“Fiesta Latina” changes the rhythm at Obama White House

October 14, 2009

hosts President Barack Obama celebrated the growing contribution of Hispanic culture and music to the United States with a “Fiesta Latina” at the White House, part of a musical series started by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Latin music “moves us and tends to make us want to move ourselves,” the president declared.

Actors Eva Longoria Parker, George Lopez and Jimmy Smits began the show joking that Obama is Hispanic.

Gloria Estefan followed with her Billboard hit “No Llores,” accompanied by Jose Feliciano and percussionist Sheila E.

While the celebration of Hispanic music brought other entertainment heavyweights as Marc Anthony and Jeninfer Lopez, Los Lobos, Thalia  and Pete Escovedo to the White House, the evening’s standing ovation went to the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic member of the high court.

Bachata also came out of the dance clubs and onto the White House’s South Lawn, with the Bronx-based group Aventura performing a style of music that has begun to dominate dance floors alongside Salsa and Merengue in clubs across the country.aventura

The music was first heard at parties in the Dominican Republic in the 60s but, largely thanks to Aventura, it has recently taken hold in the United States.   The four-man music group debuted in 1999 and is known for combining the ballad-like music and its strumming guitars with r&b, hip-hop and Reggaeton.

In his remarks, Obama said  the roots of Latin music are threaded throughout the world, from the streets of New York to West Africa.   “Even though it is constantly evolving and changing, Latin music speaks to us in a language we all can understand,” Obama said.

For everyone who didn’t get an invite to the concert,  fret not — the “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” will be broadcast on PBS Thursday night  and on the Spanish language network Telemundo on Sunday.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Larry Downing (George Lopez, Eva Longoria Parker and Jimmy Smits; and Aventura at White House concert)


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Gee why make everything so political. President Obama is right, Latin music does move us. Maybe half my iTunes library is music composed and performed by Hispanic artists. It keeps me moving on sunny days, rainy days, snowy days and days when all I see in front of me are chores and more chores. I can make it through anything with a Latin playlist on infinite loop!

Posted by Liz R | Report as abusive

The hispanic people in America are lovers. We are so lucky. I am proud of my heritage and I am proud of my President. Thank you for showcasing some of out most talented hispanics at the White House. I do not recall ever seeing such an event with any other U.S. president in the past. I seriously doubt we will ever see if after our President Obama is gone from the White House. I am still looking forward and thinking positively about the changes that will come. What we are facing now is because of the past leadership and I know our President is trying to do the best he can to try to correct those wrongs. Thank you for the recognition.

Posted by Rose | Report as abusive

Thank you for Fiesta Latina 2009. I’m very sure Hispanic community is looking forward to this event.

Posted by syndicate | Report as abusive

Lighten up, chica! This is an article about celebration, not somewhere to cry about how you won’t be able to continue being a millionaire if the United States goes socialist.

Posted by Felonious Punk | Report as abusive

Here’s a link to a bit more on the night: http://barackoflove.wordpress.com/2009/1 0/14/the-first-family-gets-their-salsa-o n/

Posted by Obamniac | Report as abusive

Maria @9.29 on 10/13/2009

With all due respect – are you on medication?

Posted by Andrea | Report as abusive

I think Maria is just pretending to be a hispanic and score for the you know who.

Posted by izakismad | Report as abusive

to reply to the maria post, you cant even make out what you are trying to convey. you’re an idiot. Have a nice day

Posted by ron da don | Report as abusive

@ron da don -> about time someone said it.

Posted by tony | Report as abusive

It is ABOUT TIME. This President understands the accomplishments of our heritage. I don’t quite understand the first post from Maria, are you Hispanic? You’re asking us to stay on our own countries? Did you? So should the Italians return home? How about the Greeks, Irish, Romanians? No, just the Hispanics, huh? This is about a President bringing our heritage to the White House, that is wonderful. What are you so hostile about?

Posted by Johanna Falber | Report as abusive

I get a strong feeling this couple in the White House believes they had better have as much fun and go as many times as those planes will fire up, before their first term is done. I never, and I have been here awhile, saw a first family spend so much of their time and our money for their own pleasure. It HAPPENS for their entertainment at least twice or more a week. (Check the record.) Michelle’s “musical series” is blatant in its’ intent….to summon their after dinner entertainment whims and rub elbows with celebrities. Pretty tough for Mr. And Mrs. Lowly Citizen to choke on in these tough times. Not very classy. Not at all

Posted by Tamara Blanchard | Report as abusive

To Maria ~ On who’s behalf exactly are you speaking? Soy pura Mexicana and I completely agree with what the President has planned for us. Perhaps you might educate yourself and write in proper English y Español también. Your comments try to be political however the missing words and improper English make you sound like an ill educated idiot.

Posted by Angelica | Report as abusive

This Tamara person obviously lacks culture, creativity, intelligence, and respect for those who are cultured. The posts here are a clear example of the few ignorant people there are. Anyway, I loved the show. Michelle is brilliant for dreaming up an idea like the “Musical Series”. Music is extremely important and healthy for us. We need music now more than ever! Do you want to just sit at home and cry over the economy? Music lifts people’s spirits. Educate yourself before you start blabbing your fingers.

Posted by jen | Report as abusive

I have listened to liberals for a long time and one characteristic trait they have is when they perceive that a person has a different point of view to them,they always suggest that compared to that person they are intellectually superior or culturely more aware.This is high lighted when we consistently see liberal politicians who make the same mistake thinking that the American people are stupid, and are brought back to reality at the ballot box,classic example senate leader Harry Reed who in spite of his party leadership roll is behind in the polls in Nevada.If you go back into the blog achieves you will see blog after blog crowing that the Obama election victory spelled the end of the republican party.As Obama,s polls fall below 50% in first10 months of his presidency some of the more vulnerable democratic representatives are aware of the possibility of a republican turnaround particularly with unemployment as rampant as it is.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I say, don’t even regard Maria’s negativity. This was a great effort by our President to showcase the beauty and culture of our Latin music. I will watch the rebroadcast on Telemundo this weekend. Viva!!

Posted by Olvera | Report as abusive

All I have to say is I love Obama and Michelle I feel them like there Family all he needs is time to help every body. (every race) so lets pray for them and support them.

Posted by noelia | Report as abusive

I am absolutely speechless over the arrogance and shamelessness of this White House. Was the purpose really to “celebrate” hispanic music?

Was it to rub elbows with celebrities while promoting yourself as a man of the people who welcomes Hispanics into the Democrat party?

Hopefully this was not funded with tax payer money.

All of this while there are two wars going on? The last president couldn’t even golf without hearing from the media.

This was shameless narcissism and self promotion on the part of everyone who attended.

The music was excellent – to bad it was all political.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive