current times have also helped because we make music for the world, for all ages, so the art and the message go beyond the genre.

LL: You have been doing this for a very long time… GDZ: It has been sixteen years! And that experience has been crucial. We

started as a rap outfit in Havana in the early 2000s and now we are mixing up all these things happening in the music world. There have been many changes and we feel that we have adapted, while still staying true to ourselves, and that makes you stronger. We feel capable of doing any genre and we can feature with any artist from Jazz to Salsa. For us it is a real privilege to have the ability to move across different types of music and develop our music in any circumstance.

“It has been sixteen years! And that experience has been crucial.” LL: Puerto Rico has been the powerhouse of URBAN Latin music for years, do you think that influence is coming to an end and that Colombia and Cuba are becoming more influential? GDZ: We don’t think so! They have

artists who are incredibly popular with fantastic trajectories such as Daddy Yankee and Don Omar and they will always be there. Look at Daddy Yankee with Despacito…number one everywhere. Don Omar is coming back very strong after a few quiet years. But i guess a new generation is coming, Colombia has some really big names such as J Balvin and Maluma and well Cuba, Gente de Zona are in a great space at the moment. Thank god! But also you have Cubans like Jacob Forever and El Chakal who are very good.



LL: Who else do you feel coming out of Cuba has enough talent and skill to break into the international market? GDZ: Loads! So many artists in the

island who are pretty much unknown outside the island but have tremendous talent. Jacob Forever, El Chakal, and Yakarta to name a few. Cuba has a very discerning public and continues to produce world class artists. We grew up listening to great music legends such as Adalberto Alvarez, Isaac Delgado, Irakere, Los Van Van, NG La Banda…imagine, people have the references to compare anyone new to. Cuba is a place where artists and sports people have an important role in society, and there is a new generation of kids coming through, full of talent and they for sure will surpass what we have done.

““Cuba is a place where artists and sports people have an important role in society, and there is a new generation of kids coming through, full of talent and they for sure will surpass what we have done.”


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LL: You have had some fantastic hits featuring so far, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Daddy Yankee, Sean Paul…any new projects coming up? GDZ: At the moment we are work-

ing on our new album. Soon we will release a single, with no featuring, and after that, loads of featuring…but we are not telling you who with now otherwise you won’t be calling us for another interview in the near future (laughs)…but we also want it to be a big surprise for our fans.

“When the music is good, when there are well-written lyrics and a positive message, no barrier can stop you” LL: The European tour, tell me more about it… GDZ: We have a 12 piece band. They

are part of Gente de Zona. This is not just Randy and Alexander! They are as important as us and they are as proactive in the live shows as we are. We just did four concerts in Spain: Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona and la Coruna and the new leg of the tour will cover London and the south of Spain, so you will all have to come and see what all the fuss is about with Gente de Zona!. Gente de Zona will make their London concert debut at The Troxy on May 23, and receive the International artist of the Year at the LUKAS Awards ceremony before hand.


Sembrando Cultura:

This is How

We do It!

Maria Luna, a Dominican American residing in London, speaks to four Latinas in the United States, Scotland and England to find out what it means to be a Latina and how a Latina maintains or compromises her culture when she starts a new life so far away from la patria. By Maria V. Luna

The Super Latina: She speaks Spanglish and makes music out of mundane sentences. She dances as she cleans and gesticulates wildly. The party starts when she enters the room and when she’s gone so goes the intoxicating spirit of vitality. Natacha Ginocchio packed her bags and moved from Cuba to Miami to New York City, settling in the suburb of Westchester. Seemingly, she navigated further and further away from her Latin culture. Or could it be, she carries cultura in her heart and takes it everywhere she goes? Natacha, Public Relations Specialist and Founder of Azúcar Communications, was born and raised in Cuba for 21 years and loves being Cuban. “I have a strong Cuban identity and I bring that pride with me everywhere I go around the world. I am very, very Cuban and therefore Latina. But I don’t think I am too Latina. Even if I am, and maybe I am for some people, I don’t know how to be any other way.” Her two daughters, ages 2 and 4, are growing up bicultural and Mami is do-

ing her best to make sure Cuba features prominently in their upbringing. “It is difficult to keep up the culture in Westchester but I speak to them in Spanish. Sometimes I go to daycare to pick them up and their teachers tell me things like, ‘I can see your daughters are learning how to dance. They move their hips like Latinas.’ The teachers who are educating my kids are Americans.”


And how did Natacha receive these comments from her daughters’ teachers? “I felt flattered. I would feel like a total failure if my daughters didn’t dance well.” When asked if she feels her daughters are Latinas, Natacha responds, “You can tell they are Americans, that they are not La—.” Natacha doesn’t finish the word because it is an idea she cannot bring herself to say. “I feel that they will always walk a line between this American and Latin American identity. They won’t be regular Americans in the U.S. and when they go to Cuba they won’t be Latinas—they will be Americans. And that’s fine with me. It’s a line that they will need to learn how to walk.”

The Beauty Queen: She’s flawless.

She occupies that lofty platform of transcendent beauties that represent entire nations. In contests of grace and charm, so often the crown goes to Latinas—reinas de la raza cósmica. Latinas in Latin America and in the U.S. undoubtedly garner the most airtime in the collective imagination, media and entertainment. Tara Hoyos-Martinez, a Londoner born and bred, shares her experience as a Latina en Londres.

The first thing Tara does though, is distinguish between the term Latina and Colombian. “I am Colombian. We call ourselves Colombians in general but in the UK, I think it is easier to describe yourself as a Latina because so many people don’t even know where Colombia is on a map. But if you’re talking to someone who is more cultured then we say Colombian and that is the first choice.”

