2008 INTERNATIONAL MERENGUE FESTIVAL
report filed by Robert J. Lewis & Marcel
an all night love-in with the following participants: Venezuela’s
Hugo Chaves, Cuba’s Castro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales,
Argentina’s Christina Kirchner, Nicaragua’s Daniel
Ortega, Mexico’s Felipe Calderon and the Dominican Republic’s
Loenel Reyna. Stanger than fiction, you say.
if you attended the 12th edition of the
2008 International Merengue Festival held
in Montreal’s Parc Jean Drapeau that featured an incredible
two full days and nights of music that turned into a love-in
of sorts as the many Spanish accents gave way to the one Latin
Nation concept. For an occasion that has become one of the annual
rites of summer in Montreal, the Merengue Festival assembled
some of the very best and best known Latin singers on the planet,
including Krisspy, Hector El Father, Bachata and the inimitable
who reminded us of the importance of those basic and irreplaceable
ingredients of lasting music: solid melodies that we can take
home with us and the power of harmony that buoys the spirit
and swells the heart like no other sound produced by the human
voice. And in the true spirit of the moment, nothing is sacrificed
to the amazing rhythms and counter rhythms that are synonymous
with Latin music – and oh how they can dance.
year’s festival was the best yet in respect to organization
and timing of events. For that result, kudos go to Jara Productions,
and the amazing energy put out by multi-tasking Julio Torrez
and his team.
the last note disappeared into the Montreal sky, shouts of mas
mas meant there would be just that, at the 13th edition
of Montreal’s International Merengue Festival.