Father’s Day concert shines light on Mexican, Cuban boleros

Julian Torres

Julian Torres

DOWNEY — “Boleros De Noche,” a musical and cultural experience that seeks to preserve, uplift, and celebrate Latin American bolero music history in Los Angeles, will be presented this Sunday, June 16, at the Downey Theatre.

The three-hour show begins at 7 p.m.

Curated by its founder Robert Carlos, a young Los Angeles-based artist and promoter who has committed his career to bolero music and its traditions, “Boleros De Noche” is now in its fourth year.

This concert is a celebration of boleros from Cuba and Mexico and will feature the Latin Grammy-nominated Cuban singer Lily Hernandez and the Mexican-American singer Julian Torres.

Latin American bolero music is recognized for its romantic lyrics and lush harmonies, and is considered by some to be the most romantic music genre of Latin America.

The genre originated in Cuba in 1883 but gained international notoriety once the music reached Mexico in the 1940s, and was interpreted by romantic trios: three-piece bands composed of three voices accompanied by a guitar and the complex instrumentation of a requinto, a smaller guitar typically tuned a fifth higher than a standard guitar.

Lily Hernandez

Known as “La Amazona,” Lily Hernandez started singing over 15 years ago in her home country of Cuba. Although as a child she had a love for the art, she rarely sang in public because she was never given an opportunity.

As an artist, she was “in the closet” until Calixto Oviedo discovered her through her first EP. Since then, she has performed at jazz festivals in Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Italy, and the U.S. as well as at important jazz clubs in Europe and the U.S.

She was nominated for a Latin Grammy for her participation in an album with Raul Lara y Sus Soneros, and she has received praise for her salsa performances from Jerry Rivas and Ralph Irizarry, who named her “La Amazona De La Salsa.”

In addition to boleros, she sings son, salsa, timba and bossa nova. Her charismatic personality and dynamic singing abilities are immediately felt by audiences.

Lily Hernandez

Lily Hernandez

Julian Torres

Julian Torres was born in Hawthorne to Mexican parents who instilled within him a love for Mexico’s music. As a child, he became a mariachi musician and began his career singing at community events and church carnivals.

He has traveled and performed in many prestigious venues both in the U.S. and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Teatro Metropolitan CDMX, and for U.S. military troops overseas in Okinawa, Japan.

His first EP, “Epoca de Oro,” is a tribute to his roots and mariachi heritage.

Tickets to “Boleros De Noche” start at $35 and can be purchased at the Downey Theatre box office or online at animoproduction.com/tickets. Student discounts are available.