“I think it is easier to describe yourself as a Latina because so many people don’t even know where Colombia is on a map.” In 2010, Tara was crowned Miss Universe Great Britain, making her the first titleholder of Latin American ancestry. She was the pride of both Colombia and Colombians in the UK. When asked if she played up to the Latina ‘Beauty Queen’ stereotype or whether she broke with the enduring label she says, “I think both. I played up to it because I’ve been brought up in that culture, so I watched Miss Universe and Miss World my whole life and that was a major factor that made me pursue the pageant. But I broke against it because I did not grow up in Colombia and I did not train to be a pageant queen. I just felt like it worked in my favour on both sides because it gave me a little bit extra—something different to talk about to the press.”


“PuRe Heaven” METRO

19 July 6 August tanguera 210x148.5.indd 1

Sadler’s Wells Theatre Angel 29/03/2017 11:16


Tara says her upbringing was very Colombian, so much so that she was bullied for it while at school in London. She notes too that when she returns to Colombia, she is not exactly “Latina enough.” “Yes. When I land in Colombia, it feels like home. The air, the people, the culture, the food—everything tastes, smells and feels like home. But there is something I sort of missed out on. People there refer to me as la inglecita because I wasn’t born in Colombia and they still hold that against me.”


speaking with Latinos. As parents, many of them could not speak to their children in English or help them with their homework. That made me nervous and I didn’t want the same for my children. So I spent some time away from Latinos and that’s how I learned English.” Of her daughters who are 2 and 9 years old, Susan says, “No I don’t think I would consider them Latinas. I am, but I don’t think they are.” She offers unapologetic words of wisdom for Latinas exploring and living outside of Latin America. “I think it’s important that when you travel that you don’t let your own culture consume you. I didn’t feel the need to bring my Venezuelan culture to England. I am in the UK, not in Venezuela. I don’t feel that I am losing my Latin culture by not always being around Latinos. Whoever knows me, knows I am Latina.”

The Maternal Latina:

She does what is best for her family even if that means making compromises. She raises her children in a better place than where she grew up and though she misses her patria, and her children may not speak her mother tongue, her tierra querida is never too far from her pensamiento. When a Latina leaves her patria, she holds on to her cultura tightly for as long as she can, but sometimes she must let go in order to get ahead. Susan Young of South London was born in Venezuela and came to the UK when she was 21 years old. Her pursuit of integration in a new land included making a compromise. “At first, I used to try to maintain my culture. But with the years I didn’t feel that I was excelling as I was only around Latinos and


The Resourceful Latina:

She makes it work. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff and is not easily shaken. Her practicality is unmatched and her creativity unrivaled. Sisy Leon Flores was born in Lima, Peru. She met her husband on his first day backpacking in her country. They came from two different worlds and marriage was the only way to be together. They navigated a challenging visa process and within a few months Sisy arrived in Scotland to forge a future with her new husband. Sisy, an assistant teacher by day and Spanish teacher at the University of Aberdeen in the evenings, found interesting ways to incorporate her patria into her new life in the UK. “I cook Peruvian food and bring decorations from Peru to adorn my home. Also, I am part of a Facebook group called Cafe Latino/Aberdeen. We get together once a month and guests bring a dish from their country. I take salsa classes. Sometimes I give a dinner at my

home and invite my friends, who are mostly foreigners, and I cook Peruvian food, which gives me pride. I cook arroz chaufa, a mix of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines; ají de gallina; and papa a la huancaina. There aren’t any places for me to buy Peruvian spices here so I always bring a lot of ingredients back from Peru.” Cultural hybridity also feature in Sisy’s thoughts of her future. A new mami in August, this Latina is planning ways to ensure her baby grows up knowing he or she is Latin American.

Dance Consortium Presents a Sadler’s Wells Production

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

An alternative take on tango

m¡longa “m¡longa is a very beautiful show indeed” Daily Telegraph

Sadler’s Wells Theatre 020 7863 8000 Angel

22 - 24 May



“I found Chile terrifying,” says Carole. “What struck me was the machismo. The patriarchy. I did not feel like a foreigner but like a woman going back to a country that is conservative concerning women’s rights.” Through exile and return, competing ideas of home and culture, Carole’s idea of Latinidad has been shaped in ways so abstract that she still tries to untangle them today.

The Activist: She lures your gaze to the past and boldly narrates a family history that speaks to universal displacement, divided politics, and fractured humanity. She is the moral compass of our future and the historian of our collective memory.

In 1975, one-year-old Carole Concha Bell and her family journeyed into exile. They fled Chile as refugees during the Pinochet dictatorship.

“I don’t feel that I am losing my Latin culture by not always being around Latinos. Whoever knows me, knows I am Latina.” “My grandfather Santiago Bell,” Carole recounts, “was a government official for the left wing president Allende. He was detained for no reason then charged with treason but the charges were dropped. He was held in a concentration camp in the South of Chile for two years.” Carole’s formative years spent exiled in the UK stifled her sense of home and belonging as the family always hoped to return to Chile and they reminded Carole that the UK was not their home. In 1990, after Pinochet was deposed, the Bell family set off for the motherland.

She uses her blog and social media page to share ideas around identity, memory and painful truths. “It’s rediscovering the horrifying past. I knew my grandfather was tortured. But as I got older I found out my tia was raped and the other was held for a year and raped. I come from a traumatized community.” A persistent activist, Carole confesses, “One of the things I do every day—and that’s my little grain of salt in the mountain of resistance—is to keep people aware of what happened in Latin America so they don’t forget. It’s kind of a mission.”

The Typical Latina:

She doesn’t exist. She is an idea that has been marketed and consumed. Anyone who knows a real Latina knows she is far too complex to bear labels and far too distinct to subscribe to stereotypes. A real Latina doesn’t let language or place define her. She simply makes a place in her heart for cultura to live peacefully and exist naturally.



plantain Pioneering Pan-Latin chef and restauranteur, Esnayder Cuartas, declares his love for this over-sized banana. It’s about time I made a public apology. For years, those lovely customers, followers and friends of mine, who’ve innocently asked me ‘What’s a Plantain?’ have got a brash, disdainful reply: It’s a starchy banana, darling.


