When the cognoscenti think of salsa music, “Alma del Barrio” comes to mind.
Begun in 1973 by two students, Raul Villa and Enrique “Kiki” Soto, the KXLU radio show “Alma del Barrio” has become a cultural touchstone. Latin Beat Magazine said, “Education about the music the show plays – its roots and its artists – was part of Raul and Kiki’s vision for the show and remains an integral element of programming to this day.” “Alma del Barrio” has grown over the decades, winning over fans and influencing artists.
For the past four years, the salsa rhythms and celebrations have spilled out onto Loyola Marymount University’s campus in the form of Alma Del Barrio Salsa Festival. In 2017, about 2,000 people gathered to dance to a lineup of bands. “This festival has truly become one of the most profound and engaging highlights for us each year,” said Lydia Ammossow, KXLU manager and adviser. “It brings our university and local community together for an afternoon of incredible live music, culture, food, and good, old-fashioned family fun.”
The fourth annual edition takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 15, 2018, on Hannon Field and as many as 3,000 people are expected. “KXLU is so very proud to present our fourth annual Alma del Barrio Salsa Festival on our LMU blufftops,” said Ammossow. “Salsa programming at KXLU is a long-held tradition and “Alma del Barrio” celebrates a magnificent 45 years on the air in 2018.”
“Salsa music is an extraordinary gift to the world — whether you are a seasoned salsero or simply a listener — you cannot help but feel better about the world after indulging in these contagious and life-giving beats,” Ammossow said.
This year the bands performing include:
The Echo Park Project
and the Brazilian band Eyedentity.
“Each of the bands performing are champions of the L.A. salsa scene and we’ve added a local Brazilian band in the mix this year that will bring in fusion elements of samba, bossa nova, funk and jazz.”
“Alma del Barrio,” the granddaddy of Latin music radio programs, airs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and is followed by an hour of “Serenata de Trios” on Sundays.
More information can be found on the Alma Del Barrios Salsa Festival’s Facebook page. Watch a recap video of last year’s Salsa Festival here.