Salt Lake City, Utah – Music is frequently a unifying factor, and people from all geographies, all ages, all ethnicities and all political preferences moved to different Latin rhythms at the 86th Annual LULAC National Convention.
Last night’s free concert at the Salt Palace Convention Center featured Michael Salgado, Little Joe y la Familia, Taboo from Black Eyed Peas. Actress/singer/comedienne, Angelica Vale, was bestowed the Latina Trailblazer Award.
Vale, who moved to the United States eight years ago, spoke about the derogatory remarks made by Donald Trump. “We Hispanics are so important in this country, that he wanted to attract attention. It’s better not to even mention him.” On a more positive note, she said, “Dreams can be fulfilled. Nothing is handed out in this world. But if you fight, you get what you want. Especially in this country.”
Salgado conferred with Vale on Trump. “You shouldn’t pay attention to those negative commentaries, the ignorant things,” he said.
Salgado is a Tejano favorite. Born in Texas, he picked up the conjunto style from his father, who had his own band. In the 80s Michael, his brother and other relatives formed Los Salgados Del Norte. Together, they recorded four CDs. Michael later branched out on his own, recording top selling Tejano albums. In 2007, he won the Latin Grammy for best Norteno Album for “En Vivo.”
Also on stage was Taboo, a founding member of the six-time Grammy Award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas. A Mexican-American with Shoshone blood on his mother’s side, Jaime Luis Gomez defied expectations early on—first by rejecting the limitations imposed on him by society, then by staying true to his dream of becoming a star. He wrote FALLIN’ UP: My Story. In 2013, he wrote the song “One Heart, One Beat” that addressed Arizona’s SB1070 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaCxTO3Z3vk.
Taboo celebrated his 40th birthday at the LULAC Convention. He said his purpose being there was to make a difference for the youth, to connect to the young people. Before speaking on stage to several hundred youth at the Salt Palace Convention Center, he said, “We have a lot of teenagers here. Tonight I’m going to focus on celebrating the youth.”
Little Joe y la Familia is a big Tejano icon with a huge heart. LULAC Executive Director, Brent Wilkes, told Little Joe, “You immediately came to mind when we were planning this event. You’ve been a longstanding friend of LULAC and the Latino community.” Little Joe has been performing for more than 50 years, and has recorded more than 50 albums, helping to define the Tex-Mex music genre. One of his first gigs paid $5.00 in Cameron, Texas. That’s when he decided he could make a living picking his guitar instead of picking produce in the fields.
“The LULAC Convention is about addressing key issues affecting the Latino community, such as employment and educational opportunities, immigration reform and human rights,” said LULAC President, Margaret Moran. “We wanted to unite though the power of music as offer LULAC attendees and the community at large, a free concert featuring top name Latino talent.”
The concert was free and open to the public for those holding tickets. This is the eighth year that LULAC partners with David Chavez and LatinPointe to produce the free concert using music as a unifying theme in rallying support around issues and causes from Latin entertainment. The free concert was sponsored by MillerCoors and Walmart.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.
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