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THE BUZZ: Latin music headlines free concert in Sunset Park

Festival season is here and this Saturday, June 16, New Yorkers are invited to join Brooklynites at the Third Annual Concierto and Festival Tipico de Sunset Park, an afternoon full of summer fun, food, arts, crafts and performances by local vendors and international musicians.

The festivities will run from noon to 6 p.m. at Pier 4 of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, at 58th Street, and everything is free and open to the public.

The headlining act is 2004 Latin Grammy-winner and 2006 Grammy of Excellence recipient Johnny Ventura, also known as “El Caballo” or the “King of Merengue.” The father of modern merengue is coming in from the Dominican Republic to perform at the concert, which will also feature musical acts steeped in salsa.

Paquito Guzman, one of salsa’s most noted soneros, began his career doing background vocals as one of the 1978 Puerto Rico All-Stars, and is known for his salsa romantic. Hector Tricoche, “El Lobo de la Salsa,” will also be performing his beloved Latin pop and salsa.

Among the local talent coming from Sunset Park, eight-year-old singer Ximena Roca and traditional Mexican dance group Grupo Cultural Sunset Park will take the stage in a lineup that includes ballet folklorico from Mano a Mano, as well as performances by New York’s Mariachi Tapatio, Johnny Olivo Jr. and his Herencia de Plena, Ariel Acosta, and Manny Mieles.

“This event is a musically diverse event, done to bring live entertainment to the community to help out in times when people can’t afford to go to concerts,” said Edgar Alvarez of Fiesta VIP, which is coordinating the event. “We try to provide them with a free event that they can enjoy.”

“Tipico means traditional, so we’re trying to do something that brings different traditions from not only Hispanic, but Asian communities, as well,” he added, noting that the concert and festival is not tied to a specific holiday or date, but can double as a Father’s Day celebration.

This multi-cultural, family-oriented festival is presented by the Brooklyn Arts Council with support from NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Sara Gonzalez, the Brooklyn Delegation of NYC Council, and Maimonides Medical Center.

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