The KU Latin American Graduate Organization, known as LAGO, is hosting an Earth Day concert to bring South American traditions and culture to Lawrence in celebration of the Earth.
“We just wanted to celebrate Earth Day with Latin American music and bring it to the University of Kansas in a fun way,” said Melania Piedra Barrera, the current president of LAGO.
The concert features Amado Espinoza, a self-taught musician from Cochabamba, Bolivia, who has the ability to play up to 40 instruments and five at the same time. All the instruments Espinoza plays he personally hand-crafts, including the didgeridoo, kalimbas and harmonic flutes.
Karen Lisondra, Espinoza's wife, will also be in attendance as she uses music, dance and storytelling to illustrate her cultural background. Together the two travel across the United States to spread awareness to their culture through their music and artistic abilities. This year a special guest musician, Pedro Calderon, will help the duo perform their musical arrangements and storytelling attributes.
In honor of Earth Day the concert will not only be about South American culture, but a celebration of the spring season and reminding ourselves of the responsibilities we have as humans to take care of natural resources for long term sustainability, said Diana Restrepo-Osorio, co-founder of LAGO and current treasurer of the organization.
LAGO has put together this event to allow families, students and children to come and enjoy the show and the Latinx Lawrence community to join them in the celebration. This event will work towards the efforts of LAGO to bridge the gap between Latinx students at KU and the Latinx community in Lawrence.
Osorio said she hopes the concert provides a new dimension to cultural traditions to highlight and demonstrate how they connect to nature and earth.
“This is a celebration of the essence that makes up so many communities of color and we want to share that with the rest of the community,” Osorio said.
The Earth Day concert will take place tonight, April 19, in the Kansas Union at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.