MERIDEN — Are you interested in learning about Hispanic heritage through music? If so, on Saturday, the Meriden Public Library will be hosting an interactive musical performance to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Members of the public will be able to learn, dance, sing and play instruments at the concert, which will take place at 11 a.m. at the Meriden Green amphitheater.
Surcari, a band that plays Latin American music, will be performing.
Lauren Thompson, head of community services at the library, said she encourages people of all ages to join the performance.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept.15 to Oct. 15.
Surcari is a blended word combining “sur,” which means south in Spanish, and “cari,” which is a short form the band uses for Caribbean.
Lorena Garay, one of three members of Surcari, said music is a very important part of Latin American culture.
“We do everything with music,” she said.
Garay said all three band members play more than one instrument.
Surcari performs instrumental and vocal music from Spanish speaking countries, including Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Garay said they encourage children to sit near the stage to take part in the concert.
“It’s very interactive, it’s very hands-on,” she said. “It’s like traveling through all these different Spanish speaking countries through the music.”
The group brings extra instruments that can be used by the audience.
“I show them a very easy pattern and then they do it and then they play along with us,” Garay said.
In addition, band members bring items such as traditional Mexican hats that they and the crowd wear.
According to Thompson, the library decided to celebrate Hispanic heritage because about a third of the city’s population is Hispanic.
Thompson, who is half Puerto Rican, said this is a good time to start reaching out to the local Latino community by offering programs.
She said the band does sort of a history lesson through song.
“My favorite part really is that they’re just so interactive,” she said.
In addition, Thomson said the band’s bilingual program will “translate well” in Meriden.
Garay, who was born in Puerto Rico, said Surcari started in 2004.
Her favorite part is interacting with children, she said.
Arts for Learning Connecticut — an arts in education organization — sets up the programs for Surcari.
To learn more about the organization, visit https://www.aflct.org/ or https://www.aflct.org/artists/artists-profile/surcari.html.
To learn more about the Meriden Public Library, visit https://www.meridenlibrary.org.