To cap off its centennial celebrations, Broward County hosted Duende, a three-day public celebration of the arts, culture and community from October 2-4.
Honoring the destination’s diverse and extraordinary local talent, Duende kicked off with a “Friday Night Grand Opening Take-over” featuring street performers, drum battles, live bands and DJs, flash mobs, dance, rock, jazz, hip hop, street art, light shows and projections. The celebration continued Saturday with a “Party of a Century” at Esplanade Park featuring interactive and cross cultural music, dances and performances and top musical acts reflecting Greater Fort Lauderdale’s innovative and diverse performing arts talent, with an international blend of dance, hip hop, salsa, reggae, pop and house music.
On Saturday night, “WE… The Passion & Rhythm of the People,” the widely anticipated Broadway-style performance created by Broadway Director and Cirque Dreams Founder Neil Goldberg, featured recording artist Linda Eder and multiple Grammy Award-winning entertainer Jon Secada, along with “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Eliana Girard, YouTube hip-hop phenomenon Marquese Scott, “The Voice” breakout star Sisaundra Lewis and “X-Factor” singing sensation Lillie McCloud. They were joined by a hometown cast comprised of hundreds of brilliantly talented South Florida musicians, dancers, poets, choirs, athletes and variety acts ranging in age from nine to 70+.
On Sunday in Pompano Beach, local bands vied for the “The Most AMPed Band” title while 12 artists competed in an ARTwar to create a new work of art in 45 minutes. Award-winning talent fired up the stage with performances by Sammy Figueroa, Otis Cadillac, The Jason Taylor Foundation’s Bluapple Poety Network and Body and Soul Dance Theatre.
Based on the success of the inaugural event, organizers plan to continue hosting an annual showcase of the diverse talent and community of Broward County.