NUEVA YORK, NY – The Memorial Day weekend will be transformed into an art and culture celebration in Manhattan’s Lower East, where the Loisaida Festival will bring together theater companies, poets and musicians, in a celebration of the performance fusions that evolved at iconic venues such as the New Rican Village, in the 1970s and 1980s.
This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of legendary poets/playwrights/performers Tato Laviera and Amiri Baraka. This event is co-sponsored by City Lore and admission is free.
The Festival’s Main Stage will offer a diverse musical lineup: The Afro-Caribbean-meets-New York City bomba and plena rhythms of Los Pleneros de La 21, the nostalgic big band revival of Rafael Hernández’ greatest hits by Teatro Sea’s Romance, old-school salsa-swing-meets spoken-word swagger of Flaco Navaja and The Razor Blades, the alternative Latino-Jamaican grooves of award-winning Puerto Rican singer Mimi Maura, and the jazzy and baroque arrangements of Flor de Toloache, the first all-woman mariachi group in NYC.
The Festival will also reinstate the Loisaida Awards.
Papel Machete, a theater collective, will work with Loisaida residents on the creation of a music, visual art and narrative piece about stories of community struggle and resistance in the neighborhood. The finished piece will debut on Saturday, May 24th at the Loisaida New Community Center, and on Sunday, May 25th at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden, located at 9th Street and Avenue C, where Loisaida Inc. will host its first theater lab with the talent of various city-based and cutting-edge Latino theater companies, from 12pm to 5pm.
Schedule of Events and Details:
Friday, May 23rd
7:30pm to 9:30pm – Loisaida Inc. will host Performing Loisaida: A Poets’ Jam in the Spirit of the New Rican Village at City Lore, 56 E 1st Street. Some of the guest poets will include Sandra María Esteves, Jesús Papolete Meléndez, David Henderson, Edwin Torres, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, and Urayoán Noel, along with musician Bobby Sanabria and other special guests. The event will also feature a screening of rare footage from the era. Admission free.
Saturday May, 24th
2:00pm-6:00pm – Loisaida Inc. in collaboration with GOLES will host The Production of Nabe: Loisaida’s land-use and environmental activism, past and present at the New Loisaida Center, 710 E 9th Street.
Sunday May, 25th
12:00pm to 5:00pm – Loisaida Inc. will celebrate the 27th Annual Loisaida Festival. This event will once again be held between 6th to 12th Streets along Avenue C. Main Stage performances by Los Pleneros de la 21, Romance de Teatro SEA, Mimi Maura, Flor de Toloache, Flaco Navaja, and the Razor Blades.