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Friday August 12th

Pulso Pulso show fuses Spanish into songs

<p>Skinny Bag of Sugar, a Carrboro rock band, performs in Pulso Pulso, a performance celebrating Spanish and English cultures (Courtesy of Augusta DeKemper).</p>
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Skinny Bag of Sugar, a Carrboro rock band, performs in Pulso Pulso, a performance celebrating Spanish and English cultures (Courtesy of Augusta DeKemper).

Tonight, the hard work of ‘Workroom: The Creative Advertising Incubator’ and three more of Dana McMahan’s spring advertising classes will come to fruition in Pulso Pulso, a musical performance celebrating Spanish and English cultures. Held at Memorial Hall, there will be salsa dancing and food trucks outside, including drinks and desserts from Sugarland.

The event features local groups like Skinny Bag of Sugar, which will work with the rapper Jaeo.

The event is sponsored by the Curtis Media Group and one of its radio stations — La Ley 101.1 FM. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to UNC Family Medicine.

The journalism school classes handled different aspects of the event, said McMahan, with the workroom class split into five teams focused on topics like audience engagement and business development.

La Ley, a major Spanish radio station on the east coast, had a hand in the night’s Latin theme. They wanted to connect the large Hispanic population in North Carolina with the greater North Carolina population, class member Rachael Meleney said.

Meleney worked on the talent and show team, which chose acts based on demo tapes sent in from interested artists.

“We also wanted bands that were willing and able to adapt their music — such as Spanish music that they could translate lyrics into English and vice versa,” Meleney said.

The Marcel Portilla Band, based in Charlotte, almost always performs in Spanish. For this event however, the band is playing two Spanish songs and two English songs.

“It was difficult (to translate songs into English),” Portilla said. “A song that is already established, that is popular, to switch it is really complicated with the phonetics and making sure the rhythms are right.”

Portilla called it an interesting challenge, though, and part of why he applied for the event. His band is made up of people from different geographical backgrounds as well as music styles, and said they are excited to bring their diversity to the show.

Another group performing, Ellis Dyson and the Shambles, heard about the event through McMahan. They normally perform folk music mixed with ragtime, swing and jazz influences, but are excited about infusing a Latin style into their songs for Pulso Pulso, said Dyson, who sings and plays the banjo and guitar for the band.

In true UNC fashion, “Carolina on My Mind” will ring through Memorial Hall, but this time with a twist. The Clef Hangers and Loreleis will sing the iconic song together, translating parts of it into Spanish.


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