latin music toronto

The top 5 Latin music concerts in Toronto this summer

The top Latin American concerts this summer shouldn't slip through your radar - perhaps nothing will get your summer spirit going like sounds from these warmer climes. From Mexico to Peru and everywhere in between, Toronto has a huge Latin American musical presence, both from artists who have settled here and those who visit. These five concerts reflect some of the diversity and energy of the international and local scene channeling rock, pop, hip-hop, salsa, and Bachata with a distinctly Pan-American flavour.

Salsotika / June 21 / Harbourfront Centre
Salsotika, formed in 2009, perform salsa music influenced by the classics of the '80s and '90s. Led by Peruvian-born percussionist Johann Aguirre, they also include Luis Orbegoso on additional percussion (see below for info on a solo Orbegoso gig later in the summer). Vocalist Ricky Franco is known to be a smooth and charismatic frontman. Fans of old-school salsa - and fun in general - will enjoy this show.

Quique Escamilla / June 22 / Trinity Square
Performing as part of this year's World Pride, Escamilla has been performing live since the age of four, when he sang at family reunions. Born in Chiapas, Mexico, he's been based in Toronto since 2007. Escamilla has performed and toured with a number of local musicians, and last year, he performed live as part of a one-off collaboration with Jim Cuddy and Danny Michel. While he touches on traditional Mexican styles like Ranchera and Huapango, his music is an awesomely unclassifiable mix of styles.

Luis Orbegoso / August 14 / Harbourfront Centre
Originally from Peru, Orbegoso has lived in Canada most of his life, where he's become a highly in-demand percussionist. Known in Latin music circles as "Luisito," he's worked with many big-name artists, including Nelly Furtado and Stevie Wonder. Orbegoso is also a successful music teacher, having taught in Colombia and Peru. His precision and passion make for an exciting performance.

Prince Royce / August 23 / Sound Academy
A New Yorker of Dominican descent, Prince Royce is a talented young singer-songwriter who's topped the U.S. Latin Songs and Latin Album charts with the help of his sweet voice (and maybe his good looks). His track "Darte un Beso," with its ultra-romantic video, has over 270 million views on Youtube. Royce mainly sings Bachata, a musical style that originated in the Dominican Republic in the early 1960s.

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull / September 19 and 20 / Air Canada Centre
Love them or hate them, these guys are the titans of the Latin music industry. The Spanish-born son of Julio Iglesias has dominated the Latin charts since emerging in the music scene in the mid-'90s. For over a decade, he's been topping the English language charts as well; now, he's touring behind his latest album Sexo Y Amor (Sex and Love). Tour mate Pitbull is a hugely successful rapper with hits in both Spanish and English. Born in Miami to Cuban parents, he's been active for more than a decade, and is known both for his solo recordings and for collaborations with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Kesha as well as Iglesias.

Writing by Dorian Barton.

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