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Puerto Rican festival hosts Salsero Tito Nieves

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Tito Nieves performs at the Shoreline Amphitheatre for the 29th annual Dia de San Juan Puerto Rican Festival
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Salsa greats Julio Alvarado, Tito Nieves and Primi Cruz. 

Text by Patty Cruz Lopez
Photos by Edwin Suarez

The hot summer sun and cool bay breeze accompanied the sounds of timbales, congas, and trompetas in welcoming people attending the 29th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Día De San Juan Festival on Sunday June 24, 2007.

Organized by the Western Region Puerto Rican Council the festival featured Reggaeton and Rap artists and showcased the most recognized names in Salsa music Tito Nieves, Primi Cruz, and Julito Alvarado.

Julito Alvarado said, “This is a festival that allows Latin Americans to come together and experience something that we, being from Puerto Rico, see every day it’s a beautiful thing to see that they maintain the traditions, the culture, their roots and they keep them close to their heart.”

Although the festival celebrates Puerto Rico, people with origins in Peru, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba and Mexico, among others, were at the festival that debuted a new venue, the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.

A festival participant Nancy Raven, originally from the Bronx New York said, “There’s more accessibility, more restrooms, and its cleaner; there’s more places to enjoy the music and relax.

I’m looking forward to seeing Tito Nieves perform... he’s the man!” Headliner Tito Nieves graced the stage with his incomparable voice at 5 p.m., opening his set with the song Más que tu Amigo from his CD Clásicos de Marco Antonio Solis and closing with the song Fabricando Fantasías from the CD which he dedicated to his eldest son Ommy who passed a few years ago at the age of 24 from a type of bone cancer. Tito Nieves wooed the crowd with his charm, telling stories in between songs that revealed his down-to-earth personality.

Having received countless awards and Grammy, Latin Grammy, and Billboard nominations and throughout his continued success Tito Nieves was speaking to the crowd when he said, “Without family we have nothing,” after which he introduced his older brother and two nieces who live in the Bay Area and were in the audience. Amidst the festival atmosphere of traditional food, music and dancing this event also focused on education by raising money for scholarships.

Nieves said, “This is a very lovely event and it is important because they are awarding scholarships to young Latinos.” For more information or to apply for a scholarship visit the website www.wrpc.org

© 1978 LaOferta