The zesty blend of Latin musical theatre, stand-up and dance will serve as the highlight event for the College’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and will occur in the Mainstage Theatre at 8:00 p.m.
“Owens Community College is proud to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Hispanic-Americans who, throughout history, have done so much to make America what it is today," said Betty Valentine, Owens Director of Employee Relations and Diversity.
“The 'Sofrito!' performance will give area residents a chance to see some of the true living legends of Latin music, dance and storytelling right here at Owens. I encourage area residents to engage themselves in the College's various events surrounding Hispanic Heritage Month and participate in the celebration of Latino culture.”
“Sofrito!” combines the funny, funky and physical storytelling of González with the music of the legendary Larry Harlow, one of Afro-Cuban music’s most celebrated composers, and the world-renown Latin Legends Band. The show’s performance brought unique storytelling and sound to Broadway theatre and enjoyed a long and storied sold-out run at The New Victory Theatre, which is regarded as one of New York City's premiere theatres for family entertainment.
González is regarded as one of the most prominent Latin storytelling talents today and has been showcased worldwide in such venues as the Royal National Theater in London, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
The recipient of the Helen Hayes Performing Artist of the Year Award,
González’s poetry has been featured on various television and radio shows, including Bill Moyers’ “Fooling with Words” on PBS and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
A classically-trained pianist, Harlow who has made over 30 albums during his career. He has received numerous honors for his musical knowledge and talents, including Record World and Billboard awards in the categories of Latin Producer of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Arranger of the Year, Concert of the Year, and Salsa Orchestra of the Year.
In 1977, Harlow composed the music for “Sofrito!” and is joined on the Latin Legends Band by Adalberto Santiago, who is often referred to as the “Pavarotti of Salsa” because of his rich sonorous voice, and Yomo Toro, whose talent with the cuatro, a small guitar-like instrument, has earned him the nickname “The Puerto Rican Jimi Hendrix.
Additional HHM activities occurring at Owens include: a Latino-American Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Authentic food from the Latino-American culture will serve as the theme for a Terrace View Café luncheon. The cuisine will be prepared and served by Owens students within Hotel, Restaurant, Institution Technologies and held in the College's Terrace View Café at 11:30 a.m. Latino music and cultural information will accompany the luncheon. Reservations must be made prior to the event.
Owens’ libraries on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses will also display a variety of Hispanic-American heritage and cultural artifacts, as well as feature a selection of books and audio/visual materials related to HHM.
Tickets for “Sofrito!” are $25 for the public, $23 for senior citizens and Owens employees, and $12 for students. To purchase tickets visit www.stagetix.com or contact the College's Box Office. For more information about the event, contact the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at (567) 661-2787 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. ARTS (2787).
The public is invited to test its knowledge of Latino history as the Owens offers a free
HHM online trivia contest. Individuals who answer all questions correctly will be entered into a drawing for free tickets to “Sofrito!” The trivia contest is available by accessing the Owens’ website at www.owens.edu.
According to Owens, it continues to serve as a leader in providing Latinos access to higher education throughout Northwest Ohio. For this semester, 815 Latinos are pursuing an Owens education on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. The College has nearly doubled its Latino enrollment since 1996. Ten years ago only 453 Latinos students were enrolled during the fall term.