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Puerto Rican New York

Puerto Rican New York


An animation over Hector Lavoe singing Mi Gente (My people)

Welcome to the Concierge Guide to world-class Puerto Rican culture in New York City.

New Yorkers with a Puerto Rican heritage were long the largest group of New Yorkers with a Hispanic heritage. In the last 2010 Census, 29% of New Yorkers had a Hispanic heritage. 31% of them have a Puerto Rican heritage. Today the Dominican community is larger, but Puerto Rican-Americans remain an important part of New York City’s cultural landscape.

There are many Puerto Rican-Americans in entertainment. One of the biggest contributions Puerto Ricans have made to New York City is Latin Jazz. In the 1970s Cuban music played by New Yorkers with a Puerto Rican heritage went global out of New York as Salsa.

Today Salsa is everywhere and has many flavors, but originally, it is Puerto Rican-American soul. It’s a very big thing when you inspire people all over the world.

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Notable Puerto Rican-Americans


This is going to be a big list. We will try to stick with Puerto Rican-Americans associated with New York City. There are so many people to be proud of.

  • Lemon Anderson is a Tony® Award-winning poet and actor
  • Marc Anthony is a Grammy® Award-winning musician, actor, and producer
  • Míriam Colón is an actress who founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
  • Benicio del Toro is an actor
  • Carlos Henriquez is the Jazz at Lincoln Center bassist and occasional music director. We call him the “Duke Henriquez” because he speaks Jazz and Latin fluently, and some of his compositions sound like Duke Ellington. We think he is the most important Puerto-Rican American musician today because he is all the way in the Jazz world and all the way in the Latin world at the same time.
  • Jennifer Lopez is a pop singer and actress
  • Larry Harlow (Brooklyn, 1939) is one of the FANIA All-Stars. His nickname is “El Judio Maravilloso” (The Marvelous Jew).
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Tony® Award-winning writer and actor
  • Rosie Perez, actress. Growing up Anglo, Rosie is the first person I ever knew was Puerto Rican.
  • Bobby Sanabria is a percussionist and music professor
  • Sonia Sotomayor is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This is a huge deal. There are only nine active Supreme Court Justices.
  • Willie Perdomo is a poet and children’s book author
  • Tito Puente is still the world’s most famous Latin Jazz musician
  • Chita Rivera is a highly respected actress who started as Anita in West Side Story, and opened the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago the Musical
  • Louie Vega is Grammy® Award-winning producer and DJ. He has a house gig Wednesday nights at Cielo in the Meatpacking District.

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Puerto Rican Culture Highlights


Formell y Los Van Van & Tito Rojas 40th at Lehman Center

Formell y Los Van Van & Tito Rojas 40th
August at Lehman Center

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Puerto Rican Culture in New York City


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Miguel Zenón

Village Vanguard

Miguel Zenón

Puerto Rican-American Jazz in Greenwich Village

Miguel Zenón is a multi-Grammy® nominee and Guggenheim/MacArthur Fellow sax player with a Puerto Rican heritage.

The Miguel Zenón Quartet plays the Village Vanguard September 1-6, 2015.



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Hamilton

Richard Rodgers Theatre

Hamilton

African, Puerto Rican-American Broadway in Theatre District

Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (In the Heights) new Broadway musical. It tells the story of the founder of the U.S. financial system contemporary through hip-hop and rhythm & blues ballads sung by a multicultural cast.

Hamilton is the hottest ticket on Broadway. The New York Times calls this the “Summer of Hamilton.”

DAILY WITH WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY MATINEES. DARK MONDAYS.



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The New York Salsa Congress is an annual salsa dance and music festival with dance workshops, performances, and live orchestras for dancing over Labor Day weekend.

The 2015 Congress is at the Wyndam New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen from September 2-7.



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New York Fashion Week in February and September brings fashion shows, trade events, and lots of tall, thin, young people to New York City.

Spring 2016 Collections are showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Made Fashion Week, and independent productions September 10-17, 2015.



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Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual national celebration of the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with Hispanic roots from September 15 – October 15.



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The UN General Assembly is the annual meeting of all member countries of the United Nations.

The 70th UN General Assembly (UNGA) opens Tuesday, September 15, 2015. His Holiness Pope Francis addresses the UNGA on September 25, 2015. The General Debate is Wednesday, September 28 – October 6, 2015.



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The Day of the Dead is part of the Latin world’s annual three-day festival of remembrance of our ancestors. Traditions differ around the world but in Mexico All Hallows Eve or Day of the Witches on October 31st is a day to remember passed children. All Saints Day November 1st is a day to remember passed adults. November 2nd, the Day of the Dead, is a day to tend graves.



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Christie’s Auction of Latin American Art in New York City is in May and November. The November 20-21, 2015 auctions are on view November 14-20 at Christie’s showroom in Rockefeller Center.



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Christmas on December 25th is a Christian religious celebration that has become a popular secular tradition around the world. Many U.S. American holiday traditions were started in New York City.



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New Year’s Eve on December 31 is one night when we celebrate the old and dream of the new. Every culture has its own traditions.



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Three Kings Day on January 6 is a cultural or religious celebration of the biblical Three Wise Men’s visit to the Christ child. Three Kings is the main holiday celebration in some Latin and all Orthodox (Eastern) traditions.

New York City’s main event is El Museo del Barrio’s annual Three Kings Day Parade which runs from 11am~12:30pm in East Harlem with celebrations afterwards at the Museum.



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Holocaust Remembrance Day is an annual international memorial day on January 27. On this day in 1945 Soviet soldiers liberated the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

The Holocaust or Shoah is part of our shared history and must always remain there. When genocide exists only in history, all humanity will be truly blessed.



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International Women’s Day on March 8 is an international celebration of women’s contributions to humanity.



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Mother’s Day is a U.S. American celebration in which people pay respects to their mothers on the second Sunday in May.



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Father’s Day is generally a commercial holiday celebrated on the third Sunday in June in most countries, but not all. Father’s Day 2016 in the U.S. is Sunday, June 19.



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Puerto Rican New York Features


The Condemned

MOVIE REVIEW: The Condemned

NEW YORK March 4, 2013 ~ A review of “The Condemned” 2012, a psychological thriller set in small town Puerto Rico by writer/director Roberto Busco-Garcia.
READ MORE…


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Puerto Rican New York Locations


DANCE SCHOOL ~ An African-American modern dance theater company with schools for both professionals and amateurs. Ailey Extension offers classes in Afro-Caribbean, Capoeira (Brazilian), Salsa (Caribbean), and Samba/Afro-Brazilian dance. (Midtown)


CULTURAL CENTER ~ Promotes the cultures of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean. (Harlem)


MUSEUM ~ Puerto Rican, Caribbean & Latin American art and culture. (East Harlem)


POETRY CLUB ~ A poetry club with a Puerto Rican heritage that is famous for its poetry slams, but also presents music, theatre, literature and hip-hop by everyone. (Lower East Side ~ East 10s)


Taller Boricua is a non-profit artist workshop, event space and gallery at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in El Barrio.


CHILDREN’S THEATRE ~ Teatro SEA produces wonderful bilingual children’s puppet theatre that both children and adults enjoy. The staging, costumes, acting and music are first-rate. The way the puppet actors switch between English and Spanish is truly magical. (Lower East Side)


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Past Puerto Rican New York Events


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SummerStage is an annual summer festival of free concerts and a few benefits in Central Park and parks all over New York City. The 30th SummerStage 2015 is May 18 – October 4.

SummerStage 30 has a few more concerts, but nothing Latin really. See you next year!



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NYCFC ~ New York City Football Club, is New York City’s Major League Soccer team. Yankee Stadium is their home ground.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 ~ NYCFC vs Columbus Crew. Their last matchup two games back drew 2-2.



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Jazz Age tale Chicago the Musical, in an open-ended run (since 1996) at the Ambassador Theatre, is THE iconic American Broadway show, Broadway’s longest-running American musical and multicultural. Bob Fosse choreography reaches beyond vaudeville to the roots of American popular culture.

International stars take turns in lead roles.
Rumer Willis is Roxy Hart Sep 14 – Nov 1.

Not sure which Broadway show to see? See Chicago.

DAILY WITH WEDNESDAY & SUNDAY MATINEES. DARK MONDAYS.



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Leighton's Flaming June

Frick Collection

Leighton's Flaming June

Puerto Rican-American Art in Upper East Side

Frederic Leighton’s Victorian masterpiece Flaming June, from Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce, makes its first visit to NYC at the Frick Collection June 9 – September 6, 2015.

Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.



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Grammy® nominee Elio Villafranca is an inspiring Cuban Jazz pianist and composer. His Music of the Caribbean brings light to the Congolese influences in the cultures of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba. Villafranca’s Cinque Suite is a rich lesson in Black history.

Elio plays a couple of sets in quartet at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 7:30 & 9:30pm. There is something special about Villafranca and his music. Go see for yourself.



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Tito Rojas

Lehman Center

Tito Rojas

Puerto Rican-American Jazz in Jerome Park, Bronx

Puerto Rican Salsa legend and former member of the FANIA All-Stars Tito Rojas “El Gallo Salsero” (the Salsa Rooster) celebrates 40 years of great music at Lehman Center, the heart of The Bronx, on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 8pm.



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The Battery Dance Festival is a annual international public dance festival downtown.

The 2015 Festival is at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park August 15-20 6:30-8:30pm. The Festival closes at Schimmel Center at Pace Universityon August 21 at 6pm. It’s all free with a benefit reception at Schimmel.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 ~ The Battery Dance Festival closes with a performance at Pace University’s Schimmel Center. The performance is free, but there is a benefit reception. Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt of Oslo, Norway performs Praeambulum. Shanmugha Sundaram of Chennai, India makes their New York debut with a world premiere of Varnum. Battery Dance Company performs New Work by Tadej Brdnik, and Sean Scantlebury’s Terra & Astra.



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