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Latin Marimba Jazz Concert held to raise money to benefit Latinx community

El Centro Hispano also has a location on W Weaver Street in Carrboro, which opened in 2015.

Hosted by El Centro Hispano, an evening of Latin music, food and wine came to Chapel Hill nonprofit Extraordinary Ventures on Saturday to celebrate and support programs that help the Latino immigrant community, DACA recipients and foster citizenship through El Centro Hispano's immigration programs. 

The concert also helped to benefit the “Liberation NOT Deportation Regional Fund” program, which helps families that have been impacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Anayely Coronilla-Campos, a first-year student whose family has been separated by ICE, said. “It’s really the worst that could ever happen."

She said her father is currently detained in Atlanta. The rest of her family is currently in North Carolina, an hour away from UNC. She said the trips her family has to make between Atlanta, their home and Chapel Hill are especially stressful. 

"It’s not just a personal situation, it’s more of a ripple effect," she said. 

She said the separation makes it hard to focus in class, especially as a first-year without a car, because she is so worried. 

“I think it’s important because the things that ICE does has lasting effects on families and the people that they’re detaining and deporting, especially on children,” first-year Ellie Fleming said. 

Fleming said she talked about this topic in her education class, where they discussed what ICE does in local communities and how they conduct raids and patrol neighborhoods. The class also discussed what to do if approached by an ICE agent and what rights people have in these situations.

“It has really traumatizing and lasting effects on a child’s mental health and especially their education,” Fleming said. 

The event was sponsored by El Centro Hispano, a community center and advocacy group for Latinx and Hispanic people in the Triangle. The music played at the concert focused on Latin Marimba Jazz. 

“In a nutshell, Marimba is part of the Latin American heritage, even though the origins of the music are African,” said Juan Álamo, an associate professor in the UNC Music Department who performed at the event. “The instrument as we know it today developed in Latin America, specifically Guatemala, Mexico and that region there.”

He also said that the marimba is primarily folkloric. It is a fairly recent development within the past 20 or 30 years to use the instrument in jazz.

“It’s not really commonly used in jazz, it’s not that well known, but there’s few people who have done that before prior to me,"  Álamo said. "And I guess so I have sort of been taking the baton or taking the lead to try to establish the instrument as a jazz instrument."

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