Only recently, did I realise that this outward disinterest disguised my own ignorance. Being born and brought up in the coffee region of Colombia, plantains were as common to me as apples are to the English. But actually, I never knew much about this fascinating and delicious vegetable, that has played a huge part in my life.

The Green plantains originated in the Far East, in particular New Guinea and travelled to Africa (where they were first grown several thousand years ago) becoming a staple part of the diet on both continents where a tropical or a sub-tropical climate allowed them to flourish and form plants three to ten metres high. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the mighty plantain migrated to the new colonies in South America, given to the slaves as an inexpensive and nutritious food. In the 1620s, more than 40,000 plantains were imported annually to Cartagena, where the resident slave population consumed them along with a diet of beans, cassava, yams, and corn, all staples of today’s Latin kitchens. Known for its fertile land and coastal plains, Cuba became the transit point for Spanish expeditions in the New World, and provided ideal tropical climate conditions for plantain cultivation. Introduced into the United States in 1804, regular trade developed around harvests, and by the late 19th century, a significant industry emerged. In the 20th century, with the migration of Latinos to the US, settling along the South Eastern coast (ideal climate for plantains) bananas and plantains became less expensive, and an integrated part of U.S. food history. But enough history for now; let’s get cooking!





Patacones or tostones:

ways to eat Plantain:

Aborrajados: These are very ripe, almost black, plantains. When this ripe, they get very sweet and ideal for baking. Make a cut in the middle, length wise, put some butter in the slit and add white cheese like Mozzarella or Feta. Then bake for 30 minutes and you’ll get a delicious snack, or a dessert that goes very well with ice cream. Also fantastic on the barbeque!

For this we use green plantains, fried in vegetable oil, then flattened with the help of a wet cloth and a rolling pin, until they are thin like a wafer. You then fry them again, until crispy like a potato crisp or tortilla chip. Add salt and pepper and use them with dips like guacamole…great for parties! With shredded beef on top they make great canapés. Or use them as a garnish with fish; my favourite one is with escabeche.

Maduros: These pan-fried slices of ripe plantains go with almost any dish. Colombians, Venezuelans, and other Caribbeans will add these to almost any dish that is served with rice. A Bandeja Paisa isn’t the same without them!

Frijoles: Beans and plantains are the perfect marriage in the high Andes. Dice green plantains into small cubes and then added to the other ingredients to complement the pulses. This produces a hearty main course dish.

Sancocho, Sudados or Cocidos. : All stews benefit greatly from adding a ripe plantain. They add sweetness and softness, and will complement the flavours of the meat and the other vegetables, such as cassava and potatoes.

Esnayder Cuartas was London’s pioneer of Latin–fusion when he opened his restaurant, Islington’s Sabor. Now one of the city’s finest caterers, watch out for his splendid pop-up 1950s Retro-Latin dining experience at




Gael García Bernal gets on a roll about poetry, fascism, idealism and power as he talks to Corina Poore about the times we live in…oh, and his latest film, NERUDA. From Mexican independent cinema to household name, it’s been quite a journey for Gael García Bernal. He started out with the best, in the films of Alejandro Iñarritú and Alfonso Cuarón, and continued with them to conquer Hollywood. Of all of Mexican movie darlings, however, Bernal has probably been the most outspoken. And when we met in London, the actor’s passion for politics was more evident than ever; a readiness to make parallels between the film he’d come to promote, NERUDA, and the Trump era, softened by his unpretentious demeanour, dashing looks and ever-winning smile. Bernal’s talent seems to have come, at least in part, from his genes. His mother (Patricia Bernal) is an actress and model and his father (José Ángel García) an actor and director, even his stepfather is cinematographer Sergio Yazbek. Having started out as a child actor, appearing in short films, plays and the soap opera El Abuelo y Yo, Gael jumped at the chance to be the first Mexican ever accepted at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.


Not long after leaving Drama school, Gael caught the world’s attention in Alejandro Iñarritú’s Amores Perros (2000), closely followed by his appearance in Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu Mamá también (2001). Since then, he’s had the skill to choose diverse but quality scripts, from playing Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries to Hollywood comedy La Casa de mi Padre, with Will Farrell. At the same time, Gael has never shied away from confronting political and social issues, in films such as ‘Even the Rain’ (2010) which cleverly compared colonial Spanish and modern-day US exploitation in Bolivia or Jonás Cuarón’s Desierto (2015) about a group of Mexican migrants crossing the US border. In fact, the last time the Mexican worked with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (Hollywood’s latest Latin darling and director of ‘Jackie’), it was in No (2012) set during the plebiscite that decided whether Pinochet remain in power. Now, in NERUDA, Bernal plays the investigator (Oscar Peluchonneau) tasked with finding Pablo Neruda, after an arrest warrant was issued for the then diplomat (later famous poet) in 1948.

Latino Life: What was it like working with Pablo Larraín again? Gael García Bernal: It’s always wonderful! He is so joyful, when we are doing the film, you know, it’s like… when he is shooting he just lets everything free and loose and there is a natural rapport now and I am so lucky to have found such a great… or he found me…I don’t know, we found each other in this way, because I feel he is a person I want to work with all my life… he is a fantastic director, and great friend as well. We laugh a lot and we can go deep, and we can go very shallow as well, we can just go in any direction, I don’t know … I also like his understanding of cinema, how he makes films that are films, film as film, not like the first episode of a series.




LL: Larrain asked Luis (Gnecco) to put on weight, so what did you have to do to prepare for the part, because it is quite a restrained role you play how did he want you to prepare? Bernal: Well, we don’t rehearse with Pablo and that’s what is wonderful! We talk a little bit, we have sporadic phone calls, you know, and we just start to talk about how to do this, and we start to do the homework, as actors, also having worked with him, we understand more or less where we are heading, and I wanted to play this policeman that has many elements of a policeman from a film noir, that makes him avant-garde in a sense, because this film is set in 1947. There are aspects, you know, that sets the kind of person he is, you know. He is the bastard son, and the son of a prostitute, all of these elements add up to the construction of a character.


