The HoLa Festival has a clear mission of building cultural and communication bridges through art and education.  It is a celebration of Hispanic cultural and an opportunity to publically display the best music, food, dance, and art from the cultures of Spanish speaking countries and to create a better understanding among all people in our community.

SCHEDULE:  Saturday, September 27, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sunday, September 28, 11:30 AM – 6:00 PM

 LOCATION: All events are on the Market Square, downtown Knoxville between Wall Ave and Union Ave

 COST:  HoLa Festival admission is free. 

 PARKING:  Parking during the Festival is free and available at conveniently located lots near the Festival.

 SECURITY:  Security will be provided to insure safety and comfort.

Find more pictures under Gallery


      Kick-Off on Saturday evening beginning at 7:00 PM with the Orquesta de Jaime Bonilla performing Latin music until 10:00 PM.  The band will be performing great salsa music as well as bolero, merengue, and bachata.  The dance team of “Music City Salsa” will be performing as well as providing instruction to anyone wanting to dance.

      The Full Festival will begin on Sunday at 11:30 AM featuring three very special Latin Bands.  The Festival will conclude at 6:00 PM.

Marcel Portilla’s “Reverbnation” band has eight members who are all from different cultures, generations, and backgrounds but who represent years of experience as performers.  The band’s sound blends sultry Latin rhythms with modern pop tunes, rhythm and blues riffs, and quaking rock arrangements.  Their styles include salsa, reggeaton, cumbia, and bachata.

The Asheville Tango Orchestra is a classic Sextet Tipico formed in 2010 to provide live tango music at community gatherings and just returned from performing at the first International Symposium for tango musicians in Buenos Aires.  The group specializes in sounds of the Golden Era of tango music from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Also performing on Sunday will be the band “Trote Norteno” that created the pasito “trot style” which is causing a major sensation in Mexican genre.  Although a group of relatively young musicians, they have been touring the U.S. This will be their first performance in Knoxville and a unique experience for the audience.



 Music City Salsa is a Latin dance team based in Nashville, TN.  Salsa dancing is their passion and they have been performing, teaching, and competing since 2004.  This year the team will be competing at the highest level at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami and will be performing that competition piece at the HoLa Festival in Knoxville this year.   Music City Salsa is very flexible and will teach how to dance the salsa and encourage people to come on stage and dance with the team. They will also lead social dancing creating a dancing in the streets vibe.  


Masters of Ceremonies:  The masters of ceremonies for the HoLa Festival are Anderson Maldonado and Marco Villarreal. 

 Anderson is a very special and unique Knoxvillian who has gained significant success as a performing musician as well as a producer, actor, and model.  He acted with Harrison Ford in the film “42” and he modeled clothing clothing for Sears catalogues.  Anderson not only knows the bands and will be introducing them at the Festival, he is also a role model for young people, in particular, who aspire to be as successful as Anderson.

MC Anderson Maldonado for web.jpg

Marco is a local news anchor for Channel 8, WVLT Television and has just recently moved to Tennessee from Las Vegas.  He previously worked for TV stations in Tallahassee and Chattanooga. Marco grew up in Houston and, after high school graduation, spent two years in Spain.  When returning to the US, he studied at Brigham Young University.  In addition to all of the governors, senators, and Hollywood celebrities he has interviewed, his favorites have always been regular folks in our communities.  Currently, Marco enjoys outdoor sports, local restaurants, and rowdiest places to cheer on the Vols.


 Cazateatro Bilingual Theater Group

 Animated by the mission of spreading and sharing their language and their Latin American culture through the scenic arts, this theater group began preparations for their first production, and in April 2011 Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group presented “Ramón” by playwright Sergio Belbel, under the direction of Mónica Sánchez, actress and director of Cazateatro. The work “Ramón” gave the group an opportunity to become known as the first bilingual theater group in Memphis. It also inspired others to join the group and share in the Spanish-English theater experience. Through four years of intense work, Cazateatro has produced in a range of genres, including theater of the absurd, pantomime, collective creation, and others. The group will be performing a setting of “Little Red Riding Hood” during the HoLa Festival.

