The Baruch Performing Arts Center was filled to capacity last night for R.Evolución Latina's Evening of Celebration. This annual event celebrates the accomplishments of the group and those involved throughout the year. R.Evolución Latina, built on the motto "Dare to Go Beyond", is a non-profit that empowers the artistic community in order to inspire growth within the Latino Community through collaboration, productions, and educational support programs. Under the umbrella of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, they work with artists from Broadway, Film, and the Music industry as well as other organizations to develop events, raise funds for groups in need, and create programs that challenge communities to pursue their dreams.
Among the many things to celebrate, R.Evolución Latina announced the release of their first album: DARE TO GO BEYOND: THE ALBUM. A collaboration of their very talented supporters, this album was designed to serve as a fund-raising tool as well as representation of their mission. "To have something to hold on to, something to live for, is important. R.Evolución Latina provides that through the arts and now through this music. The support they have from Broadway Cares shows their potential, and this album furthers their mission with music that inspires." (Corbin Bleu, "High School Musical)
A host of Broadway actors, musicians, students, and more came to lend their support. Artists such as Joshua Henry, Michael Balderrama, Marcus Paul James, William Cepeda, Eliseo Roman, Andrea Patterson, Doreen Montalvo, Taharqa, and Lou Briel were there to mingle and perform songs from the album. Joshua Henry joined composer Taharqa to sing "Little Engine (I Know I AM)" and the whole company came together with a rendition of "Dare to Go Beyond", an original piece by Joshua Henry, that brought the house down. Founders Luis Salgado and Gabriela Garcia hosted the evening, and took the audience on the journey of the group's success throughout the year.
The evening culminated with the presentation of the Catalyst Award, an award given annually to a group or individual who sparks change in others. This year, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' own Tom Viola accepted the award. "A catalyst is defined as something that causes change in others without changing itself. We are only half of that definition. R.Evolución Latina's presence in our lives has changed us; their energy, talent, and passion for what they do have inspired us to do better."
Bombayo, a youth project dedicated to preserving the rich Afro Puerto Rican tradition of Bomba, and William Cepeda, the creator of Afro-Rican Jazz, an innovative blend of world music, progressive jazz and traditional Afro-Puerto Rican folk music and dance, wrapped up the night with a high-energy number that had everyone dancing in the aisles. Their electric performance reflected everything R.Evolución Latina stands for - passion, heart, and the will to go beyond.
All of the artists that performed at the event are featured on the CD, which can be purchased from the Broadway Cares Online Store. For more information on the album, you can go to the R.Evolución Latina website and click on the image of the CD on the bottom of the page. There you can find song samples, artist information, and a "making of" video. All proceeds from the album go directly into the many educational programs and events that R.Evolución Latina produces.