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Norman Public Library

Festival crowd feels the beat

Visitors dance to Son del Barrio

This free, public event offers visitors the chance to experience traditional Latin food, art, and exhibits, while enjoying the sights and sounds of contemporary Hispanic dancers and musicians. It also gives them an excuse to dance.

On an outdoor dance floor guests are invited to participate as dancer Shannon Calderon teaches the basics of Salsa dancing at 3 p.m. Dancers from Calderon’s studio will also demonstrate a variety of Latin dances.

Following Calderon, dancers from the International Dance Studio led by Hazel Lopez will perform twice on the outdoor stage with Latin dance demonstrations at 4 and 5:30 p.m. Between performances, audience members can enjoy the sounds of Marimba Estrella Chapina at 4:30 p.m.

With a program of traditional folk music performed on the national instrument of Guatemala, Marimba Estrella Chapina provides music sure to entice spectators onto the dance floor.

While guests outside learn the dance steps, guests inside can put them to use with the Latin rhythms of three authentic bands.

Kicking things off at 3 p.m. in the Lowry Room is Latin jazz group Conjunto Fuego.

A favorite of the college crowd, Conjunto Fuego has been performing randomly across the area for the past two years.

Cuban Salsa band Raices follows at 4 p.m., and Alma Latin closes the indoor concert at 5 p.m. with a program of traditional Latin music from South America.

At 6 p.m. the entire festival moves outdoors, as Son del Barrio keeps the beat going until 7 p.m. with an eclectic mix of Salsa and Merengue music. Known for its musical diversity and energy, Son del Barrio (Sound of the Neighborhood) is comprised of musicians with an average of 15 years in the music business.

The free, public event is made possible with major funding from the Friends of the Norman Library, Pioneer Library System, Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council. In addition to the major sponsoring organizations, event donors include Carlos Nieto, Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Bakery, Blas Flores, Fed-Ex Kinkos of Norman, Norman Sooner Rotary Club, Norman Public Schools, Hispanic Student Services at the University of Oklahoma, Yoana Walschap, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Hispanic Adult Sunday School, Great Plains Coca-Cola, El Chico of Norman, and the Norman Hispanic community.

The Norman Public Library is one of the hometown libraries of the Pioneer Library System, celebrating its Golden Anniversary in 2008.

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