Hispanic Festival, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Photos, Videos)

The high heat and humidity didn’t stop a flurry of live outdoor music, from Latin rock in Calder Plaza to hip hop in Cowpie to the choral allure of an iconic South African band. Videos, photos on Local Spins.

Rocking Calder Plaza: Tribute to Mana at the Grand Rapids Hispanic Festival. (Photo/local tours)


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West Michigan Music Scene

Musical diversity was the name of the game this weekend in the Grand Rapids area.

The West Michigan Hispanic Center’s Hispanic Festival on Calder Plaza delivered rich and varied performances, including top-tier Latin rock from Tribute to Mana on Friday nights, with over a dozen other performances throughout the weekend (including local favorites Cabildo and La Furia del Ritmo) as well as food stalls and a colorful market.

View the full Sunday schedule online at hispanic-center.org.

High-flying fun: Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Studio Park. (Photo/Elle Lively)

On Friday night, several blocks away, South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo resumed their February 2020 appearance at Listening Room — the last US show they played before COVID canceled their tour — in performing outdoors at downtown Studio Park for the Listening Lawn series, enchanting fans with distinct, mellow harmonies, dancing and gregarious demeanor.

(Africa was also represented on Saturday at Rosa Parks Circle downtown with arts, crafts, music and interactive activities as part of the A Glimpse of Africa festival.)

About 20 miles away, Grand Rapids hip-hop artist Lady Ace Boogie unleashed an energetic set with special guests on the Soul Train stage at the Cowpie Music Festival, around the same time as the vintage country/horse -the law The Bootstrap Boys finished his set on the Midnight Special stage and the jam band Dopapod kicked off their psychedelic fervor on Shagbark Farm’s “American Bandstand” main stage. (Check back to Local Spins on Monday for a full recap of Cowpie’s final night.)

Yes, the first weekend of August turned out to be a resplendent and varied spectacle despite scorching temperatures and miserable humidity. Check out photos and video clips here, and check out a full Local Spins review and photo gallery from Friday’s Andrew Bird/Iron & Wine/Meshell Ndegeocello concert at Meijer Gardens.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Studio Park
Photos by Elle Lively

PHOTO GALLERY: Grand Rapids Hispanic Festival at Calder Plaza
Photos by John Sinkevics