Australia’s ONLY Afro Latino Festival is back for 2016

I did a How Diverse is My Suburb thingy that SBS has online and plugged in the two suburbs I grew up in (both in Western Sydney) and the suburb I currently live in now, and discovered that, even though I joke with my husband all the time that where we currently live in isn’t diverse (“babe, they recognise us in this cafe coz we’re the only brown people in here”), I found that all three suburbs are pretty diverse anyway.

Sydney is diverse, there is no gettin’ around it, no denying, no hiding it.
So we should totally just CELEBRATE it, right?
And what better way to celebrate this than actually celebrating, properly, with music and dancing and food and a fiesta vibe?  Like, I dunno, with the Afro Latino Festival this Saturday, 5th March from 11am to 5pm :)
Here’s just two of the performers you’ll see at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (1 Powerhouse Road, Casula):

Karifi and the African Union Dancers are performing at 3:05pm

Above is an example of Afro-Cuban music and dance, which is what you’ll find at 2:35pm with the Cuba Baila dancers and Yarima Gavilan HerreraAustralia’s only authentic professional Cuban dancer.

What’s all this about?

It’s about beats. Dancing. Food.  Partying.  It’s a day of live music, workshop, arts.

“This festival is always bursting with energy,” Liverpool City Council Mayor Ned Mannoun says about the festival. “The African and Latino communities are two of the most vibrant groups in Liverpool’s tapestry of cultures. I am very proud that we are the hosts of the only Afro Latino Festival in Australia.”

You’ll also be able to participate in some workshops, including a Junk Percussion Workshop with Ghanaian-born artist Lucky Lartey.

Carlos Encina, Manager of the NSW Spanish and Latin American Association for Social Assistance says, “Afro Latino Festival is becoming one of the most important multicultural festivals in NSW; a great opportunity to celebrate our cultural richness”.


Need more information?

Here’s a little more about some of performers:


Cuba Baila is a community of fun loving people who create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, forming friendships through their passion for Cuban dance, music and fitness. Founder, Director and Instructor Yarima Gavilan Herrera is a Cuba born and trained, international performer and entertainer, and Australia’s only authentic professional female Cuban dancer.


In the spirit of African traditions, Karifi brings to Australian audiences their own rendition of African drumming, dances, values and experiences. From the gentle steps of the Adowa dancer to the thumping footsteps of the Mamprusi drummer, we bring Africa to you.


Roots Percussion Group

Roots Percussion Group

Roots Percussion Group performs original compositions based upon Afro-Latin and World traditions of folkloric drumming. Featuring melodic rhythm, atmospheric guitar, driving bass, and hypnotic chants, their performances explore the infinite possibilities of rhythm: raw, explosive, and intricate. The group features a line-up of extremely talented and renowned musicians: Giorgio Rojas, Adm Ventoura, Dave Rodriguez, Luis Robalino and Vincent Sebastian playing a variety of exotic percussion instruments, bass, guitar, and vocals.

Need more information?


I have dreamed of travelling to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil and rent and bills be damned, I just can’t right now.  But the Afro Latino Festival is FREE, and all I have to do is head to Casula on Saturday 5th March.

And I don’t even have to find my passport


Still need more information?

I think to understand a culture you have to experience a part of it, immerse yourself in it somehow.  The Huffington Post wrote a nice lil article about Afro-Latino culture.  It’s coming from a North American perspective, but you’ll get the gist of it when you read it.


All images from event organisers, youtube links from performer’s youtube pages.

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