‘Rock En Español’ Festival – Bridging the Divide

Summer concert in the park series kicks off June 29.

By Nancy Martinez, EGP Staff Writer

MONTEBELLO – Can music heal international relationships? How about the bad feelings between neighbors? Organizers of an outdoor concert next week in Montebello think it’s worth a try.

The Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and the city of Montebello have joined forces to produce “Rock en Español,” a music festival that will kick off the city’s annual summer concert series on June 29.

The hope is that the concert showcasing the talents of artists from Mexico will help dispel disparaging images of Mexicans conjured up by Pres. Trump, Jose Antonio Aguirre, executive director of the Mexican Cultural Institute told EGP.

Spanish rocks bands will be performing in Montebello next week.  (Courtesy of Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles)

Spanish rocks bands will be performing in Montebello next week. (Courtesy of Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles)

“[President] Trump wants to build a wall, we want to build a cultural bridge,” Aguirre said.

The free to attend Spanish rock music festival, co-sponsored by County Sup. Hilda Solis in close collaboration with Montebello Mayor Vivian Romero, will be held at the Montebello City Park band shell June 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Montebello’s concert series continues through August 17, featuring a different artist every Thursday.

The “Rock en Español” lineup features Mexico City-based band “Smash-O” making its debut performance in California; “Ley de Hielo,” a band that has been around for decades and one of the first to land a major Spanish rock contract; and “Eclipse Music,” which at one time had its own rock-in-roll radio show.

“I hope people look at these young bands from Mexico and see there’s talent in Mexico,” said Aguirre.

The nonprofit Mexican Cultural Institute is dedicated to improving relations between Mexico and the United States through cultural exchanges, including art and musical and dance performances.

To that end, the Rock En Español festival will also include artisan booths and feature a family-friendly arts and craft workshop, similar to those offered by the Mexican Cultural Institute during past concerts at El Pueblo Historical Monument/Olvera Street.

According to Aguirre, the Mexican Cultural Institute chose to partner with Montebello in order to bring something different to the city and its large Mexican-American population. He said they wanted to create a cultural experience that goes beyond the more traditional mariachi and folklorico performances that have become commonplace.

While the president may never hear about the concert, organizers said they want to prove to people here at home that Trump is wrong, and to specifically show that not everyone wants to cross the border to take advantage of the U.S; many stay in Mexico to follow their dreams and achieve great success, Aguirre said.

“Yes, there are some ‘bad hombres,’ but not everyone is.”

Some of them just might be rock stars.


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June 22, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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