A little bit of Havana in Galway’s Latin Quarter

Ronnie Greaney, chairman of Galway's Latin Quarter, with singer  Yolanda Reyes of Cuba Libre at the launch of Galway's Little Havana Festival which takes place from June 4 to 6.  			Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Ronnie Greaney, chairman of Galway's Latin Quarter, with singer Yolanda Reyes of Cuba Libre at the launch of Galway's Little Havana Festival which takes place from June 4 to 6. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Galway's Little Havana Festival is a new, free and fun-filled event taking place in the city’s Latin Quarter from June 4 to 6.

Cuban-inspired music, dance, street entertainment, art, and cultural events will feature in the three-day programme, which, according to organisers, will create a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in a colourful Cuban atmosphere reminiscent of Havana itself.

Described as an “eclectic and fun-filled Latin street party,” the programme of free events will bring the rhythms and sounds of Havana to the medieval streets of Galway.

Supported by Galway City Council, Failte Ireland, and the businesses of the Latin Quarter, the festival will feature a line-up of performances each evening by authentic Cuban bands, salsa dancers, Latino DJs and percussionists, and a range of related daytime street activities.

The festival kicks off at 7pm on Friday with an outdoor performance on Mainguard Street by the Cuban All Stars, Ireland's favourite authentic Cuban band, followed at 8pm by the colourful Carnaval Parade of pulsating percussion and performance through the streets of the Latin Quarter. The street entertainment that evening concludes with the the energetic and exciting Rumba Caliente, Britain’s most exciting salsa soul group.

The weekend's programme of activities continues right through till Sunday. Highlights on Saturday include Salsa Celtica, an exciting group merging Irish traditional music with all the Latin American elements of salsa, and world renowned DJ Gilles Peterson,who is bringing his distinctive Havana cultura sound to Galway with a special performance on the Saturday night. Other highlights include Sabor Cubano, an eclectic and infectious five piece Latin music act channelling the samba, bossa nova and Cuban Latin musical styles, and The Cuban Jazz Project who will bring their unique blend of Afro-Cuban jazz and soul sounds to the Latin Quarter on Sunday.

Cuba Libre, Cuban Combination, DJ Florian, Latin Jazz and DJ El Ray are others scheduled to peform.

The festival will feature a Tapas Trail in many of the Latin Quarter's pubs and restaurants, while on Sunday afternoon, in association with Coca Cola, a Family Fun Day will take place on the area's pedestrianised streets.

A full schedule of events, more information and regular programme updates are available on www.thelatinquarter.ie

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