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It's our favorite time of the year again... time to celebrate our music, our culture and our community during the Twenty First Annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival! Inaugurated by the late great "King of Latin Music" Tito Puente in 1996, the Festival has entertained thousands, celebrated our cultural diversity, expanded our musical boundries, generated tourism and certainly improved our quality of life.

Many in the music business know Brownsville as the home of the premier Latin Jazz Festival in Texas and possibly one of the best in the country. It's a great, small festival that has preserved its quality, authenticity and identity for over two decades.

Countless music students, educators and working performing artists in Brownsville have learned from the world-class touring artists the Festival has hosted for two decades. Their clinics, master classes and performances have re-defined the meaning of artistic excellence for us all and their legacy is the Latin Jazz enjoyed throughout the world today.

We chose Latin Jazz because it is an irresistible, inclusive genre that makes us all feel from an entire hemisphere not just from a single place. Come to the Festival and you'll see and hear players and audience from dozens of countries. It is a pleasure to share it with you, please share it with others and invite them to the Festival!

This year, we will be privileged to host another exceptional artist as our headliner and, surprisingly, he is a Brownsville native! Fausto Cuevas III, a Sharp Elementary and Homer Hanna High School alumnus, considered among the top percussionists in the world today.

Based in the Los Angeles area, Fausto is a Berklee College of Music graduate, a Grammy Award Nominee, a top endorser for Latin Percussion, maker of the same percussion instruments endorsed by Tito Puente and Giovanni Hidalgo, both of them also Latin Jazz Festival headliners, and, for work, tours the world with none other than pop music icon Jennifer Lopez and the amazing Stevie Wonder.

Fausto's rise from Brownsville to the top of the music world certainly makes us proud of him but, more importantly, he sets a fine example for our youth. When they listen to his story they'll know for sure that he is one of them and that if they love music like he does and work hard like he did, they can also make it to the top. Like Fausto often says, ORALE!

Last year Fausto played in Brownsville as a professional for the first time, accompanying the legendary band Mongorama, our headline act. After the show he expressed what seemed to be his deep desire to come play again but leading his very own "dream" band Orquesta La Moderna. So they're coming... three from Los Angeles, one from Oakland, one from Boston, three from New York, one from Miami and his wife, one of the three vocalists in the band. Should be good, real good. He will perform on Saturday October 14 and again on Sunday October 15.


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