Saturday, August 29

Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Downtown Hartford

5 to 10 p.m.

This free event, presented by Guakia, Inc. and hosted by Riverfront Recapture, is a showcase for the most talented international artists in Latin Jazz and Salsa, and is headlined by Ray González. Begun in 2007, the festival’s mission is to heal with music the soul of the community and nourish its yearning for music of excellence. 

2014 Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz & Salsa Festival 2014 Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz & Salsa Festival

2014 Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz & Salsa Festival

Ray González is a professional musician dedicated in mind, body and soul to the creation of salsa and Latin jazz. A renowned musician and Latin music pioneer in Connecticut, Ray González was born in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

González has many years of experience in the performing arts as a professional musician, arranger, composer and conductor. As a musician, the Caribbean, South America and the United States have been his laboratory of experience. His career includes playing and recording with international musicians such as Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri, Kako, Giovanni Hidalgo, Sepúlveda, Ismael Rivera, Ray de La Paz, and many others. He shares those experiences as an educator of Latino youth for over 35 years, and through this festival, begun in 2007.

This year's featured performers include:

Manolo Mairena is a New England based vocalist and percussionist who originally hails from Costa Rica. He and his group Curubande bring a fresh energy with new compositions written by Manolo himself, included in his first CD "Mi Oportunidad." 

Mairena is active on the Boston scene, having played with La Clave Secreta, Mango Blue, Egui Castrillo's Orchestra, and others. He and his group will present a performance that will move the audience to dance and will include latin rhythms from a Son Montuno, Bolero, and Salsa with the influence of contemporary Cuban music which brings to the dance floor all the swing you need. This band features some of the best musicians in Latin music on the East Coast.


Born in Puerto Rico, since moving to the United States, percussionist Eguie Castrillo has been fulfilling his childhood dream: becoming a successful and world renowned percussionist. One of the most prolific studio and session timbale artists in the world today, and an associate professor of percussion at the Berklee College of Music, Castrillo also tours regularly with the Arturo Sandoval Band, and also appears as a featured guest.

A Grammy Award winner (Arturo Sandoval’s Latin Jazz 1998 record of the year) and an engaging showman, Castrillo has performed with legendary timbalito Tito Puente (whom he credits as being a mentor and close personal friend), Steve Winwood, Michael Brecker, Ruben Blades, Paquito D'Rivera, Michel Camilo, KC and the Sunshine Band, Dave Valentin, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Directions & Parking

This event is held at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. Please visit the park's page for directions.

Parking Recommendations:

Science Center/Riverfront Garage
250 Columbus Blvd
Hartford, CT 06103

CT Convention Center Garage
100 Columbus Blvd
Hartford, CT 06103

Morgan Street Garage
155 Morgan Street
Hartford, CT 06103

Constitution Plaza Garage
109 Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103

Volunteer Opportunities

Learn more about volunteer opportunities for this event.

Vendor & Exhibitor Information
Register as a vendor; only accepting vending applications until 8/14/15. Latin food and merchandise vendors desired; community and marketing exhibitors are welcome.

*You may not bring alcohol into the parks and/or events.

2013 Event Photos