 Arte y Passion Flamenca

 Lucia Andronescu, artistic director and founder of Arte Y Pasion Flamenca, teaches flamenco, an ethnic dance style attributed to the Gypsy population of the southern region of Spain.  A native of Romania, Lucia studied gymnastics as a child and later studied dance at the University of New Mexico and then in New York and North Carolina.  She has participated in many dance workshops and, during the summer of 2013 completed the UMN International Flamenco Sevilla in Spain and in March of 2014 participated in the Antonio Canales Buleria workshop in New York and the Mercedes de Cordoba workshop with Eva Yerbabuena.   Arte Y Pasion Flamenca has performed at the Children’s Museum, the Fantasy of Trees, Pellissippi Community College, Rossini Festival and Dogwood Arts Festival and has performed at several past HoLa Festivals. 

Sambos Grupo de Baile Boliviano

 Sambos USA is a nonprofit organization that was founded with the mission to keep families united and helps children, teens and young adults. It is their belief all families and children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to society in a positive manner.  Their goal is to offer a safe environment to grow and learn choreographic dance activities, while building caring young adults as role models. The organization provides an outlet designed to promote cultural enrichment, educational achievement and family coherence while preventing negative behavior through the dance of Caporales.

Sambos, traveling all the way from Annandale, Virginia, will perform the dance known as Saya-Caporal from the African Bolivian Community of La Paz, Bolivia, and is known throughout much of the world and now throughout North America. The dance shows rapid steps, agile maneuvers, and sensual moves. Sambos dance with respect, elegance, inspiration and passion.  The performance at this year’s HoLa Festival will include 20 children ages 9 through 20.

Zumba – Rebecca Barbosa, demonstrator

 At one point in her life, Rebecca Bardosa was at her highest weight ever and realized she needed to change that for her family and herself. Her weight in July 2009 was 277 lbs. when she found the ZUMBA® fitness program! It has really saved her life and she attributes much of her success to her wonderful instructor Liz at West YMCA who inspired her. Because of this amazing program and also because she made other great choices with eating and other changes, Rebecca lost over 100 lbs. and her life was changed. She now demonstrates to others who may have a similar situation that a change is possible. During the HoLa Festival, she will inspire and inform the audience with her demonstrations and information.   

 Sangria Dance by Olga

 Sangria Dance is a troupe of passionate dancers dedicated to practicing and promoting traditional and modern international dance styles in the Knoxville area.  Their style is build on a strong flamenco and ballet foundation and also includes Gypsy, European, Oriental, Russian folk, and fusion components.  Most of all, the girls aspiring to become elegant ladies stay fit and flexible, develop confident posture and graceful gestures, learn how to dress with taste and improve countenance, and find the manifold value in learning from Olga.

Olga Dulneva, the founder of Sangria Dance, has brought her dance passion from her native country of Russia. Holding honors degrees in education, choreography and business administration, she is a patient teacher, creative choreographer and an inspiring leader. Her dance training includes classical ballet, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Gypsy, European and other folk  dances. She has performed as a part of various dance troupes in Russia, New York and Tennessee.

 The Knoxville Argentine Tango Society

 The Knoxville Argentine Tango Society is a civic-minded, not-for-profit social club. Since its inception, members have supported the Knoxville community and performed for many non-profit organizations. For several years the club has participated in the Hola Festival as well as Pellissippi State Community College’s National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, the YWCA’s Big Read, the University of Tennessee’s International events, and others.

In 2006 the Knoxville Argentine Tango Society was created and the Charter Board was elected. The best dancers took turns sharing styles and teaching the others tango moves. This spirited group frequently drove out of state to workshops in Atlanta and Asheville to develop their knowledge of this complex, sensuous dance. Many excellent local workshops have been offered and KATS continued to dance at several different venues but settling on the current location at the Square Dance Center (Flynn Center). As of 2013, KATS, was offering free classes from beginning to a more advanced level, actively searching for what will grow tango in Knoxville.. KATS offers two practice sessions per week and at least one milonga per month plus several workshops each year.



