Exploring Afro-Mestizo Music with Julio Cesar Montano Montenegro

I walked in Columbia College Chicago  multipurpose studio , the first thing I smelled was delicious food. I knew it was Spanish food  and I recognized this aroma . It was  Colombian food laid out across the table.  It was almost like thanksgiving came early. There were platanos , empanadas . chicharron  and yuca .

Jesus Macarena-Avila immediately greeted me and welcomed me to the event. I was looking forward to  this event since I first seen the poster hanging in my dorm.  I saw ” Exploring Afro-mestizo” and it caught my eye and knew I was so anxious to learn more about the Afro-Latin culture .

Macarena -Avila is my previous professor that taught Latin American Art , Music and Literature. This was the first class the opened my eyes about the Latin culture  and took me on a deep journey around  Latin America and its heritage and customs.

I took this class my freshman year and around that time I didn’t know much about the ” Afro-Latin community”. But now that I do it is important to keep it alive and attend any event that celebrates the Afro-Latin culture.

When I glanced to the other side of the room I seen the guest speaker for the event, Julio Cesar Montano Montenegro. As interesting as his name is , his presence definitely makes a mark. He was wearing a brightly colored hat and had on all white . I can recognize an Afro-Latino when I see one. He was so friendly , outgoing and welcoming.  I knew this event was worth coming to .

It provided me with essential information about the African Influence in Colombia.  He explored Afro-Mestizo music and traditions, it was truly informal , educational and inspiring.   All the instruments were lined up and  I couldn’t wait to hear the sounds  and the music ringing in my ear.

It isn’t everyday I get to attend events like this one. The Afro-Latino culture is not something I learned in high school . I learned from family stories , books , YouTube videos ,  essays , history and blogs. I had to teach myself the history and understand it from different standpoint and perceptions.

This event was life changing and extremely essential to what #IAMENOUGH blog wants to implement . We should support our community by attending events that celebrate our culture .

I captured as many moments and images as I can to make you guys feel like you were actually there along with me.

Enjoy!

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-SignedJenay

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