OLA Celebrates Female Power on the East End With Pachanga - 27 East

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OLA Celebrates Female Power on the East End With Pachanga

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Leah Chiappino on Apr 11, 2024

OLA of Eastern Long Island’s (Organización Latino Americana) annual Pachanga musical event returns to Bay Street Theater this Friday, and this year, it’s all about “¡Fuerza y Pasión!” (Strength and Passion). The all-women set list of performers includes Mila Tina, a returning percussionist who incorporates drumming, dance, martial arts and visual arts into her craft; singer Inana Lu Rose, who was featured in Disney’s Mulan; and Lulada Club, a New York City-based all-women salsa band led by Andrea Chavarro, who is originally from Cali, Colombia.

Pachanga translates to a hangout, like hanging in your home or with your best friends. As Leah M. Suárez, OLA’s grants and communications Manager said, it implies “joy in action.”

For OLA, Pachanga is one of the organization’s biggest events of the year, meant to celebrate culture and bring people together, as well as let loose and dance.

“It’s one of our only standalone events aside from the [annual] film festival that really celebrates the vibrancy of our Latino culture,” Suárez explained.

This year’s lineup performance is extra special, Suárez added. While each participating artist will bring a mainstage performance, the energy will build throughout the night. Tina will start the evening with percussion, followed by Rose, and then the Lulada band, which will bring dancing, horns and fierce energy.

“It’s a great combination of energy and consciousness and awareness of what these forces of nature can really bring as women,” Suárez said. “And so we’re proud to have them and to have our community represented.”

The lineup for this year’s Pachanga came together naturally. Tina has been a performer in Pachanga for several years and works with OLA on graphic design. Tina will be opening the show.

“She is just really dynamic and has always been this beautiful, expressive force,” Suárez said.

Rose will follow, and she has a unique voice, almost otherworldly, said Suárez. Tina and Rose will bring a grounding, moving, and touching performance, infiltrating their own feminine energy while building up to the salsa that will follow with Lulada Club.

Karen Sánchez, who works in executive support at OLA, found the Lulada Club, which promises to bring the audience out of their seats. Once Lulada Club takes the stage, it will officially be time to dance.

“We want people to come and have a good time,” Suárez said. “That’s also really important. We can talk about how we want people to feel seen and heard, but we also really want them to come and have a good time.”

Chavarro, the band’s lead vocalist, got the idea for the all-women group during her world travels, but she started the band in New York City.

“Having all female performers at a time when we know that we’re advocating for not just everyone’s rights, equality and inclusion but while also celebrating and supporting these women artists,” Suárez said. “It’s just really unique to have that many women on stage.”

OLA also expects the audience to be energized and inspired and during the performance, welcomed, warmed, and lifted. The hope is that young people, especially young Latinos in the community, see themselves within these women and find strength and passion within themselves. OLA’s advocacy is also rooted in equality for all. It’s important to the nonprofit that the Latin community, trans and LGBTQ youth feel welcome as well. Through OLA’s Youth Connect program, they see a need to empower young females and are hoping the empowerment creates a ripple effect for them to accomplish their own dreams.

Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center are the perfect collaborators, Suárez said.

“Just the energy of the space and the fact that our community is able to feel welcomed in this space is really a strong indicator of the kind of relationships that we want to continue,” she said. “When we can create a space and when the arts of live music especially and dance can unite our community and really share in our cultural love for movement and arts and music, that really is the essence of our mission.”

OLA’s Pachanga takes place on Friday, April 19, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Bay Street Theater on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. The evening begins with a preevent reception starting at 6:30 p.m. featuring a cash bar. Advance tickets are $20 at olaofeasternlongisland.org, while tickets at the door will be $30.

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