So, the process is like working with a piece of clay. You start to mould him and later it becomes something.

LL: How important was the moustache? It seems to make the character… Bernal: It is very important, yes. And the haircut, the moustache with the haircut! Because that haircut is what many footballers are using right now and they do not realize that they have fascist haircuts… but it is… it is…it is a fascist type of haircut…I couldn’t believe it when I saw Messi playing in the Champions League in Berlin, in the Olympic Stadium and I thought, oh man, you look like a little Franco, you know, running around!

“it is a fascist type of haircut…I couldn’t believe it when I saw Messi playing in the Champions League in Berlin, ina the Olympic Stadium and I thought, oh man, you look like a little Franco, running around!” LL: What is the relationship between poetry and Fascism because your character is sort of afraid of poetry… Bernal: Yes, there is a relationship, you know, they are opposites! Fascism is afraid of thinking altogether. That is why poetry is so… so powerful, because it inspires people in such a way that, you know it takes all the resources and energy of a system to try to shut down a person’s thoughts. We’ve seen this in many periods of history, but even now… I mean we are living that


This is a moment when we need poetry, to describe, to ask new questions and look for answers for because fascism doesn’t do that, its shuts down the questions and stops us finding solutions to the problems we face. Fascism is like a shaman…“I will fix it, I will fix everything, because I know all the answers!” In times of fear people are attracted to certainty, and fascism manipulates that. And poetry is anything but certain! Poetry achieves a more mathematical, even quantum, explanation of things that can be anything, yet at the same time reaches a conclusion that is much more …for the common good, and it incorporates… it is not dangerous in that sense. Poetry is the maximum expression of the common good.

“there were many poets, intellectuals, illustrators, in many parts of the world that were also part of governments, and we need to regain that.” LL: Was the humour in the film planned from the beginning or was there some improvisation? Bernal: It was always in the script, I think the pillar of humour is intrinsic in the whole system trying to shut down the poet. It is like the government trying to shut down Monty Python. I mean, the whole idea of trying to stop a person thinking and the person is saying, actually I am just going to keep on thinking is funny in a way. But it’s also a tragedy. There is always a fine line between the two.

LL: And what about this tragedy, poetry and politics, how do you see this relevant in the world around us today Bernal: This man who I play should have been the natural recipient of Neruda’s poetry. He is a marginalized person of society, who all of a sudden chose the very bleak, short-term and implosive view of Fascism instead of the expansive, ambitious, flexible and creative aspect of Socialism. This is a choice that people were facing all around the world post second world war. In the US, not so much, because they had decided on their capitalist path, but what we are living now is incredible because now they are having to face these choices. They have shown their true colours. Yes, they have tried to put themselves as the good guys of the movie, but they are not! No, no, they are a bunch of racists, let’s be open about it. But in 1947, early 20th century as well, but mainly post-war, there were many poets, intellectuals, illustrators, in many parts of the world that were also part of the governments, you know. In England writers, like… Bernard Shaw, Chesterton, in France, Aragon, Valerie, Malraux, I mean , in Mexico, Octavio Paz, Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, … in Chile, Pablo Neruda. We need to have these creative kind of people in government, with this expansive kind of outlook on life, instead of this propaganda that appeals to the narrow and negative: “I know nothing therefore vote for me! I am not a politician, therefore vote for me!” If anything maybe that is something this film can express.

30 Is it any surprise that Latin America has produced some of the world’s best political thrillers? Latin noir has offered an imaginative terrain for questioning the shady practices of government and exposing the machinations and corruption of the state - police, military and judiciary - that have been normalised in day to day life. Professors Maria Delgado and Stephen Hart select Ten Political thrillers that have delivered a critical edge, allowing a moment in recent history to be seen anew without ever falling into easy propaganda.

Political Thrillers

Operation Massacre (Jorge Cedrón, Argentina 1973)

A reconstruction of the true story of the doomed civilian coup of 1956, which ended in the brutal massacre of the “subversives” in Greater Buenos Aires. The cast includes Julio Troxier, one of the actual survivors of the massacre, who, soon after the film was released, was assassinated by Triple A, Argentina’s Right-Wing Death Squad, making this film eerily prescient of the horrors of the Dirty War (1975-1983) about to be unleashed.

The Official Version (dir. Luis Puenzo, Argentina 1984)

Alicia (Norma Aleandro) reluctantly suspects that the daughter presented to her by her husband, Roberto (Héctor Alterio), a high-ranking military official, may have belonged to a political prisoner, so she decides to investigate – and, after many twists and turns, finds out more than she bargained for. This was Argentina’s first film about the black secrets of its Dirty War as well as its first Best Foreign-language film Oscar winner.

Moebius (dir. Gustavo Mosquera, Argentina, 1996)

A sci-fi thriller set in a dystopian future Buenos Aires. When the controllers of the Underground discover that a train – along with all its passengers – has gone missing, they at first deny it has happened. They then send an investigator down the underground to find the train. A quirky sequence of events ensues – including in a thought-provoking film that is also a story about Argentina’s disappeared.

Nine Queens (Fabián Bielinsky, Argentina 2000)

This highly entertaining heist thriller interlinks criminality and capitalism, exposing the fiscal recklessness of a government that promoted deregulation to devastating effect. Ricardo Darín and Gastón Pauls excel as the conmen who hook for the deal of a lifetime. Be warned! You can’t quite believe everything you see in a bustling Buenos Aires where trickery and wheeler dealing is the name of the game.

MUSIC Chronicle of an Escape (dir. Israel Adrián Caetano, Argentina 2006)

The true story of how Claudio Tamburrini, believed to be a “subversive”, is kidnapped by the military police, taken to a secret detention centre and tortured. Trouble is, he’s a goalkeeper in a minor league football team who knows nothing about politics, but they don’t believe him. His only hope is to break out; he teams up with three other detainees and they plan their escape. This is the story of what happened next.

Elite Squad (dir. José Padhila, Brazil 2007)

As the recently promoted head of Rio’s Special Police Operations Battalion, Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) ruthlessly outwits and outguns the drug barons who are destroying the “favelas” of Rio, only to realize that all he has done is to make life easier for the dodgy cops and corrupt politicians who are working behind the scenes with the criminals. This fast paced and edgy drama has proved one of Brazil’s greatest ever box-office successes.


The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, Argentina 2009)

Post mortem (Pablo Larraín, Chile 2010)

The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina 2007)

The Clan (Pablo Trapero, Argentina 2015)

Another Best Foreignlanguage film Oscar Winner (and the same cinematographer as the first), this gem delivers an entertaining romance-cumthriller realised across two time periods. A gruesome unsolved murder serves as the narrative hinge for an exploration of memory politics and the need to come to terms with the traumas of the past. Another vehicle for Argentina’s Everyman Ricardo Darín.

A hit and run accident serves as the catalyst for an exploration of the operative structures of Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship. As María Onetto’s Verónica goes into shock, her family work stealthily to conceal all traces of the event. A masterful film about denial, trauma and the ghosts of the past.

All Larraín’s films deal with the culture of impunity – here the coup that brought down Salvador Allende is explored through the eyes of a spectral mortuary assistant played by Larraín regular Alfredo Castro. There are elements of the zombie movie as bodies pile up in the mortuary in an endless night of the living dead. In Post mortem, Larraín provides an eerie metaphor for the stupor and stagnation of the Pinochet dictatorship.

The terrifyingly unbelievable tale of the Pucchio family – who kidnapped four people for extortion between 1982 and 1985. Skilfully retold as a high-octane film cutting across the different time periods and from the point of view of the perpetrator, it warns of the perils that ensue when immunity from prosecution is legitimised.

Professors Maria M. Delgado and Stephen M. Hart are editors (with Randal Johnson) of the Wiley Blackwell Companion to Latin American Cinema, out on 11 April. Both will talk on the subject at La Clave Fest 2017 in N8 9jj on Saturday 17th June.




by DJ


Eliane Elias: Dance of Time

East West Records

(Concord Jazz)

This is the album that won Jesse & Joy, the Mexican brother and sister duo, their first US Grammy for best Latin pop album in February this year. It’s also their first to feature songs in English, some of which have already been huge hits in Latin America in their original Spanish versions.

Eliane Elias breathes new life into samba in her latest album - a celebration not only of this uniquely Brazilian sound, but also of her collaboration with musicians who have played an important role in her career. With her silky voice and deft piano-playing, she produces glorious jazzy arrangements of classics, from the infectious dance rhythms of João Gilberto’s O Pato, to the more lyrical Na Batucada da Vida, written by Ary Barroso. The album includes several of Elias’ own compositions, including An Up Dawn, an upbeat duet with her mentor, pianist Amilton Godoy, and, one of my favourites, the plaintive Not to Cry (Pra Não Chorar), co-written and performed with singer/songwriter and guitarist, Toquinho. Trumpeter Randy Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, singer/songwriter and guitarist, João Bosco and singer Mark Kibble complete the line-up, on a marvellous record which will lift your spirits.

Philippe Baden Powell: Notes Over Poetry (Far Out Recordings)

Philippe Baden Powell himself says it was perhaps inevitable that he would follow in his famous father’s footsteps and become a musician. The son of Brazilian guitar virtuoso, Baden Powell de Aquino, he’s been immersed in music from an early age, and has played with many of Brazil’s bestloved musicians, including Seu Jorge and Flora Purim. It’s these encounters, he says, that have inspired him for the songs on this very fine new album. His compositions explore a range of styles that go far beyond his Brazilian roots - from jazz and samba, to hip/ hop and RnB. His piano-playing sparkles, and his laid-back vocals on two of the tracks are quintessential Brazil. But jazz is all about collaboration, and the musicians he’s playing with, including French jazz drummer, André Ceccarelli, Belgian jazz vocalist, David Linx, and Afro-Brazilian percussionist Ruca Rebordão, are all top-notch. Notes Over Poetry most certainly lives up to its name.

Their popularity is easy to understand. There’s something for everyone here - heart-felt ballads, catchy Salsa tunes to make you dance, mariachi trumpets, a bit of country and easy-listening pop. Joy’s mellifluous voice is effortless in both languages and all genres, and Jesse’s abilities on the piano, drums and guitar shine through in the arrangements. I personally prefer the songs in Spanish, but if singing in English means they will reach a wider audience here in the UK and in Europe, then that is no bad thing.

Top 10 Must-Dos in Magical

MEXICO CITY Built on the ruins of the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, Mexico City has mushroomed into the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. A melting pot of all that makes Mexico great - food, drinks, art and music - and with more museums and cultural institutions than any other city in the world, apart from London, it can be hard for first-time visitors to fit everything in. Travel writer Russell Maddicks, author of the recently-published Culture Smart! Guide to Mexico, brings you his top tips for enjoying this magical city like a local:


Sing Along with Serenading Mariachis

Mariachi is a music that expresses the bittersweet soul of Mexico like no other and the best place to experience it is at Plaza Garibaldi. Dressed in sombreros and silver-studded charro (Mexican cowboy) outfits troupes of musicians hang out here ready to serenade passers-by or be whisked off to play at weddings and parties. At the heart of the plaza is Salon Tenampa, a bar that has been championing the music since 1925. Decorated with huge paintings of mariachi greats, it’s easy to soak up the atmosphere - and a few cold beers - as the resident mariachis play classics like “El Rey” (The King) and “Cielito Lindo” (Pretty Little Heaven), with its catchy “Ay, ay, ay” chorus. As the night wears on and the tequila flows, the impassioned singing and cowboy yelps grow ever louder.


