Afro-Peruvian dance in Richmond: ‘We are making sure the tradition is still alive for future generations.’

On a cloudy Saturday morning, Carmen Román and her husband, Pierr Padilla, filled the basement of the Golden Gate Library in Oakland with a symphony of sounds, using their feet, hands and traditional Afro-Peruvian instruments. A small group of children shrieked with glee and bumbled around the room, dancing as their parents nodded to the beat being created by Román and Padilla opening and closing the top to their cajitas, a box-shaped Latin percussion instrument, and hitting it with a…

Spirit and Soul festival aims to revive downtown

The seventh annual Spirit and Soul Festival filled downtown with the rhythmic beats of jazz musicians and the enticing smells of fried chicken and barbecue. Put on by the Richmond Main Street Initiative, a nonprofit organization that works to reinvigorate the downtown, the festival drew about 800 people this year–and there would have been more, organizers insisted, were it not for the sizzling heat.