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Local News: MVLA and Levitt AMP Team Up for Two Days of Live Music and Celebration of Culture to Close Out Summer

The Mohawk Valley Latino Association and Levitt AMP Utica Music Series announce two events that will close out the summer season on Sunday, August 28th and Monday, August 29th.


The Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc. will hold the 16th Annual Latino American Festival on Sunday, August 28, 2022, 12-7 pm, Hanna Park, One Kennedy Plaza, Utica, NY; to showcase Hispanic Culture, ethnic foods, activities, music, and dancing of the Latino culture. The opening of this cultural event will start with a Latino Cultural Fashion Show and parade with children representing the different countries that are living in the Mohawk Valley.

This free admission event will feature EhShawnee & Orchestra, Latino local and guest talent showcase performances by Genesis Almanzar aka H-Melody (Latin singer) and DJ Richy. Other activities include annual Dominoes Tournament, Zumba, children’s activities: Hoola Hoop, relay racing, Double-Dutch, water balloon fight, face painting, and food and merchandise vendors will also be available, as well as non-profit and healthcare agencies. 

This annual gathering draws over 800 people, including visitors from other communities, from Rochester – Albany to celebrate Latin culture in the Mohawk Valley. All proceeds will be used to support the programs of MVLA.


The sixth season of the nationally-funded Levitt AMP Utica Music Series will conclude on Monday, August 29th at Kopernik Park on Eagle/Genesee Streets. Open The Zz Trio will take the stage at 6:00pm and EhShawnee will perform at 7:30pm. The Levitt AMP team met EhShawnee when traveling to sister city Woonsockett, Rhode Island last summer to see her performance there. 

The Levitt AMP Utica series welcomes the most diverse audience in the city, in a free, family-friendly, non-alcoholic, welcoming environment. It is a space where social bonding can happen week to week and the community can share space together. The concerts help increase communal well-being and connectedness and add a quality of life enhancement that compliments the many economic development projects that are happening in Utica.

The concerts are sponsored in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national funder of creative placemaking that empowers communities to inject new life into underused public spaces through free, outdoor concerts.


Shawnee Taveras is a Dominican-American singer-songwriter from Providence, Rhode Island who brings the heat to the stage with high energy salsa and a multi-faceted band that provides a layered sound that’s impossible not to dance to. In 2019, Taveras was awarded the Premio Conga de la Salsa in the Dominican Republic for best new musical act. She has had top ten singles in the Dominican Republic and has toured extensively in that country as well as on the US East Coast. She is a media personality at Telemundo in Providence. 


The Mohawk Valley Latino Association was established to improve the standards of living for Latino residents of the Mohawk Valley through various services that will educate and empower them; to achieve awareness amongst the different cultures of the Mohawk Valley; and to help shape the minds of our youth and demonstrate to them the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley and our Nation. 


Utica is one of 18 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present a free concert series at Kopernik Park. Utica Monday Nite is the fiscal sponsor of the series.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 series was postponed and the funding applied to the 2021 season. The grant was automatically awarded to all grantees for the 2022 season and the Levitt AMP Utica team will hear on August 30th if their application for multi-year funding will be awarded to bring this popular free series back to Utica for the 2023-2025 seasons.

Mark Ziobro
Mark Ziobro
Mark is the current Managing Editor for The Utica Phoenix, and a Central New York Native.

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