Eat Tacos al Pastor like a Chilango

Mexico and France are the only two countries in the world recognized by UNESCO for their gastronomy and in Mexico City you soon understand why. The huge variety of tongue-tingling dishes available here can be appreciated on the street stalls and markets that keep Chilangos (as the locals are called) fed throughout the day with snacks known as antojitos (little cravings). There is no antojito more Chilango than Tacos al Pastor; a variation on the Middle Eastern shawarma, brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. Look out for the tell-tale trompo of marinated pork turning donor-kebab-style in front of a flame.



Delve into the Arty World of Diego and Frida

The tumultuous love-story of Mexico’s most famous artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is exciting enough. But their work is something else. To appreciate Diego’s greatest work, visit his murals at the National Palace (free), depicting the rich sweep of Mexican history, from the ancient Maya and Aztecs up to the 1930s. At Frida’s home, the Casa Azul (Blue House) in Coyoacan, you can see her last painting “Viva la Vida” (Long Live Life), and her ashes, which she asked to be put in a ceramic urn in the shape of a frog (her nickname for Diego). The Casa Azul is almost always overflowing with visitors, but at the Museo Estudio, where the couple shared two ultra-modernist houses joined by a bridge, you can browse more freely through the fascinating folk art and kitschy nicknacks they collected.


Drink Like a Mexican

When it comes to drinking you should forget everything you ever learnt about Mexico and start again. Nobody sticks a wedge of lime intheir chela (beer). They either drink it straight, or pour it into a large glass with

chili power around the rim. At all costs avoid slamming shots of tequila with salt and lemon. As any Mexican will tell you, tequila, mezcal, raicilla, sotol and bacanora should all be sipped slowly, like “besos robados” (stolen kisses), or mixed in a limebased cocktail like a margarita. If you want something really weird ask for a chamoyada, made with sweet and sour chamoy sauce.


Boo the Rudos at the Wrestling

With their masks, capes and lycra tights Mexico’s luchadores look more like comic book superheroes, but the blood, sweat and tears are for real. The masks and elaborate aerial maneuvres that make Lucha Libre such an exhilarating spectacle were adopted in the 1930s and 1940s and have only got more theatrical over the years. Contests pit técnicos (heroes) against rudos (villains) or exóticos (flamboyant gender benders) in battles that can often involve three-on-three battles, both inside and outside the ring. This is fun for all the family, with children joining the adults in booing the bad guys late into the evening. Arena Mexico is the most popular venue but you get closer to the action at the smaller Arena Coliseo

where beers and hotdogs are brought to your seat.


Enjoy Fine Dining in a Famous Nun’s Cloister

Mexico City restaurants Pujol, Biko and Quintonil are ranked among the top 50 in the world and have gourmet prices to match. If you’re on a budget and you still want to enjoy culinary twists on classic Mexican dishes in a chic environment then you should have lunch at Zéfiro, a restaurant school just 15 minutes walk from the Zócalo. Set in a historic cloister once occupied by the 17th century scholar nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, it offers a three-course set menu for less than £15 that changes weekly.


Follow the Hipsters and Try Aztec Ale

Pulque, a creamy “beer” made from the fermented sap of the agave (maguey) plant, was a sacred drink in Aztec times. When Frida Kahlo wanted to give Leon Trotsky an authentic slice of Mexico City life she would take him to hang out in pulquerías (pulque bars). Nowadays, beer rules supreme but you can still find traditional places where blanco (straight pulque) is sold alongside colourful curados (flavoured with fruit juices,


coconut, or wheat). Perhaps the most famous is Las Duelistas in El Centro, which opened in 1912 and attracts a young hipster crowd. Decorated with Aztec-style murals, it boasts a jukebox that pays a mix of AC-DC and old school Mexican rock by groups like El Tri.

with so many pilgrims that the basilica has been fitted with a series of conveyor belts that speed the faithful along as they snap away on their smartphones. Climb to the shrine at the top of the hill for a series of murals that artfully depict the story of the miracle.



Take the Moving Walkway Past a Mexican Miracle

The most important pilgrimage site in Latin America is the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, an enormous modern basilica on the outskirts of Mexico City. The main focus of devotion is a venerated image of the Virgin Mary that miraculously appeared on the tilma (agave-fibre tunic) of a Nahuaspeaking native called Juan Diego de Cuautitlan on 9 December 1531. Given how important this miracle was to the conversion of the Mexican natives, what a coincidence that it took place on the hill of Tepeyac, which housed a shrine to the Aztec mother goddess Tonantzin. This is the most visited Catholic shrine on the planet


Floating Fun on the Canals of Xochimilco

The Aztecs built their capital city of Tenochtitlan on land reclaimed from Lake Texcoco using a system of canals. One of the few places you can still experience this watery world is at Xochimilco, on the outskirts of the city, where you can take a ride in a brightly-decorated trajinera (flat-bottomed boat). There’s no need to haggle as prices are fixed and displayed. Best on a Sunday when the trajineras are full and Mariachi and norteño bands hop from boat to boat playing requests for cash, while floating vendors hawk hot street-food, pulque and micheladas from bobbing canoes.


Take in the Majesty of Teotihuacán

Just an hour outside Mexico City you can channel your inner Indiana Jones as you scramble around this imposing city of towering stone pyramids and ceremonial plazas that was home to some 200,000 people at its height around 500-600 AD. The Aztecs were so impressed by its size they called it Teotihuacán, meaning “Birthplace of the Gods”. The Pyramid of the Sun is the biggest pyramid structure in the Americas and a tunnel has been found under the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl (the Plumed Serpent) that is shedding new light on the human sacrifices practised here. To avoid the crowds head for the little-visited palaces of Tetitla and Atetelco, where fascinating fragments of murals are preserved. For lunch, treat yourself to an Aztec-inspired plate of escamoles (ant larvae) at La Gruta, an exceptional restaurant set in a cave formed from a lava bubble.

