The colors of Cruz Ortiz’s Snake Hawk Press mascot and the vibe created by Dos Equis and Red Bull were in the air all the way to Pearl Parkway, and the concentration of pura vida y energia was felt at the stage where the dancers danced and the players played. Échale at the Pearl was underway under the highway for the Labor Day take on el sabor y ritmo of Latin music that just begs the body to move.
Vibrant blues and reds and yellows on the dresses of the free-wheeling children caught the attention of those who hadn’t joined in yet, inspiring but a few more to join in on the thick, primarily cumbia-rhythms. Giving the audience something for “everyone to dance to,” Austin’s El Tule picked up what Los Nahautlatos had put down to get the party started, and rode that wave through the afternoon sun, leaving room for DJ Manolo Black and Money Chicha to keep it shining.
To say that the feeling was San Antonio was true in that the spirit of collaboration, camaraderie, and generosity were all made possible like the Hispanic Leadership Development Foundation, who will receive a portion of the proceeds to benefit local educational initiatives.
To say that the flavor was San Antonio was true thanks to culinary crafts from some of the Pearl’s top chefs, and artisan works from creatives rich in the flair of Latino heritage and hope.
To say that the vibration was San Antonio was true for the sound from the guidos and timbales and congas, and for the suave and verve and reverb in la guitara Amazonia, which ignited dance contests that saw three lucky winners with $50 gift cards to the Pearl.
On this Labor Day, you could say all of these things, but not without saying “Échale!”
Top Image: Dancers twirl in front of the stage as El Tule performs at Échale. Photo by Scott Ball.