In an effort to bring hope to those affected by Hurricane Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the earthquake in Mexico mid-September, Milwaukee groups including the United Community Center (UCC), Latino Arts, the Pabst Theater Group and UW-Milwaukee’s Roberto Hernández Center prepare to join with the American Red Cross for a night of Latino music.
On Sunday, October 15, “Los Sonidos Unidos” (“united sounds”) will present local musicians, bands, dance groups and caterers that celebrate Latino culture in Milwaukee in an effort to raise funds for people in Puerto Rico and Mexico, in collaboration with the American Red Cross. Performers include the Latino Arts Strings Program, Bahía, Bombazo with Pandanza Dancers, Cache and members of De La Buena. Cubanitas, Café el Sol, Antigua Latin Café and WWBIC Coffee with a Conscience will serve as restaurant vendors at the event.
The UCC has aimed to promote personal development and provide programs to Hispanic individuals on the south side of Milwaukee for 47 years. UCC initiatives include programs in recreation, education, community development and health and human services. Over time, the group has also aimed to maintain awareness of Hispanic and cultural heritage though a variety of arts programs. At the UCC Dinorah Márquez established the national award-winning Latino Arts Strings Program, members of which will be performing in the concert, to provide music materials, instruments and classical training to Latino students ages five to eighteen.
“It will be a very cool evening of music and food, and we’re hoping the community will be there to support and answer the call,” said Alberto Maldonado, interim director of the Roberto Hernández Center, a local partner organization of “Los Sonidos Unidos.”
Maldonado, also a member of band Bahía, will perform with the group on Sunday.
“We specifically play traditional music from Puerto Rico. I’m excited to both contribute my talents and be a sponsor in the event. It’s something that really hits home for me and for many of the students we help here … It’s difficult in these places for life as we know it to go on right now.”
The benefit concert will take place at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Fourth St., Sunday, October 15, the last day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. “Los Sonidos Unidos” will “showcase the strength and unity of Milwaukee and its solidarity with friends and family in Puerto Rico and Mexico.” The concert requires a minimum $20 donation at the door to be made in cash or check to “Red Cross.” Donations can also be made at the Red Cross website.