A few years back, I attended a number of Mexican Independence Week concerts (including those headlined by Chayanne and Ricky Martin) with a dear friend, who was simultaneously amused and impressed that, despite speaking no Spanish, I derived so much joy from being at these concerts.  And it’s true: While I don’t speak Spanish—or any other languages, except for conversational French; a smattering of Yiddish; and, of course, Jive—I respond to the lyrical poetry, the rhythm, the musicality, the staging, and the reactions of the audience.  Simply put, good music is good music, regardless of the language in which the lyrics have been written.  

This year, for Mexican Independence Week, the fine folks at AEG Presents Las Vegas and Live Nation Las Vegas have curated a scintillating selection of some of the world’s most popular Latin artists, who will be performing over the week of September 10-17.  I’ve selected four to highlight, guaranteed to generate exciting memories of this year’s celebration.  Suffice it to say that their collective malteadas are gonna bring all the chicas (and hombres) to the yarda! *

SEBASTIÁN YATRA: Dharma North America Tour 2022
The Chelsea | The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Saturday, September 10 | 8pm

GENRES:  Latin Pop, Ballads, Reggaeton

INFLUENCES:  Carlos Vives, J Balvin, Juanes, Maluma, Mau & Ricky, Ñejo & Dalmata, Reik, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Zion & Lennox

MY FAVES: Taicionera, Sutra, Robarte un Beso, Un Año, Runaway, Melancolicos Anonimos, Tacones Rojos

FUN FACTS:  Yatra was chosen by Lin-Manuel Miranda to sing “Dos Oruguitas” in the Disney animated musical Encanto (2021).  The song—which marked Yatra’s first time on the Billboard Top 100 chart—was nominated for Best Original Song at the 94th Academy Awards and the (untelevised) 79th Golden Globe Awards, and for Best Song by the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS with Los Tres Tristes Tigres
Resorts World Theatre | Resorts World Las Vegas
Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 | 9pm

GENRES:  Latin Pop, Dance

INFLUENCES:  Babyface, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, John Mellencamp, Jon Secada, Juan Gabriel, Julio Iglesias, Luis Manuel, Ricky Martin, Selena

MY FAVES: Sólo en Ti, Baillamos, Rhythm Divine/Ritmo Total, Be With You/Sólo Me Importas Tú, Hero/Héroe, Bailando

FUN FACTS:  More #1 hits (14) on the Billboard Dance charts than any other male artist.  Honored as the “Top Latin Artist of All Time” at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

PITBULL: Can’t Stop Us Now Tour
Zappos Theater | Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Friday, September 16
and Saturday, September 17 | 8pm 

GENRES:  Hip Hop, Latin Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Crunk, Pop

INFLUENCES:  2 Live Crew, Celia Cruz, Dr. Dre, Eric B & Rakim, Freak Nasty, Jay Z, Jose Marti, L’Trimm, Lil Jon, Mantronix, N.W.A., Nas, Public Enemy, Quad City DJs, Slick Rick, Tag Team

MY FAVES:  I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho), Give Me Everything, Timber, Feel This Moment, Fireball, No Lo Trates

FUN FACTS:  Pitbull's videos have received over 15 billion views on YouTube.  Founded the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) public charter school, with two campuses in Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach) and one in Nevada (Henderson).

EMMANUEL: Toda La Vida
The Colosseum | Caesars Palace
Saturday, September 17 | 9pm

GENRES:  Latin Pop, Ballads, New Jack Swing, New Wave

INFLUENCES:  Antonio Aguilar, Enrique Guzmán, Hernaldo Zúñiga, Jeanette, José, José Luis Rodriguez, Juan Luis Guera, Los Tigres del Norte, Miguel Bosé, Mijares, Nino Bravo, Raphael

MY FAVES:  Toda La Vida, Es Mi Mujer, La Chica de Humo, No He Podido Verde, Guajira, Bella Señora

FUN FACTS:  Known as “El Rey del Pop Latino” (“The King of Latin Pop”).  Recipient of both the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) and the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2021).

Mexican Independence Week
September 10-17, 2022

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: * A Spanglish riff on Kelis’ 2003 hit, “Milkshake”]

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