(subject to change; see final printed program at Festival)

Ethnic Foods

La Cabaña Cuban Flavor will provide Cuban sandwiches, fried plantains, shredded flank steak, rice and black beans and rice pudding.  Mexico Lindo will have available burritos, churros, nachos, tacos and tamales. The Los Calderos will offer Puerto Rican style fritters and turnovers filled with, cheese, sea food, meat or chicken and alcapurrias. Café Colao will provide the official HoLa coffee as well as “Media Noche” sandwiches, traditional Cuban sandwiches, stuffed potatoes and guava pastries. Michael Curcio from Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice will cool everything down for you.

Everyone must try home cooking, Hispanic style.  Patricia Payan will prepare authentic Mexican foods including tacos, gorditas, burritos and flautas. Jairo Josue will have the very best of typical Honduran food including meat with rice and fried beans and corn tortillas with ground meat inside, baleadas (which are flour tortillas with refried beans inside), catrachas (corn tortillas with beans on top), and lots more.  Helping Hands will be presenting outstanding jerk chicken, curry chicken, rice and peas, and salad.  Teresa Ortiz will prepare the finest Bolivian food including cchicken and meat salteñas, cheese empanadas, rice flour and cassava empanadas, cuñape and tres leches cake.


Craft Vendors

A number of artists will be displaying the finest in Hispanic crafts.  Some of those artists include:

Judith Adner displaying paper mache dolls; Liliana Hena displaying hand crafted beaded jewelry, necklaces, and rosaries; Edgar Suarez displaying hand crafted bracelets; Maria Carmen and Alejandro Villalpanto displaying sugar skulls; Leigh Carrasco displaying Peruvian children’s books; Carlos Triana showing handmade shoes and leather sandals made entirely by hand that highlight Cuban culture; and Rosalina Tipton displaying painted rocks and wooden artifacts.


Special activities especially for families

 One World Circus 3:30 – 4:00; The Alkmst Science Show 4:15 – 5:00

All Day:  Special cultural tables and displays; face painting; Hyacinth bird demonstration by Chris Connon; appearances by Ronald McDonald; special programs by the Oak Ridge Children’s Museum; the moon walk bounder and other games and activities designed especially for children.




Saturday, September 27

Market Square Stage

7:00 PM – MC intro

7:05 PM – 7:55 PM – set I by Orquesta D’Jimmy Bonilla

8:00 PM – 8:30 PM – performance by Music City Salsa

8:30 PM – 9:00 PM – DJ special

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM – set II by Orquesta D’Jimmy Bonilla


Sunday, September 28

Market Square Stage

11:30 AM – Welcome by Master of Ceremonies

11:35 AM – 12:05 PM – performance of “Little Red Riding Hood” by Cazatearo Bilingual Theater

(all further times are PM)

12:05 – 12:25 - performance by Arte y Passion Flamenca

12:25 – 12:30 – songs by Miguel Fernandez

12:35 – 12:50 – performance by Music City Salsa

12:53 – 1:13 – performance by Sambos Grupo de Balle Boliviano

1:15 – 2:00 – performance by Marcel Portilla’s Reverbnation band

2:00 – 3:00 – Parade of Nations

3:00 – 3:10 – demo of Zumba by Rebecca Barbosa (start on stage, move to audience)

3:10 – 3:25 – performance by Sangria Dance

3:25 – 4:10 – performance by Asheville Tango Orchestra and KATS Dancers

4:10 – 4:25 – performance by Music City Salsa

4:30 – 5:15 – performance by Trote Norteno band

5:20 – 6:00 – performance by Marcel Portilla’s Reverbnation band



Presenting sponsorsWVLT Channel 8 and Knoxville News Sentinel

Platinum sponsorVisit Knoxville, Tennessee Arts Commission

Gold sponsors: Bush Brothers and Company, Cherokee Distributing/Tecate Beer, Clayton Homes/Vanderbilt Mortgage, East Tennessee Foundation, Scripps Networks, University of Tennessee, and McDonald’s

Silver sponsorsCricket, Pepsi, Public Broadcasting System, Regal Entertainment Group, and La Lider Radio Group

Bronze sponsorsBB&T Bank, Clayton Family Foundation, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, Oak Ridge National Lab, and US Cellular

Supporter sponsorNavarro Engineering

Friends of HoLaStarbucks Corporation and ORNL Federal Credit Union


HoLa Hora Latina