Summer has arrived and the onslaught of outdoor summer festivals in Sacramento can boggle the mind. Among them, Fiesta en la Calle Party in the Street, a Latino-themed festival aimed at educating Sacramentans about various subgenres of Latino culture is back for its second year.
The outdoor concert series runs Saturdays through Aug. 11 in Sacramento's Cesar Chavez Plaza. Each Fiesta features regional and national acts and an array of musical styles from different countries.
Kicking off the festival is Salvador Santana, son of the legendary guitar player Carlos Santana. While the younger Santana plays keyboards rather than a six-string, his talent has made his name a buzzword on the West Coast circuit.
Santana, who is in the midst of a West Coast tour playing clubs and small theaters, is excited to be on the road and playing in a festival setting.
"We've been growing our fan base in Northern and Southern California and I now have a solid five-piece band that I take on the road," the singer said before heading to a recent rehearsal. "I'm very grateful for any opportunity to play anywhere where I can gain a new audience."
Fiesta spokesman Miguel Castillo said the series tries "to represent, as much as possible, all of the various Latin countries as well as popular music that is heard in these countries."
"We must also include the United States in this mix, due to the fact that the U.S. Latino culture is a mix of American influences as well as our native influences. That is why we have everything from rock to pop, reggae to ska, cumbia to salsa, Latin jazz to worldbeat and norteño, and a mix of all of these."
Salvador Santana is touring to support his latest single, "Mi Tesoro," a song about his late grandmother, who he said shaped his younger years.
The mellow, introspective song features him rapping as well as singing and playing keyboards; it could very well be mistaken for a lost Incubus or Linkin Park outtake.
Santana also co-wrote the Grammy Award-winning tribute to his late grandfather, "El Farol," with his father on Carlos Santana's blockbuster album "Supernatural."
"Two heads are better than one, I've learned," Santana said, laughing.
His current sound is decidedly pop with a Latin flair, but he said, "It's all an experiment and I do have plans of eventually releasing a record."
"The younger generation's attention span is much too short," he said. "People these days are more interested in hearing singles as opposed to albums. I'm trying to be observant and to take into consideration what works and is popular now."
FIESTA EN LA CALLE
What: Latino music series
When: 4 to 9 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 11
Where: Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I St., Sacramento, except for July 28, when it moves to Southside Park, 2115 Sixth St.
Who: Upcoming acts include SambaDa (Brazilian funk), El Sonido Callejero (Latin dance and rock), Locos Por Juana (Latin jam rock), El Conjunto Nueva Ola (cumbia, rock and disco) and Sacred Fire (a tribute to Santana). SambaDa will headline the festival's July 28 show at Southside Park.
Information: www.facebook.com/ fiestaen.lacalle