Spotlight On: A Series on Culture & the Arts

elvis latino“Spotlight On” is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on all things cultural & artistic in Xela and Guatemala. This month’s topic is: Alberto Velarde (a.k.a. Elvis Latino)

What: One of Xela’s legendary singer-songwriter performers. XelaWho went backstage with Alberto to find out more about this local musician and small piece of Xela history.

XelaWho: How do you describe your music?
Alberto: Right now, I’m playing a mix of original music and lyrics. My style includes trova, jazz, bassa nova, samba, and classical. I play poetry with music. I’ve written over a thousand poems and songs.

XW: Who are your influences?
EL: The folkloric music of Spain and Cuba. I admire many Latino and Spanish singer-songwriters of romantic music, such as Juan Manual Serrat, Luis Manuel Ferri, Nino Bravo, and Juan Bau.

XW: Are you an Elvis impersonator? Or just a look-alike?
EL: I find Elvis to be legendary but hard to impersonate because of his fast English, expression, and breaking with musical tradition. I like his look. Instead of formalwear, I prefer to dress in clothing that Elvis would have worn.

XW: What is your vision?
EL: Vision is to open people’s minds and hearts through music. The spirit of love has been lost in today’s mainstream commercial music. I describe my radio program as “really Bohemian” because I want to restore this spirit.

Where and When: Elvis Latino plays every Thursday night at Ojalá (check out our events calendar to see where he now plays). He also has a radio show on Wednesdays at 4pm on the FM station Emisoras Unidas. His program includes music from Columbia and Brazil, as well as Argentine tangos, classic Mexican, and American blues.

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