Grupo Bohemio opens Idyllwild Summer Concert Series: Percussive purveyor of all things Latin

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Grupo Bohemio keeps the crowd on their feet during last year’s summer concert.File photo

Grupo Bohemio keeps the crowd on their feet during last year’s summer concert. File photo

Grupo Bohemio, popular Santana tribute band and percussive purveyor of hot Latin music, opens the 17th season of the Idyllwild Summer Concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7.

Bohemio, a big hit with ISCS regulars, returns for its fifth trip to the series — a fact certain to delight Idyllwild’s dancers.

Based in the Coachella Valley, Grupo Bohemio returns with an expanded seven-man ensemble. New lead vocalist Jerel Garcia and drummer Emanuel Lizardo join long-time regulars Ruben Cancino, keyboard and vocals; Manny Torres, rhythm and lead guitar; Lupe Garza, bass guitar; Juan Hernandez, sax and vocals; and Victor Ibarra on percussion.

Cooking with salsa and jalapeños, GB serves up traditional Latin, rock en Espanola, Tex-Mex, R&B, classic rock, soft country and mainstream top 40 — something for every rhythmic enthusiast, seasoned by Bohemio’s Latin lineage. Torres said Bohemio also will be covering some Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes, answering special requests from last year’s audience.

For Latin purists, the band also will include Columbian cumbia, Cuban salsa and Puerto Rican raggaeton, Torres said.

The night will be balmy as Bohemio turns up the temperature with familiar hits “Oye Como Va,” “Black Magic Woman,” “La Bomba” and “Dance Sister Dance.”

As they do each year, Ken Dahleen and his ISCS board start the summer with insufficient money on hand to fund the concert series. Over the summer, attendees pony up by filling ubiquitous donation jars circulated before the concert starts, and sponsors sign up to have their names advertised on concert banners.

Craig and Janice Coopersmith donate water and ice cream sales from their concert concession each year to help fund the series. This year’s concert series budget will be more than $30,000.

So bring chairs and cash — chairs for comfort and cash for the donation jars — to help launch year 17 of this long-running event presented especially for Idyllwild residents. Contributions also may be sent to Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, P.O. Box 1542, Idyllwild, CA 92549.

Opening for Bohemio at 6:15 p.m. are Sandii Castleberry and Friends.

The series takes place once again on the Idyllwild Community Center site. Construction for the first phase of the center was delayed until fall 2016, in part to allow ISCS to hold this summer’s concerts.

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