In 2015, Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez helped Jesse Bermúdez, Rob Bernberg and Carlos Sánchez establish Siempre Salsa, a week-long celebration of salsa music in Philly.
The idea was to introduce the greater Philadelphia community to the vibrant, homegrown salsa music scene. This year, Bernberg has extended a special invitation to the Mexican community to participate in the opening event, scheduled for May 5th.
Philadelphia's hallmark Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebration, the festival of San Mateo Carnavalero, will not be taking place this year. One of the organizers of the 15,000-strong parade and festival told NBC10's Brian X. McCrone that the cancellation was due to “the severe conditions affecting the immigrant community.”
So Bernberg hopes that the salsa night will bring out not only the usual Puerto Rican and non-Latino aficionados of the music, but also the Mexican community. To that end, he's invited members of the Mexican Cultural Center (MCC) to address the crowd at the salsa night, and they've agreed.
"This overlapping of communities, as will occur at the Siempre Salsa First Friday event on Cinco de Mayo, promotes understanding and respect between each group," said Yaroslava Camacho, director of programs at the MCC, "and contributes to a stronger, more tolerant Philadelphia."