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Ralph Ellison Library Goes Latin To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Get into Cinco de Mayo with a Latin rhythm this year.

The Ralph Ellison Library, 1918 NE 23rd, invites you to enjoy two traditions from south of the border with a Mariachi Concert on Saturday, May 2, and a Salsa Dance Workshop on Saturday, May 16. 

The concert will be presented by Mariachi Orgullo de America from 3-4pm and is suitable for all ages.

“Mariachi music,” said librarian Kim Ventrella, “grew out of a blend of Mexican folk traditional music and music from European musical traditions.  No one is quite sure where the name came from, but who cares when you have music that is as lively and popular as this.”

 Mariachi Orgullo de America was founded in May of 2002, by four first class musicians, Gregorio Hallman, Jorge Hernández, José Solis, and Robert Ruiz.  Several other experienced and professional musicians joined them, and the group has been bringing smiles to Oklahoma faces ever since.

The Salsa Dance Workshop will be conducted by a professional instructor and is designed for learners aged 12 and older.  “The workshop,” Ventrella added, “will run from 5:30 to 6:30pm on Saturday, May 16.  We’ll show you how to perform the basic steps.  After you go home and practice, you’ll be ready to burn up any dance floor in town.”

Salsa, Spanish for “sauce,” may have originated with the Spanish population in the Caribbean as a mixture of the local dance with African and European dance.  Contemporary Salsa dancing also owes much to the popularity of the Mambo in the 1950s.

Both programs are free.  For more information, call the Ralph Ellison Library at 606-3459

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.