Dance and camaraderie lifted spirits at the Cuban American Music Festival 2018

The Cuban American Music Festival was a place full of smiles

The weather was perfect on Sunday for the Cuban American Music Festival at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, allowing hundreds of dancers to enjoy a wonderful day outdoors twirling to spirited music and tasting the culinary delights of the island.

Dancing on concrete? No problem!

This year’s event was larger than last’s, with an additional area for vendors and an enclosed and shaded VIP section. Both the VIP and general admission areas had a designated dance floor, and people created impromptu dance spaces all about the Plaza. Cuban Americans happily displayed the colors of their motherland’s flag, but Latinos and Salsa lovers from many other countries were also present.

Music, be it live or recorded, was first heard around noon and continued non-stop until 8 pm. Cuban Salsa became the day’s background music at Olvera Street and the Old Plaza, where a few people joined the dance, completely free of charge.

Cuban singer Pedrito Calvo


Las Chikas, Timba LA, La Charanga Cubana, and The Arsenio Rodriguez Big Band performed live, the latter backing the headliner of the event, former Los Van Van singer, Pedrito Calvo. DJ Guajiro played his recorded music selections during band breaks.

It all came together for a delightful day in downtown LA, which some of us wrapped nicely with a fresh cigar.  It was a well-done event by Yambu Productions, and a great warm-up in preparation for our dance-filled summer season.

Enjoy the pictures below (click to enlarge), as well as two short videos that were posted “live” on’s social page on Facebook.