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Festival for lovers of Latin

25 July, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Nina Miranda plays bossa nova, trip-hop and folk

FINSBURY Park may be an unlikely choice for a holiday destination but in nine days’ time, it will be transformed into a Latin paradise.

Yes, it may be hard to believe that a little corner of north London can become a hotspot of Hispanic joy, but the free La Clave Fest, which returns to the park for the fourth year on August 3, aims to do just that with a huge line-up of talent.

Named after the founding beat of afro-latin music, the festival celebrates the capital’s vibrant Latin culture by showcasing some of the best UK-based Latin and Spanish music and dance, including emerging talent from the city’s home-grown bi-cultural generation.

The packed programme includes headliners Rene Alvarez and his Cuban Combination, an explosive 18-piece salsa band which was voted LUKAS Tropical Act 2018, and Angelica Lopez y su Papayera, considered one of Europe’s most unique Colombian Folk acts, led by talented Cartagena-born singer Lopez, the LUKAS’s first female Vocalist of the Year.

La Raza: The Urban Latin Showcase returns with a collection of UK-Latin talent including Camden’s Desta French, who accumulated over a million plays on Spotify with debut single Shame; Tottenham artist Guala, whose first ever grime song in Spanish, You’re Not There, recently featured on BBC1 Xtra, and west London Reggaetón poster boy Valenciz.

Camden’s Desta French will be at La Clave Fest

There is also Candombe-infused jazz from Beto Caletti and Mishka Adams, followed by much-loved UK-Brazilian artist Nina Miranda, whose bossa nova, trip-hop and folk has led her to collaborate with the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Bebel Gilberto, Baaba Maal, Arto Lindsay and Seu Jorge.

Find your rhythm with the London Tango Orchestra, uniting leading UK and Argentine tango musicians, or try out something different with rising star Abraham Carmona, who fuses palo rhythms, acoustic flamenco guitar, voice and percussion with fretless bass, electric guitar, keyboards and loop station, to bring flamenco into the mix.

As well as the vast variety of live music, there will also be dance shows from top UK Latin dancers including salsa from Kat and Eddie, London School of Samba’s troupe of Brazilian drummers and sambistas and Latin dance group Los Rumberos.

There will also be a chance to learn from the Latin Fun Machine, whose easy-to-follow routines helped bring the fiesta to last year’s celebrations. Over on the decks will be DJ Fernando KBson and DJ Gamba.

Complete the holiday experience with food from 20 Latin street food traders, while the bars will be offering a selection of exotic cocktails.

There is also entertainment for the children with The London Copa America, a football tournament for girls and boys aged 7 -18, which runs adjacent to the festival. Team captains are invited to submit their 5-a-side teams in advance.

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