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Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Orquesta La Paz Orquesta La Paz Orquesta La Paz

FREE Nightlife at the Kimmel

Jesse MALPICA Bermudez: Orquesta La Paz, with Flaco's Dance Factory

Jan 25, 2023
8:00 PM

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Nightlife at the Kimmel (8:00 PM-10:30 PM)

From bebop to hip-hop, neo-soul to salsa, the music doesn’t stop at the Kimmel after dark! Join us for an eclectic series of performance events including partnerships with Jazz Philadelphia, Jesse MALPICA Bermudez, and AFROTAINO.

Concessions provided by Garces.



 Mr. Bermudez was a seminal figure in the Latin music and dance scene of Philadelphia, spanning 40 years. His work with artists around the country and abroad delivered a wealth of knowledge and expertise in artist representation, stage production, festival, and concert productions, Latinx cultural entertainment consulting, event Master of Ceremonies, voiceover talent, and on-air personality.

Mr. Bermudez founded the Asociacion de Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) in 1982. In 1986, he founded the first Latin Music School, currently under Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos, the AMLA School of Performing Arts. Mr. Bermudez also created many educational programs with music for public and parochial schools in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.

Mr. Bermudez received numerous recognitions for his work, including the National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights, WPVI Channel Six "Puerto Rican Panorama," Stockton Barthol Foundation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau Multicultural Award, Latin Beat Magazine Philly Salsa Award, Honoree of La Feria del Barrio, Liberty Bell from the Navy Defense Department, Champion of the Children Award Institute for Arts and Education, Painted Bride's first Artist of the City Award, Delaware Valley's Most Influential Latinos Latin Leaders Awards, and The Philadelphia Music Heritage Award. 

His recording of Papo Vazquez and the Mighty Pirate Orchestra, Recorded Live at the Painted Bride Art Center, was nominated in 2008 for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording.

Bermudez received three Lifetime achievement awards, including Concilio of Spanish Speaking Organization, The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), and the Hispanic Choice Awards. In 2013, Philadelphia Magazine named his event series, Salsa Caliente, 'Best Dance Party in Center City.' With Siempre Salsa Philly, Mr. Bermudez worked to officially establish an annual 'Salsa Week' in Philadelphia during the first week of July. In 2015, the City of Philadelphia awarded/named July 8 as "Jesse Bermudez Day" to observe outstanding contributions to Latin music and the local community.

Mr. Bermudez advocated for Latin music to become part of the fabric of the city of Philadelphia through his radio show "Sonido Diferente" which aired for several years, most recently on 1310 on MEGA. 

A revered artistic agent of unity and change locally, nationally, and internationally, the legacy of Jesse Malpica Bermudez will continue. 


With a 48-year history of recording and performing, Orquesta La Paz is one of the leading salsa bands in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area. 

Founded in 1972 by Julio Cesar Marrero and Johnny Lasanta in Caguas, Puerto Rico, in 1973, Orquesta La Paz launched a mini-performance tour through the U.S. Northeast, which culminated in Philadelphia. After the tour, half of the band returned to Puerto Rico, while Cesar Marrero and Freddy Ruiz remained in Philadelphia. In 1974, after holding auditions based in Philadelphia and Camden, the second version of Orquesta La Paz was formed to include Angelo Rivera, Ralph Rivera, and Victor Aday. 

While performing at Randolph Social Club in 1977, Raul Marrero approached La Paz with an offer to bring the band to New York. This opportunity led to the band's first album/LP recording at Broadway Recording Studio for Neon Records Label, of which the song "Para Comerte a Besos" reached #13 on the New York Hit Parade. In 1978, La Paz debuted the Corso Nite Club with the iconic DJ Polito Vega and Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Casanova y Su Montuno, and Orquesta Broadway.

In 1985, La Paz recorded the CD "De Philadelphia Con Amor," with "Vas Por Los Caminos" and "Sin Musica" becoming regional hits. In 2001, Julio Cesar Marrero was tragically killed in a hit & run in Philadelphia. On September 30, 2005, a commemorative performance was held at the Polaris for Cesar Marrero, Angelo Rivera, and Freddy Ruiz. In 2008, Victor Aday and Ivan Perez reconnected to compose and arrange "Déjà Vu" released as a CD in 2010. The song "El Vivir del Tumbao" became a significant hit.  In 2011, Orquesta La Paz became the first Philadelphia Salsa band to be Pre-Latin Grammy-nominated in four categories, including song, album, engineer, and producer of the year.


Marck "Flaco" Best has been teaching popular forms of cultural and social dance since 1997, focusing on those rhythms that allow him to embrace his Cuban heritage. He is a tenured instructor with the Mt. Airy Learning Tree. After being trained by Monsieur Pierre Dulaine in his method, Flaco became one of the original teaching artists for Dancing Classrooms Philly, sister to the program in New York City used in the film Mad Hot Ballroom. Maestro Flaco continues to teach, perform, and choreograph while conducting residencies in our schools to help ensure that future generations of dancers get the exposure, inspiration, and examples they need to empower them to choose to become professional artists.

A partnered presentation with Jesse MALPICA Bermudez

This performance brought to you by:



Commonwealth Plaza

Inside the Kimmel Center

300 S Broad St

Philadelphia, PA 19102

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