You should have seen the place. A sea of people as far as the eye could see, dancing cheek to cheek. Some had partners, some didn’t, but all were moving to the same beat. Lucia is not a very large venue, but it took a good five minutes to get from the door to the stage because that’s just how many people were there.

Carnival Latino En Lawrence was the cause for celebration on Friday night. At one point in the evening, it felt like the front door never shut as line after line of revelers kept forming and waiting to get in. Though Zikap Music had to cancel, the merriment was still flowing as Kansas City salsa orchestra Mundo Nouvo took to the stage. We cannot believe they all fit on that stage, there were so many of them! The horn section scrunched up into the corner, and if you looked hard enough you could even see a flute crouching somewhere in there. The percussion instruments were plentiful and helped keep booties shaking all night. This was the place to go dancing in Lawrence on Friday.

In fact, most weeks you’ll find some sort of Latin presence at Lucia. Sundays are reserved for early honky–tonk shows, but weekends are otherwise for musical genres you don’t get to see in Lawrence too often (reggae, salsa, afrobeat). At this point, Lucia is practically a second home for Son Venezuela (we can pretty much guarantee they’ll play there every month). In short, Lucia’s trajectory towards becoming the place for Latin music is getting stronger by the day.

If you hurry, you can catch Balacobaco do Brasil at SUNU’s Mardi Gras party on Saturday. For a full list of Lucia’s events, head over to their Facebook page.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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