Russell Maddicks’ latest book Culture Smart! Mexico was published on 3 February. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @LatAmTravelist.


APRIL-MAY 20th April – 19:00

Future Latin Sounds: Telajeta & La Kasha Music La Linea looks to the future by showcasing two of the most exciting new Latin acts. In Telajeta (LUKAS winner for Alternative Act), Venezuelan percussionist Ernesto Marichales, whose flair can also be heard on the tracks of Dance music act Sigala, rearranges and reshapes traditional folk compositions of his native land with mesmerising results. La Kasha is a new collective that mixes the rich cultural heritage of Latin American folklore with London’s evolving electronic music landscape. 13th April – 11-4am

LA BOMBA with DJ Kassanova Clubbing

Location: Concrete, 56 Shoreditch High St Shadwell, London, United Kingdom E1 6PQ

Orkesta Mendoza + DJ Scratchy Music Blending cumbia and mambo with psychedelic rock, polka, country and electronica, Orkesta Mendoza’s brash, witty reference to ‘60s instrumental pop is classy and fun. Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA

Andrés Cepeda Music Colombian Latin Grammy award-winning artist, Andrés Cepeda, returns to the UK to present his latest release ‘Mil Ciudades’. Location: Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN

25th – 29th April

Violetta’s Last Tango (with Omar Puente) Cuban jazz violinist Omar Puente leads a tango band with bandoneon player Julian Rowlands to accompany Violetta in a fusion of opera, tango and dance that tells an enchanting tale.

21st-23rd April

Teesside Salsa Festival 21st April – 20:00

25rd April


After its sizzling 10th anniversary last month, London’s explosive and essential Latin fiesta returns to spread more Latin love over London, with the help of worlds most famous Reggaeton selecter, DJ Kazzanova. Location: Angel Central, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield St, Islington N1 0PS


Festival The UK’s Biggest Salsa and Bachata Festival, which include the World Salsa Dance Championships. Three days of workshops, shows, masterclasses and non-stop party. Location: Teesside University Student Union, Borough Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 3BA Website:

Location: Wiltons Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB 28th April – 19:30

Totó la Momposina y sus Tambores Music Totó has become a legend worldwide for her traditional music from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Investigating and preserving the music of her homeland when it was unfashionable to do so, she has inspired generations. Location: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, London SW1X 9DQ


APRIL-MAY 28th April – 19:00

13th-14th May



London’s Bolívar Hall will host a homage to the pioneering Cuban classical guitarist Leo Brouwer, with performances from a selection of young UK artists curated by the excellent Ahmed Dickinson.

Two days of celebration of the art and culture of carnival, Carnival Expo brings together Carnival creators, artists, cultural enterprises and carnival enthusiasts exhibiting all facets of Carnival including, but not limited to, the Latin and Caribbean sectors. Open to the public and welcomes all!

Homage to Leo Brouwer

Location: Bolivar Hall, 54, Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL

Carnival Expo

Location: The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11, 5SS Website:

Eliane Correa & En El Aire Project + London Lucumi Choir

3rd May – 19:00

Inspired by the late night milonga scene found in the intimate bars of Buenos Aires, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui unites tango and contemporary dancers with live musicians in a unique collaboration which adds a contemporary twist to the Argentinian dance. Location: Sadler’s Wells. Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of May

Feria de Londres Festival

Fernando Montaño presents Hollywood Classics Dance

An unmissable recital by flamenco guitar legend Juan Martín, regarded by many as one of the greatest guitar players on the planet. Location: Home House London, 20 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LW

Location: Hippodrome Cabaret Theatre, Leicester Square



Sunday 21st May

Performing classic dance routines of Hollywood stars such as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire from the greatest musicals of the 40s and 50s including Singing in the Rain and The Band Wagon in support of Children Change Colombia’s patron.


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui — m!longa

Location: Potters Field Park, London SE1 2AA


Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA

22nd – 24th May

Feria De Londres brings the vibrant and lively celebrations of Andalusia to the banks of the Thames. Inspired by the famous Feria de Abril, it’s a fiesta of delicious Spanish tapas, beer, wine and live entertainment, never seen before in the capital.

29th April – 20:00

The Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader, considered to be one of the freshest new sounds to come out of Havana.


Monday 29th Tuesday 30th May

Ivan Lins Jazz

Renowned as a carioca songwriter, vocalist, and pianist, Ivan Lins recorded several albums for EMI Brasil and Reprise, as well as writing Brazilian standards. Location: Ronnie Scott’s, Frith Street, Soho



30th May – 19:30

Seu Jorge Music

The Brazilian pop-samba artist who starred as a David Bowie-singing sailor in Wes Anderson’s 2004 movie The Life Aquatic – during which he performed Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Life On Mars’ and ‘Starman’ - will now perform his bossa-flavoured Bowie covers.

23rd May – 19:00

Location: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

LUKAS Ceremony with Gente de Zona Music The LUKAS Awards Ceremony celebrate the achievements of the UK’s leading artists, performers and sports people. Cuban reggaetón group Gente de Zona, will receive LUKAS International Act of the year, before playing a full concert. They hits include the immensely successful collaboration with Enrique Iglesias for the 2014 hit ‘Bailando’ and with Marc Anthony in ‘La Gozadera’.

17th June – 10am -2am

La Clave Fest Festival Free

Location: Hornsey Town Hall Plaza, Crouch End Broadway, N8 9JJ

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Exhibition

Mexico’s iconic masked superheroes return to this iconic venues, inviting spectators to experience the acrobatic, mythical, and dangerous world of Mexico’s masked wrestlers.

Daddy Yankee and Ozuna @ Reggeatón Fest

Location: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

From May 27th


Sunday 9th July

Discover how Cristóbal Balenciaga’s exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs shaped modern fashion.


