LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Although the food is the main attraction at the Taste of Tippecanoe, musicians and other entertainers still feature prominently in the evening. One group hopes this year’s performance will give people a taste of cultures around the world.
“Clave Caribe” specializes in Latin American music. The songs range from salsa to cumbia to latin jazz. The group is rooted in the Puerto Rican heritage of its founder, Norberto “Tito” Toro.
The group also has members from Colombia and Mexico as well as members from different parts of Indiana.
Nolan Warden is the band’s percussionist and co-business manager. The Lafayette native says he looks forward to helping people discover a genre of music that he says wasn’t commonly played in Greater Lafayette when he was growing up.
“The most exciting thing for us is bringing some sort of diverse musical offering to Taste,” Warden said. “Of course, everyone is looking forward to the food and all the fun and seeing a lot of people come out. For us, it’s really exciting to bring a different musical approach to taste and provide something a little bit different. .”
For bassist Charles Brooks, the Taste is a chance to make a dream come true.
“I’m excited because I went to Taste and always imagined playing up there,” Brooks said. “It gave me a great opportunity to do that.”
Although Brooks doesn’t speak Spanish, he says expanding his repertoire has been rewarding.
“Learning about the different styles — like I said, cumbia, salsa, merengue — that tested my talent,” Brooks said. “I really had to study. Everyone says I got it, so I love playing.”
Exposing people to new cultures is exactly what lead singer Sandra Usuga says “Clave Caribe” wants to bring to this year’s Taste.
“It’s very important that people continue to appreciate their local artists, but also learn from global artists and music from around the world,” Usuga said.
The Colombian immigrant has been with the band for nearly a decade and says it’s an honor to be able to play on Saturday.
“I’m very proud that we’re here, sharing our music, making people happy and feeling the Latinx vibe through music,” Usuga said.
“Clave Caribe” will perform on the Taste Market Stage on Fourth Street Saturday night. The band will be the first performance on stage and are scheduled to play from 7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. To learn more about “Clave Caribe”, visit the band’s main page here. See the full list of artists for this year’s Taste of Tippecanoe here.