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Fiesta Highlights Hispanic Heritage

By Eddy Ball
October 2006

Georgie Pagan, Lysandra Castro, Luz Bazan, Maria Sifre (front row), Juanita Roman, Lisa Banks-Padilla, Gerard Roman (second row) and Rodrigo Franco
Members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee join NIEHS Cafeteria Chef Luz Bazan in preparing Hispanic dishes. Shown (left to right) are Georgie Pagan, Lysandra Castro, Luz Bazan, Maria Sifre (front row), Juanita Roman, Lisa Banks-Padilla, Gerard Roman (second row) and Rodrigo Franco in the back. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

guitarist Julius Carrasco and accompanist Hugo Quintero
Featured master guitarist Julius Carrasco (right) enjoys the vocals of accompanist Hugo Quintero. The two are part of the group Sonidos Latinos. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS celebrated Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month on September 28 with its annual Fiesta, a combination of music, food, arts and crafts. The Diversity Council-sponsored event began at 2:30PM in the cafeteria and featured music by the master guitarist Julius Carrasco. Carrasco has studied in Spain under renowned flamenco jazz artist Gerardo Nuñez and performed in venues all over the world.

Julius Carrasco presented a diverse repertoire, all beautifully played. This versatility on the guitar shows in his performances of flamenco and "nuevo flamenco," a mixture of jazz and flamenco. Although he played none of his classical work at the Fiesta, Carrasco is also accomplished in that genre, and his love of Bach and the Baroque period shines through in his CD "Baroque is Bach." Reviewers of his five CDs have commented on his striking dexterity and technical precision, both amply evident in his NIEHS performance.

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month, the cafeteria, under the direction of Diane Crawford, featured Hispanic dishes each Tuesday from September 20 to October 10. Upcoming specials include the Celebrity Chef Day Lunch Combo on October 3, which features roasted Spanish Pork, Arroz con Grandules, Flan and Sassy Gria Punch, and hot pressed Cuban sandwich on October 10.

In addition to the Fiesta activities, the Hispanic Heritage Awareness committee is collecting Hispanic dessert recipes that it plans to publish in special cookbook.



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