There are several things that make these Pachanga events at the JW so addicting. First, you can guarantee a great turnout with several hundred on hand last night inside the International Ballroom. Second, the music by Grupo Aye, arguably the best latin band in the midwest, is electrifying. On this evening, another local latin band, Akaray, opened for Grupo Aye to show support of latin music in the area. The JW also added DJ Angel Gee to the mix to help spice thingsup. Third, there is no question that people come here to dance. Dancing takes center stage and with the help of Salsalogy Dance Academy and their students, Pachanga Latina, like all other Pachanga's, was simply amazing.
Gabriella de la Vega of WYCE, was the evening's emcee. Cuban artist, Angel Lopez Manes, added another creative touch to the event by displaying three of his oil paintings inspired by his Cuban roots.
However, my favorite part of these Pachanga parties is how a diverse set of cultures - Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Asian, European, American - all blend together for one night to celebrate music and dance. You can see it in everyone's facial expressions and joyous movements on the dance floor. If you find a common ground between cultures, the outcome is almost guaranteed to result into something truly amazing.
Go to the JW Marriott Grand Rapids facebook page and "like" the hotel by clicking here. By doing so, you can be first to find out when the next Pachanga party is. It is also the JW's goal to start a Grand Rapids Salsa Congress. The more support the hotel gets, the better.