entertainment

Cast of ‘Hamilton’ Have No Apologies

“This is what freedom looks like” – Vice President-elect Mike Pence

This past weekend Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the hit Broadway show Hamilton. At the end of the show, Brandon Victor Dixon (Aaron Burr) and his cast mates, stood on stage and addressed their concerns regarding Pence’s, and the President-elect’s, policy positions and statements on minorities and the LGBT community. He encouraged the audience to share any photos and/or videos taken on social media and even quieted the boos so he could get the message across, quoting the founding fathers that are impersonated in the musical.

Though Pence himself wasn’t offended by the statements made, it is to no surprise that Trump took it as “harassment”.  Since old habits die hard, he promptly took to Twitter to express his frustration, demanding an apology. But he won’t get one. According to amNY, Brandon Dixon appeared on CBS This Morning, commenting on the assertive statement, noting that he felt the stage was an appropriate platform to respectfully delivery such a message.

Looking how different both the President-elect and the Vice President-elect reactions were to the cast of Hamilton’s message, isn’t more apparent that Trump has no idea how to be president? Let us know in the comments below.

EL POETA CALLEJERO: UN TIGRE DECENTE PREOCUPADO POR LAS INJUSTICIAS SOCIALES

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Gerardo Gabriel Santana, mejor conocido por sus millones de fans como El Poeta Callejero es un joven al que podríamos definir como tímido y comedido. Mucho más allá de la súper estrella de música urbana nos encontramos conversando con un joven agradable, quien piensa detenidamente sus respuestas y quien lleva como bandera y mensaje, la justicia social.

Este deseo de igualdad y justicia social incentivado en gran parte por sus orígenes humildes y la pobreza que vivió en la niñez se ve claramente reflejado en las letras de sus canciones.

A pesar de los rumores sobre su fanatismo religioso, incoherencias o largos silencios en recientes entrevistas, el poeta callejero se define como “un tigre decente”, decidido a hacer lo correcto y a luchar por ser una mejor persona con el único arma que conoce, su arte, sus letras, su poesía que nace y se alimenta en el lugar que lo vio nacer y crecer: La Calle.

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HABLAMOS DE TU NUEVO ÁLBUM?

El título del álbum es “Tigre Decente” y en eso es lo que me es convertido, en una persona hábil para desenvolverse en el lugar donde me tocó vivir y decente porque soy correcto.

Dentro del álbum hay una canción que le dedico a mi hija y se titula mi bendición. Se ha hecho una serie especial y diferente que se usó con los temas del CD., un video de 40 minutos donde se desarrolla una historia con la música del álbum y que cuenta lo que es un tigre decente y porque.

ES DIFÍCIL SER UN TIGRE DECENTE EN REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA?

Es realmente difícil.

QUÉ HAY DETRÁS DE TU NOMBRE ARTISTICO: EL POETA CALLEJERO?

Yo crecí en la calle, nací en la calle en la entrada de una iglesia. Así fueron mis inicios y toda mi vida involucrado en la calle y poeta porque yo amo la poesía y la gente me empezó a llamar poeta pero qué tipo de poeta , bueno uno callejero.

PORQUE TUS LÍRICAS Y EL CONTENIDO DE TUS CANCIONES ES DIFERENTE AL RESTO DE LOS ARTISTAS URBANOS?

Me importa mucho lo que sucede a mí alrededor, soy una conciencia viviente que analiza lo que me rodea. Mi objetivo principal es ser un mensajero de lo que me rodea y exponerlo en mi arte.

QUE INJUSTICIA SOCIAL TE PREOCUPA?

La desigualdad, la pobreza y que los que están en posición de ayudar por sus conocimientos o influencia no lo hacen. Porque beneficiarse solo unos pocos no entendiendo que todos somos iguales.

SE HA HABLADO ÚLTIMAMENTE QUE LUCES INCOHERENTE, QUE TIENES PROBLEMAS DE ADICCIÓN O DESÓRDENES DE PERSONALIDAD. QUE PASA REALMENTE CONTIGO?

Yo solamente evito las conversaciones banales y triviales.

ES ESTA NUEVA PERSONALIDAD UNA ESTRATEGIA PUBLICITARIA?

A los hijos de Dios, los planes del enemigo, les terminan favoreciendo. La gente puede llegar a pensar que es una estrategia, entonces yo lo tomo con una actitud positiva y agradezco a Dios.

ESTAS PASANDO POR UNA DEPRESIÓN?

Mira yo vengo de una casa que tenía una lona como techo, que el piso era de tierra, que las camas tenían chinches  y  quemabamos los colchones con trementina en las noches para matarlas y aun así yo era feliz. Imagínate ahora estoy en mi casa con aire acondicionado, con gente apoyándome, siempre con más deseos de superarme y motivado a dar lo mejor al público.

UN MENSAJE PARA EL PÚBLICO EN ESTADOS UNIDOS?

Estamos coordinando una gira próximamente, espero verlos pronto y síganme en instagram a @elpoetacallejero

 

 

 

Warriors in the Cage: Dominick Cruz & Henry Cejudo

Originally published in the Jul/Aug 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

Photos courtesy of UFC/Getty Images

The Latino Faces of the UFC

Latinos have a long and storied history in the world of combat sports. In boxing, legendary figures such as Julio Cesar Chávez and Oscar De La Hoya proudly touted their Latino heritage while winning championships and glory. At the dawn of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and mixed martial arts, Royce Gracie was its first dominant superstar, more recently followed by Anderson Silva, long considered the best in the world.

Carrying the banner for Latinos in the sport are now two rising stars: Dominick Cruz and Henry Cejudo. Cruz is the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion while Cejudo is an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler. Both are budding megastars and both are keenly aware of their status as Latino stars in a sport that gains popularity every day.

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“The Dominator” Dominick Cruz

Growing up in Tucson, the man they call “The Dominator” was introduced to combat sports quite literally by accident. “I got into wrestling in the seventh grade and I got into [it] because I walked into the wrong room,” he said. “The coach said I wasn’t a soccer player, I was a wrestler. I started practicing that day and haven’t stopped since.

After an undefeated amateur career, he had a successful career in the now defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion, becoming its last bantamweight champion before it was absorbed by the UFC. It wasn’t long before Cruz achieved glory in the UFC, capturing the bantamweight championship twice.

I come from Tucson, Arizona, which is 70 percent Hispanic,” Cruz said. “It’s in me, that pride of being Hispanic. I feel it. In the way that the Mexicans always fought, they’re just tough and stubborn. I feel that’s in my bloodline and I’m proud of that.

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“The Messenger” Henry Cejudo

The youngest of six children, the Olympian Henry Cejudo was introduced to the sport of wrestling by his older brothers. “I loved that wrestling was all about one-on-one combat,” he said. “I was always too small to play football, too short to play basketball, but when I saw that wrestling had weight classes, I knew I was home and I fell in love with it from the start.

Cejudo was an amateur superstar, winning four state wrestling championships. After winning gold at the Pan American Games in 2008, he set his sights firmly on Olympic glory, winning Gold at the 2008 Beijing Games. He retired from the sport in 2012 to compete in mixed martial arts. His pedigree and his impressive skills caught the attention of the UFC. Settling in as a flyweight, Cejudo has amassed a 10-1 record and is now one of the coaches on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

“I want to become the best in the world,” he said. “What else is there to do in sports, but to want to be the best?”

DE LA GHETTO ESTRENA NUEVO TEMA Y CONTRATO CON WARNER MUSIC LATINA

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El cantante urbano De La Guetto acaba de lanzar al mercado el sencillo “Acercate” parte de su nuevo álbum “Movimiento”, bajo la producción  del sello disquero Warner Music Latin. Luego de más de 10 años trabajando de manera independiente y lanzando y promocionando sus temas mayormente a través de las redes sociales, el joven talento acaba de firmar un contrato exclusivo que promete darle un giro total a su carrera.

“Este contracto significa algo grande, un movimiento estratégico, ahora con el respaldo de una multinacional tan importante como esta, podemos llevar mi música a otro nivel, estar presente en los medios de comunicación y las premiaciones”, nos dice el rapero neoyorkino.

Rafael Castillo, nació en Nueva York, hijo de padre dominicano y madre puertorriqueña. Su pasión por la música nace desde que era muy pequeño y se afianzo al mudarse a Puerto Rico a la edad de 8 años. Comenzó en el arte siendo apenas un adolescente con el nombre de Rafael De La Guetto

 “De La Guetto, del barrio, del caserío, de los proyectos, de ahí nace mi música. Yo siempre trato de influir a los jóvenes con mis liricas y con lo que hago para que sepan que ser del barrio, no significa necesariamente estar en pandillas o en drogas, tu puedes ser exitoso, artista, profesional, un doctor, lo que tú quieras” le recuerda el cantante a los jóvenes

Su nuevo sencillo “Acércate” fue producido 100% en Colombia por la misma compañía que produce los temas de JBalvin.

“Acércate, es un tema bien melódico, con un toque colombiano, caribeño pero bien bailable, bien sensual. Estaremos grabando el video en Colombia próximamente, será un concepto bien diferente, algo así como ciencia ficción”, revela De La Guetto.

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Al preguntarle si existe una rivalidad entre los boricuas con el reggaetón que se hace en Colombia, nos dice

“yo no creo en eso de rivalidad, siempre hay 2 o 3 estúpidos ignorantes que quieren causar conflictos. El reggaetón es pa’ to el mundo, no solo pa’ nosotros, mi sonido y estilo en lo que hago es único. Me siento bendecido por tener lo mejor de varios mundos: dominicano-puertorriqueño nacido en Nueva York,  esta es una mezcla especial que es parte de mí y de mi estilo”.

Sus inicios se remontan al 2004, cuando formo un dúo musical con el cantante Arcángel, luego grabo temas con Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam y otros artistas del género, hasta que prácticamente su música se vio bloqueada por unirse a un sello disquero que no le permitia lanzar álbumes o participar en eventos grandes, .

 “me tenían bloqueado, pero todo pasar por una razón y yo creo que eso tenía que pasar en mi vida para yo ponerme fuerte mentalmente, espiritualmente, como ser humano y como artista. Ahora tengo más experiencia en el negocio y voy hacia el éxito”, nos dice lleno de entusiasmo.

Y es por esa madurez y experiencia que las cosas están sonriendo a su favor, además de estrenar un sello disquero, acaba de lanzar al mercado un reggaetón romántico junto a la cantante Thalía, un nuevo tema con el cantante urbano Secreto y está a punto de convertirse en padre por segunda vez.

De La Guetto también trabaja en la producción de un disco completamente en inglés, y se mantiene enfocando y con la certeza de que los frutos de estos más de 10 años de trabajo y sacrificio ya están a la vuelta de la esquina. Este es el tiempo de De la Guetto y lo mejor está por venir

 

 

*Originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Latin Trends

Fun Family Cinema Returns for 8th Annual KidCinemaFest Film Festival in New York

More Than 40 Films From Over 25 Countries For All Ages

Free Entrance and All Foreign Language Films are subtitled in English

Cine Art Entertainment Productions, in collaboration with Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, and Catholic Charities proudly presents the 8th annual edition of KidCinemaFest Film Festival, October 13th to the 19th, 2016.  

The Festival aims to enrich children’s appreciation for film making and cultural diversity through a program of over 40 films that includes documentaries, fiction films as well as animations from 25 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.  The festival welcomes attendees of all ages to view some of the most exciting, smart, and reflective movies of this decade.  Entrance is free and all foreign language films are subtitled in English.

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KidCinemaFest opens October 13, 7:00pm at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center the U.S premier of the Dominican feature film LOS FABULOS MA’ MEJORES directed by Carlos Manuel Plasencia and produced by Celines Toribio. This Dominican film is for all ages and tells the story of, Chelo Rosario, a kid baseball coach who’s not doing very well. He has no money, no job and his baseball team, although wonderful, is spectacularly bad at playing baseball. One day an announcement is made on the radio regarding the first ever Kid’s Baseball Tournament in the Dominican Republic and Chelo decides to ask the beautiful Joanna (Denise Quiñones) — who is the mother of one of the kids — for help to enter the tournament. The result is a fun-filled family oriented comedy where kids as well as adults will enjoy the crazy adventures of this fabulous team and the importance of fighting for your dreams regardless of how difficult they may be.

