Lead singer of Bomba Estéreo, Liliana Saumet, invigorates the crowd at Échale! 2014. Photo by Nick Simonite.
Lead singer of Bomba Estéreo, Liliana Saumet, invigorates the crowd at Échale! 2014. Photo by Nick Simonite.

On Monday, May 30 the Pearl parking lot under Highway 281 will transform into an all-day pachanga for the 2016 Échale Block Party, which falls on Memorial Day.

The free, widely popular Latin music event will take place from noon to 6 p.m. and will feature food by The Granary, Southerleigh, Nao, and Botika, a curated beer bar, art for sale, and live music. If it rains, the party will continue inside the Pearl Stable.

Graphic courtesy of the Pearl.
Graphic courtesy of the Pearl.

“We work with and feature Latin artists from around the U.S. and Latin America, and (feature) all different kinds of genres, but with the caveat that it’s usually somebody who’s taking some kind of traditional music and doing something new with it,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer at The Pearl.

Another main focus, she added, is spotlighting up-and-coming artists. Past Échales have featured chart-topping bands like Colombian Bomba Estereo and Grammy-award winning La Santa Cecilia, before they really hit it big on the international level.

This year’s event has an impressive, totalmente Latina live music lineup of local and international artists.

The day will begin with a DJ set by local group Chulita Vinyl Club, who will provide a mix of genres like Latin jazz, cumbias, and soul interspersed throughout the afternoon. Attendees can get their fix of more traditional San Anto sounds from nationally renown Mariachi Las Alteñas who will play from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Nina Diaz, former lead singer of local group Girl in a Coma, will take the stage later in the day with her fiery vocals from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Latin Grammy-nominee Mariachi Flor De Toloache will conclude the celebration with a set from 4:30-5:30 p.m. As New York’s “first and only all­-women mariachi group,” the band is made up of women from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States.

Mariachi Flor De Toloache started out as a trio playing the harp, violin and vihuela – now they perform as a full mariachi ensemble. Last year, the group toured with Black Keys vocalist Dan Auerbach’s new band, The Arcs, and their music has been featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. (View their performance here.)

“They’re really a good example of our vision of Échale in that they’re taking this very traditional form of mariachi and style of singing and style of instrumentation and playing all different genres of music, in English and in Spanish,” Fauerso said.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Photo courtesy of Mariachi Flor de Toloache.
Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Photo courtesy of Mariachi Flor de Toloache.

Having an all-female performance lineup wasn’t necessarily on purpose, Fauerso said, it “just kind of coalesced that way.

“There’s so much going on with the local music scene and so many talented women involved, and initially (we were) just thinking who would be cool to play and it just so happened to be that all the top choices were women,” Fauerso said. “That’s something that is a great sign of what’s happening in artistic community of San Antonio.”

Échale has significantly grown since it first made its debut in 2011. This year, Fauerso said, organizers are expecting about 7,000 people of all ages to attend.

“It’s kid-friendly, dog-friendly, abuelo and abuela-friendly,” she said.

The next Échale will take place on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. For more info, visit the Échale event Facebook page here.

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Top image: Lead singer of Bomba Estéreo, Liliana Saumet, invigorates the crowd at Échale! 2014. Photo by Nick Simonite.

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Échale! Latin Music Block Party Returns to Pearl

Échale! Fuses Rock and Latin Music at Pearl Brewery

WATCH: Mariachi Festival Floats Along the River Walk

Chulita Vinyl Club: All-Girl, All-Vinyl, All for the Love of Music

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com