Credit: Provided: Maria Entenza Sierra

DOWNTOWN — Cultures collide this weekend as Mexican and Puerto Rican performers take the stage at Millennium Park for a night of music, dance and unity.

“Somos un Solo Pueblo, Mexico y Puerto Rico” will celebrate both cultures through song and dance starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St. Admission is free.

The performance is sponsored by the Chicago Philharmonic, Cuerdas Clásicas, AfriCaribe and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to showcase Puerto Rican culture and provide education on the country’s history.

Carlos Hernandez, founder and executive director of the arts alliance, said the event is a “way of bringing communities together that ordinarily wouldn’t be coming together.”

“When we’re talking about the inclusion of equity and how communities work together, well, why not do it through the arts and music programming? We’re forging ahead and being very proactive of strengthening both cultures,” Hernandez said.

Groups scheduled to perform include the Latin Music Project Ensemble, Cuerdas Clásicas, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company and AfriCaribe.

Conductors Roselin Pabón and Sergio Cárdenas, from Puerto Rico and Mexico respectively, will collaborate on a cross-culture repertoire featuring Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena music.

Pabón worked with the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance and Chicago Philharmonic in 2021 on “San Juan to Chicago,” a performance that brought together the chamber orchestra and Puerto Rican soloists. Chicago Philharmonic will curate Saturday’s performance.

Credits: Todd Rosenberg — Chicago Philharmonic performing in 2022.

“Somos un Solo Pueblo, Mexico y Puerto Rico” translates to “We are one people, Mexico and Puerto Rico,” an idea rooted in the commonalities between the two cultures, whether with their successes or struggles, Hernandez said.

“When we talk about ‘We are one people,’ we are looking at our similarities of what our past and present experiences have been,” Hernandez said.

Saturday’s performance is the final summer event of the city’s Millennium Park Residency Program.

For more information about the free concert, click here.

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