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Nelson Polanco - "My Place"

By Troy Maillis


Latino Recording Artist Nelson Polanco brings together the eclectic flavor of Latin America and the Caribbean and unleashes them upon Miami audiences in “My Place” a musical revue celebrating the influences and cultures of the Spanish speaking world. Featuring a blend of jazz, musical theater, salsa and merengue with global sounds and dance, "My Place" is being performed for one night only on Saturday, September 25th at 8 p.m. at The Playground Theater, located at 9806 NE 2nd Ave in Miami Shores. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.blendingcultures.net and are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information contact 954-695-1163.

Nelson sat down with Mark's List recently to talk about Blending Cultures, “My Place” and being an artist:

Mark's List: Can you tell us a little about Blending Cultures and the journey and/or obstacles you faced during the founding process?

Nelson Polanco: Blending Cultures’ mission is to enrich, entertain and enlighten community audiences to a blend of international cultural traditions through a diverse series of live performances. We aim in the process to promote diversity and acceptance. Our journey began in 2006 when we're approved the 501(C)3 Status and since then we've had fundraisers that range from car washes to performances to donations. Our obstacles were going through the process of dealing with the IRS, which actually reinforced our commitment and determination.

Nelson PolancoWhat are you hoping audiences take away from “My Place”?

My intentions are for people to enjoy the music, stories, dancing, the diversity of the music, and the people in the show. I am also hoping people feel inspired and can relate to our journey as artists / musicians regardless of where they may be in their journey. The cast I manage to bring together is a really talented group, but what's more exceptional is that individually they each bring their unique flavors.

Who have been your main influences in Latin music?

Definitely Celia Cruz is at the top. I love her music and I admired her spirit, humble attitude and how she related to her fans. Growing up I listened and danced to her music. Other influences are Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, Chayanne and David Bisbal.

Have artists such as Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony or Jennifer Lopez inspired you? Do you think they paved the way for a mass audience to follow Latin artists? Or do you think it just made the idea of Latin music more “commercial”?

They have all inspired me to create and they have definitely paved the way. I don't think their idea was to make Latin Music more commercial, but they created new sounds which were pure and direct and people responded to that. What is most important to you as an artist? Being true to myself, my ideas and my music. I feel this responsibility as an artist to bring positive messages to people and to promote acceptance through my art.

Can you talk a little about your new album that you are currently recording? What can we expect?

I love fusions, blending... a little bit of this and a little bit of that makes for more interesting music. My album will be exactly that, an eclectic fusion of many different international influences. If I have to pick a genre, it'll be "Tropical Pop." Also, the album will be in Spanish / English and mostly upbeat music.
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