The Rhythm Is Gonna Move You

It isn’t every day an arena-packing icon throws a free concert at the park, but that’s exactly what’s happening tonight, courtesy of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. As part of the office’s annual Latino Rhythms series, DOCA brings Panamanian pop star Horacio Valdés (really, the guy is huge there) to La Alma/Lincoln Park as part of a collaboration with the Biennial of the Americas, which has its inaugural run in Denver this month, “celebrating the culture, ideas and people of the Western Hemisphere.”

In terms of his rhythms, Valdés pairs mostly acoustic balladry with smooth, soothing pop vocals for a sound that’s more Coldplay than reconquista. But if that doesn’t sound ethnic enough, Manuel Molina — a Denver resident and Peru native whose resumé includes credits like conducting the Peruvian National Symphony at age seventeen — brings his flamenco classical guitar and heart-rending vocal rasp, along with his full band, to round out the bill. And these rhythms, says DOCA special event coordinator Gina Rubano, will be rhythms people can move to: “We’ll set up a huge dance floor,” she says. “We want everybody to dance all night.”

The best part? It’s completely free; DOCA’s even arranged free parking at the Auraria campus. “We want to have cultural events with no barriers,” says Rubano. “We’re here to make it as easy as possible to do that.” Latino Rhythms takes place at 12th Avenue and Mariposa Street and goes from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, call 720-865-4320 or visit
Thu., July 15, 6-10 p.m., 2010

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte