Fair music heads south of the border

<p>Jefes de Mando perform on Thursday on the main stage during Latino Music Night at the Umatilla County Fair in Hermiston.</p>

The entertainment at the Umatilla County Fair took a departure from the traditional country vibe Thursday night for Latino Music Night.

Local band Jefes de Mando started off the night at 6 p.m. Most of the crowd was there to see headliners Tormenta de Durango and Domador de la Sierra, but there was plenty of toe-tapping and nods of approval once Jefes de Mando got going.

“I haven’t really heard them before, but they’ve got good rhythm,” Liz Martinez said.

She said she was excited to see Latino bands playing at the fair. This is the second straight year where one night has been dedicated to the genre.

“It’s good to have something for us too,” she said. “This you can bring your whole family to.”

Her brother Victor said he just enjoyed “hearing good music,” whatever the style.

Alondra Garcia was looking forward to seeing Tormenta de Durango, a nationally known band out of Washington state. She said she grew up with her parents listening to Latino music and she enjoys it too.

“I like upbeat music that can get the crowd going, that people start jiggling their foot to,” she said.

La Luz de Michoacan, the evening’s second act, was a favorite for Maria Zamudio. The group, which features a drummer, two other percussionists and two keyboard players, had a more lyrical style than Jefes de Mando, something Zamudio liked.

“I like that it’s upbeat,” she said. “It’s decent music and the language is clean.”

She said she feels like Latino Music Night is effective in bringing more of Hermiston’s Hispanic population to the fair.

“I love it,” she said. “I love the fact that they allow music for the Spanish speaking people. I think it draws the community together.”

Eddie de la Cruz, who was involved with the evening’s planning as a member of the Hispanic Advisory Committee, said the fair board has “really embraced the Hispanic community” and he looks forward to continuing the partnership.


Contact Jade McDowell at jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4536.

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