KidCinemaFest closes on October 19, 7:00pm at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center with the French feature film Belle and Sebastian. Adapted from the popular series by Cécile Aubry, Belle and Sebastian is a breathtaking adventure set high in the snowy Alps during a dramatic time in history. Sebastian is a resourceful young boy raised by an eccentric guardian (played by Tchéky Karyo, one of France’s most popular actors) in a peaceful mountain village. Sebastian meets a much feared wild dog, known by herders as ‘The Beast.’ Playing together in the alpine meadows and water holes, the boy and the dog come to love and rely upon one another; Sebastian calls her ‘Belle’. When German Nazis arrive, looking for Jewish refugees crossing the treacherous pass to Switzerland, courageous Belle and Sebastian join the resistance.

As the film festival founder and director, Armando Guareño says, “This year’s film program strives to enrich the lives of children through the art of cinema, enabling children and families to learn from different cultures without having to leave New York City.” While Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez shares similar thoughts on the festival, “As a longtime supporter of the KidCinemaFest, I’m incredibly proud of the success the program has enjoyed. Over a few short years it has become the preeminent children’s film festival in New York City, broadening the cultural horizons of hundreds of our youth.” 

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The complete programming is organized in four sections. KID FLIX 1 section, composed of a colorful collection of short films from around the world. KID FLIX 2 section, a distinctive international short films collections that includes directors Olga and Tatiana Poliektova film My GRANDFATHER WAS A CHERRY TREE (Russia),  Ainslie Henderson newest short film STEMS (United Kingdom), Natalia Chernysheva’s film TWO FRIENDS (France and Russia), and from the directors of PHANTOM BOY and A CAT IN PARIS we also bring you ONE HELL OF A PLAN (France).

VIVA SHORT section, a collection of short film’s of the best shorts from the Brooklyn Film Festival’s Kidsfilmfest. FEATURE FILMS section, an international selection of the best contemporary films within the children cinema industry; including Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s film A CAT IN PARIS (France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium), Laurent Boileau and Jung Heninl’s film APPROVED FOR ADOPTION (France, Belgium, South Korea, Switzerland), Franck Ekinci and Christian Desmares’ film APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD (France), Yasuhiro Yoshimura’s film PATEMA INVERTED (Japan), Walter Tournier’s film SELKIRK, EL VERDADERO ROBINSON CRUSOE (Uruguay, Argentina, Chile), and Tomm Moree’s film THE SECRET OF KELLS (Belgium, France, Ireland).

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KidCinemaFest venues are:

  • Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center (530 West 166th Street and Amsterdam)
  • Casita Maria in the South Bronx (928 Simpson St at 163rd Street
  • CUNY in the Heights (5030 Broadway at 213th)
  • Comisionado Dominicano de Cultura en USA (541 West 145th St (2nd Floor)
  • Public schools throughout Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the Bronx.

The event is free and open to anyone and everyone who wishes to attend!

The 8th Annual KidCinemaFest Film Festival in New York is a project of Cine-Art Entertainment Productions and is made possible with the collaboration of City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, The Dominican Film Festival in New York, Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center and Catholic Charities and sponsored by LatinTRENDS Magazine, Manhattan Times and in collaboration with, Brooklyn Film Festival’s Kidsfilmfest,  CUNY in the Heights and GKIDS.tv.

For a complete list of films and show times please visit www.kidcinemafest.com

Isa Shares Emotive New Single ‘Good For Me’

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Following the release of her heartfelt ballad “Take It Slow” earlier this year, the sultry Bronx-born Afro-Latin singer, songwriter, and model, Isa, takes us into the complicated situations of love with her fiery new single “Good For Me.”

Classically trained, Isa flexes her silky fusion of pop/soul and contemporary r&b on the new track. “Good For Me” is the second single from Isa’s forthcoming sophomore EP Mirrors Volume 1, due out October 28.

“‘Good for Me’ details the candid internal struggle of having to choose between two lovers. Following through with the theme of ‘Mirrors Volume I’, I decided to be brutally honest with myself and face the situation in song as the story itself was unfolding in my life. It gives a perspective into the other side of relationships that is blatantly selfish and mischievous.” – Isa

 

Listen to “Good For Me” on SoundCloud:

Isa is set to perform at Uptown Soul Lounge in New York City on Friday, September 30. The show is free with an RSVP here.

NY Mets Ace Closer Jeurys Familia on summer Issue Cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine

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Jeurys Familia, dynamic pitcher for the New York Mets, is LatinTRENDS’ August issue cover person. In this exclusive interview Familia talks about representing the Latino community, his community outreach program focused on foster children Familia’s Family, and what motivates him to succeed.

 

This month also includes interviews with Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro who stars as Jesus in this summer’s remake of “Ben Hur,” the sizzling Benjamin Bratt starring in “The Infiltrator” and beauty Ana Isabelle starring in “The Eyes.”

Urban music star De La Ghetto also speaks with LatinTRENDS about his new single “Acércate” from his new album “Mi Movimiento.”

In celebration of the New York Dominican Parade, LatinTRENDS identified 10 community influencers committed to engendering positive change within New York’s dynamic Dominican Community. The special feature includes interviews with the following influential men and women of various fields such as; law, music, fashion, STEM, business, politics and the arts.

Adriano Espaillat, New York State Senator and first Dominican-American elected to Congress; Los Hermanos Rosario;  Iconic merengue band “Los Hermanos Rosario” Members include Rafa, Luis and Tony Rosario; Angela Fernandez, Esq, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Dominican Parade; Carolina Torres, Activist and Girl Scout “Future Woman of Distinction Award” winner; Wilton Cedeno, Director of Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Con Edison; Appointed by Mayor Deblasio to New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors; Francisco Diaz, President of American Association of Latinos in STEM (AALSTEM); Rafael Alvarez, Founder, president & CEO of ATAX Franchise, Inc. and winner of the IFA’s Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award; Cenia Paredes, Fashion designer and creator of Cenia Fit with a collection available at HSN; Rigo Peralta, Visual artist with exhibits in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Juan J. Camilo, Founder and owner of Dyckman Beers Co.

The August issue also includes “South African Travel” and business guides “Live Video 101”and “Snapchat as a Personal Branding Tool for Business.”  Also see “How to Get Unstuck: A Mindful Approach” and “Resilience: The Secret to Wellbeing” for tips on constructing a meaningful life.

In addition and in celebration of this summer issue, LatinTRENDS will host an event in Times Square on August 8th, which will be attended by this issues in-book featured personalities and a significant group of community influencers, artist, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and the media.

 

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Romeo & his Manager Johnny Marines partner with JAY-Z in Roc Nation Latino

Music Impresario Johnny Marines & his super star artist Romeo Santos are now the President and CEO of Jay Z’s Roc Nation Latino.

 

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The king of bachata Romeo Santos’ is now a CEO title of CEO of the newly created Roc Nation Latino within Jay Z’s Roc Nation. It will be a full service division within Roc Nation that will be dedicated to Latin talent. Santos will also be managed by Roc Nation in conjunction with his longtime manager.

 

The company inked a deal with former Aventura lead singer Romeo Santos to become the CEO of the newly launched Roc Nation Latino.

The deal also makes Romeo Santos, the top selling artist in Latin music of the last five years, a management client of Roc Nation. The singer will now be co-managed by Roc Nation and the aforementioned Johnny Marines, a 2016 Latino Trendsetter Award recipient.  Santos’ current recording contract with Sony is unaffected by his new venture. Bringing Romeo Santos into the fold opens up Roc Nation to a whole new market. The company made their first move into the Latin music earlier this year by signing reggaeton artist Yandel. The launch of Roc Nation Latino represents Roc Nation’s further moves to expand into the global market. Jay Z released a statement today that expressed his excitement for what Santos will do for Roc Nation.

 

 

 “I’m not taking for granted being managed by Roc Nation,” Santos says in a conversation with Billboard. “They have a lot of relations. They have a certain reach that I clearly could benefit from. And dealing with Jay Z, who is an artist himself, that’s great. I’ve always idolized Jay. We both come from the ‘hood, and he gets it. So that was definitely also fundamental. But I’m really excited about giving back. This is my way of giving back.” –  Said Romeo

 “Romeo has had tremendous success as a composer and producer and can spot true talent,” Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter said in a statement. “This is a tremendous step for Roc Nation. We recognize there is a huge Latin market that is part of global culture. We’re proud and ready to enter into true partnership with an individual that intimately lives and knows that culture.” – Said JAY-Z

Romeo Santos and Johnny Marines believe this deal is not only beneficial to them, but also something that will help Latin music industry as whole. Marines said that Roc Nation is serious about facilitating the growth of Latin music.

Subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter for your weekly dose of news, trends and culture:   http://bit.ly/1BcjOjX 

 

 

George Lopez’s ‘Lopez’ on TV Land gets a 2nd Season!

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George Lopez seems to have another hit series on his hands with the recently announced renewal of his TV Land’s series aptly titled Lopez.

Check out our exclusive interview with George Lopez below! 

 

The series follows Lopez as he portrays a fictional version of himself trying to cope with all the demands that comes with being a celebrity as well as trying to fulfill a desire to give back to the Latino community within the area in-which he grew up in.

The TV Land series is the third comedy series for Lopez. From 2002 to 2007, Lopez starred in ABC’s George Lopez and in 2014 in FX’s Saint George

Lopez serves as executive producer on the series.

Season one of the series began back in March, and the season finale is scheduled to air on June 22nd.

NOEL QUIÑONES – The Bridge to Nuyorican Spoken Word

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Originally published in the  November 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Francisco Bernard

The Bridge to Nuyorican Spoken Word

Before each performance, 22-year-old Noel Quiñones has one ritual. He kisses one of the two necklaces he wears: the Taino sun and coqui necklace, representing the Tainos, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico; or a gold cross, passed down from his great grandmother just before she passed away. Quiñones carries the history of his people on his neck, and his art is the way he lives out that history in the present-day.

For the past seven years, Quiñones has been honing his craft as a spoken word artist. Quiñones’ journey began in the small town of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He was taking a creative writing class at a two-week summer program when his teacher gave him an assignment.

“My teacher told me to write one poem every day of the two weeks we were at camp,” said Quiñones. “I filled the book up by that May. It’s interesting because my first encounter with poetry was not through [someone else’s] work, but through an exploration of my own feelings and experiences.”

The exploration went through different phases. Quiñones looks at his sophomore year through senior year at Fieldston School as his hobby phase. He’ll go back and look at his early work, but it was during his freshmen year at Swarthmore College – with a poem called “Vitamin C” – that the poet in him flourished.

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In his sophomore year, he and the Swarthmore College slam team participated in the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) at Barnard College. It was a double homecoming for the New Yorker. He performed in front of a hometown audience, but it was his poem “El Cantante,” where he took on the persona of Puerto Rican salsa singer Hector Lavoe, what caused a vivid awakening in the artist. “I started to find my place,” said Quiñones.

Then came, as he describes it, the key in the ignition: “For Tato Laviera (Bomba),” an ode to the Nuyorican poet. Earlier in the piece, Quiñones says, “Einstein, el campesino, compacted the flavor. Now I am the bomb, the gift, a favor.”

The piece, performed at the 2015 CUPSI at the University of Richmond, validated his place. “I am continuing the Nuyorican history. The Nuyorican poet is responsible for creating newness,” he says, referencing the foreword by Miguel Algarin in the collection “Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings.” Algarin co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan. “The newness needs words, words never heard before or used before. He has to invent a new language, a new tradition of communication.”

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That was “Bomba.” “It was taking the Nuyorican concept and putting my own spin to it,” said Quiñones. It was an affirmation not only to his art, but also to his identity. As many young Latinos, the validity of their Latinidad is questioned, but Quiñones learned through his art that Latinidad is just subjective. “I was walking around Philly and saw a t-shirt that said “History + Community = Pride,” and I had a spiritual moment, which sounds stupid because it’s a shirt,” Quiñones said with a chuckle.

Quiñones creates newness within this identity. “I don’t call myself Puerto Rican because that was the name given to my island by Spain, meaning Rich Port.” Quiñones identifies as an AfroBoricua. “Boriken is the original name of my island, meaning land of the valiant lords, and so people of Boriken are called Boriquens or Boricuas. I say Afro because I find it necessary to acknowledge my connection to Africa and not diminish or demonize it.”

Spoken word is no easy art. Quiñones blows into a napkin and lets out a couple coughs, still recovering from his engagement at Friends Seminary School on Wednesday. He’s also in the middle of his first official tour with Piel Cafe, a two-man poetry collective comprised of him and CUPSI teammate Julian Randall. Quiñones scoffs at the question of burning out. “I got my ancestors behind me,” he says, his voice more heightened than before, as if he’s jumped into the middle of his performance. “And I’m not going to stop.”