The Greatest Spectacle of Lucha Libre

Location: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ

A free multi-arts festival that brings the best Latin music, dance, theatre, film, literature, sport, gastronomy and arts into a local community. During the day, its fun, food and fiesta for all the family, including a Futsal ‘Copa America’, dance classes and film screenings. Main stage performers include includes LUKAS winning acts such as Grupo Lokito, La Papayera, Juanita Euka, La Bomba All Stars, plus DJ sets. Inside the amazing art deco building you’ll find a Latin American banquet and a huge after party until 2am.

Location: Troxy, 490 Commercial Rd, London, E1 0HX

23rd-24th June

Music/Festival Daddy Yankee, the world’s most famous Reggaetón artist, is hitting London as part of the Reggeatón Summer Fest, accompanied by Ozuna, the genre’s biggest-selling young contender. Location: SSE Wembley Arena



19 Jul - 6 Aug

Tanguera Dance

Αν adrenaline-fuelled journey through the sizzling world of tango, with Argentinian dance superstar Mora Godoy. Boasting a cast of over 30 dancers and musicians, now Argentinas hit show Tanguera returns to Sadlers Wells for a strictly limited summer run!

Sunday 9th July

Location: Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R

Star Sixes Football

The first competitive six-aside football tournament for former international players which will see 12 teams compete, including Spain, Brazil and Mexico. International Spanish legends include Carles Puyol, Gaizka Mendieta and Míchel Salgado, while Roberto Carlos will play for Brazil and Steven Gerrard will captain England. Location: The O2 Arena, Peninsular Square, London, SE10 0DX 14th July – 19:00

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Music Arguably the most significant band to emerge from the Latin rock world in the last 30 years, this irreverent and humorous mix of rock, ska, jazz, folk, reggae, funk and big band brass often contain political undertones and have become terrace anthems in Buenos Aires. Location: O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

27-30 July

Nomade Orquestra Music Spaced-out jazz, funk, soul, Afrobeat, Ethio-grooves, dub, hip hop, electronica and traditional Brazilian styles are all woven effortlessly into this ten-piece outfit from Sao Paulo. Location: WOMAD FESTIVAL UK 2017, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK, SN16 9DG 27-30 July

Grupo Canalón Music

Saturday 22nd July

HOLA! LONDON Festival Grammy award winners Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes join forces to launch the very first Hola! London Festival, along with David Bisbal and Sebastián Yatra. Stalls and free live music outside.. Location: Venue: The 02, Greenwhich

Hailing from the Pacific coast of Colombia, this multi-membered outfit are best known for their rootsy rhythms and lead singer Nidia Góngora’s African-style chanting, backed by marimba and folkloric percussion. Location: WOMAD FESTIVAL UK 2017, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK, SN16 9DG 27-30 July

Chico Trujillo Music Chile’s Chico Trujillo bring their exciting mix of traditional cumbia, ska, Andean folk, hip-hop, reggae and rock. Location: WOMAD FESTIVAL UK 2017, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK, SN16 9DG

omar puente



LATIN LONDONER Jazz violinist and 2017 LUKAS winner, Omar Puente, has performed to audiences worldwide. First violinist at the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra before leaving Cuba in 1997, he toured with Buena Vista’s Ruben Gonzales all over the world and has played with the likes of John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland, Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Gonzales, Winston Marsalis’ and Nigel Kennedy. His Latest album “Best Foot Forward” is dedicated to his belated wife, Debbie Purdy, who, before she died of Multiple Sclerosis, won a landmark ruling which meant that Omar would not be prosecuted if he helped her to end her life. Music is my first memory. My father was a doctor who loved to play the violin and my aunt played the piano and I can still hear the sound of the record player playing Nat King Cole, David Oistrakh playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and of course Cuban music. I owe everything to…my late wife Debbie, who named my last album before she died and was my inspiration in both my professional and personal life.She helped me carve my career here in the UK. She believed in me, encouraged and supported me in good times and bad. The film that changed me is ‘Twelve Angry Men’ with Henry Fonda. One by one, 12 judges realise that they were wrong.

It is a great lesson that things are not always as they seem and we should delve deeper before passing judgement. The concert that most influenced me was Weather Report in Havana in the late seventies. I thought “this is how I want people to feel when they hear my music”. Jaco Pastorius, Joe Zawinul , Wayne Shorte and Peter Erskine created a magic that is very difficult to replicate. The most underrated virtue is…respect. It’s too easily forgotten, especially with the phenomenon of social media. The event that had most impact me the Para Olympic games in London 2012. My wife was confined to a wheelchair at the time and it was so wonderful to see the country celebrate and support disabled athletes competing for their nations. I love London for its diversity and multiculturalism make it the most vibrant city in the world My favourite London spot place is the Southbank at night. I have walked many times along the river after performing concerts at Royal Festival Hall, National theatre and Southbank centre, and feel its magic every time. My favourite word is…POSITIVITY. I think it’s the only way to achieve things in your life, as I was told a while ago. The word you most dislike ’NEGATIVITY. The world would be a better place without it. I believe in…hard work and never giving up. If you could go back in time…I’d go to my carefree university days. Life was all about learning, music and girls!

Como No in association with





18 Julieta Venegas + Gizmo Varillas Barbican

20 Future Latin Sounds Minology & La Kasha Concrete

21 Antonio Zambujo


Sings Chico Buarque Cadogan Hall

21 Orkesta Mendoza

Rich Mix & on tour to Leeds, Manchester, Gateshead, Brighton, Cambridge

23 Estopa


O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

25-29 Violetta’s Last Tango Wiltons Music Hall

28 Toto La Momposina y Sus Tambores Cadogan Hall

29 Eliane Correa En El Aire + London Lucumi Choir Rich Mix

lalineafestival @lalineafest










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All flights are via Madrid. Cordoba is via Asuncion. For more information call: 08714230717 or visit us at:


Latino Life April-May Edition 2017

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