Latin Culture in the City

Elizabeth Kennedy

This weekend, viva la cultura of New York City through the works of up-and-coming photographers, an inventive art installation, samba rhythms and more. The events represent Latin culture from Argentina to Harlem and a variety of perspectives in between. The best part? They’re mostly free.

Harlem Samba
Feel the rhythm of South America (and give Portuguese a try) when you go to Lincoln Center for Harlem Samba. Students and alumni from the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem bring the sounds of Brazil to an event that's sure to add a little spice to your Thursday night. This free concert will be held at the Josie Robertson Plaza at 7pm; consider it a good way to start your evening off on the right note.

Salsa by the Sea
On Thursday, move your hips to the sounds of one of the most popular salsa artists of our time, Puerto Rican superstar Victor Manuelle, as he performs as part of the Seaside Summer Concert Series in Coney Island. Topping charts across the globe, Manuelle's songs are sure to get you out of your chair and keep you groovin' all night long. And as if Manuelle weren't enough to make you hop on the train and head to the shore, Puerto Rican reggaetonero/rapper Tego Calderón and Maria Torres' expert mambo dancers will light up the stage as well. This free summer concert kicks off at 7:30pm at Asser Levy/Seaside Park.

El Ojo de Tu Vecino (The Eye of Your Neighbor)
Take an afternoon to enjoy the fine works of New York City's young Spanish-speaking photographers. El Ojo de Tu Vecino, a collaboration between the Aperture Foundation, El Museo del Barrio and Instituto Cervantes New York, provides an intimate look into the lives of New Yorkers and, at the same time, exemplifies the significance of the City's Latino culture. The exhibition, at the Instituto Cervantes at Amster Yard, is free.

La Mujer Sin Cabeza
On Saturday, catch a film about the bourgeois sector of South American society at the Film Forum on Houston Street. La Mujer Sin Cabeza (The Headless Woman) examines the world of an upper-class woman whose life changes in mysterious ways after she's in a terrible car accident. This is the third film from Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel, and it debuted to rave reviews at the 2008 New York Film Festival. Screenings run from 1 to 10pm each day of the film's two-week run (August 19–September 1) and admission is $12, with discounts for seniors and kids.

Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos
Spend Sunday outside: as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation celebrates the re-release of the newly remastered 1961 album Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos. The album features a combination of Latin rhythms and Jewish melodies—an unexpected but enjoyable mix. A group of performers will re-create it live under the musical direction of Arturo O'Farrill and his Afro-Cuban Sextet; special guests include the Antibalas horns, the Fort Apache Band's Andy Gonzalez and 94-year-old pianist and composer Irving Fields. This free concert starts at 4pm, so get to Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park Bandshell early to secure your spot.