Eddie Oritz & Cynthia Romero
The Grammy-nominated Latin band Son Caribe may heat up nights during live performances around Oahu, but for bandleader Eddie Oritz and featured vocalist Cynthia Romero, this summer is gonna be a scorcher.
Both Ortiz and Romero are honorees at this year’s eighth annual Hawaii Summer Salsa Fest, taking place at various locations around the island June 19-21, with the main celebration June 21 at the McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Beach Park.
Since the get-go they have volunteered their services and rhythms to the festival, which directly benefits the Hispanic Center of Hawaii. This nonprofit agency was created 10 years ago to connect people in need with organizations that can provide them the appropriate assistance.
“We have been blessed to have the opportunity of helping others who may be in need,” says Ortiz. “It has been a privilege to provide our services to worthwhile causes that help to support the people of our communities.”
Son Caribe’s duties include preparing and providing musical support for visiting headliners (this year’s names include Edwin Rivera, Frankie Morales and Wally Rita y Los Kauaianos, among other entertainers and DJs), as well as pumping up the crowds with their own energy-infused performances.
Some other organizations to which the band has donated its time include the Hawaii Foodbank, the American Heart Association, the ALS Foundation, MDA, Great Aloha Run, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
A native New Yorker, Ortiz is of Puerto Rican descent and first made his way to Hawaii during his final tour of duty with the Marine Band. He enjoyed his time in the Islands so much, he decided to stay. Romero is originally from the Philippines and has performed all over the world.
Adapting to the local lifestyle and culture must have been difficult, right? Not so, says Ortiz.
“I think we would both agree that the biggest culture shock we’ve experienced has been how well the wonderful people here have welcomed and embraced our Latin music,” Ortiz says with a wink. “The people here in Hawaii have truly welcomed us with open arms and a beautiful hospitality.”
They are also currently in pre-production for a new Latin music CD to be released later this year. They’ll also be performing this Saturday on the Perry and Price Saturday morning show at John Dominis, broadcast live on KSSK (AM 590, FM 92.3).
For more information on the Hawaii Summer Salsa Fest, visit www.hawaiisummersalsafest.com.
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