Carlos Santana to Perform Alongside Rob Thomas at “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert”

There’s more than a walk in the (Central) park in Carlos Santana’s future…

Amid concern over the Delta coronavirus variant, a mega-concert in Central Park to celebrate New York City’s reopening will go forward as planned next month, with performers including the 74-year-old Mexican-American guitarist/musician.

Carlos Santana

Santana, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, will perform alongside Rob Thomas. The pair teamed up in 1999 for Smooth“, a dynamic cha-cha stop-start number co-written and sung by Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and laced throughout with Santana’s guitar fills and runs. “Smooth” spent twelve weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming in the process the last No. 1 single of the 1990s.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined music industry legend Clive Davis, who is co-producing the concert, for a press conference to unveil the details of what de Blasio promised will be a “historic,” “blockbuster” event. Officially titled “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” the event is set for August 21 at 5:00 p.m., it will be broadcast live globally on CNN and 80% of tickets will be free.

While de Blasio initially proposed having vaccinated and unvaccinated sections, he said that attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination.

“New York City is back,” de Blasio said. “You can see it, you can feel it, and it’s time to celebrate on the Great Lawn.”

The lineup, which includes many New York natives, so far spans Jon BatisteAndrea Bocelli, Kane Brown, LL Cool J, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind & Fire joined by Lucky Daye and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Cynthia Erivo, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Hudson, Wyclef Jean, Journey, The Killers, Gayle King, Don Lemon, Barry Manilow, The New York Philharmonic, Polo G, Carlos Santana joined by Rob Thomas, Paul Simon and Patti Smith duetting with Bruce Springsteen.

“As a born, bred and true New Yorker, I well know how resilient we are and how New York always comes back,” Davis said. “I cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate this than an unforgettable concert in the most special venue in the world: the Great Lawn at Central Park. My team, along with our partners at Live Nation, has been hard at work for weeks curating what I submit to you will be a once-in a lifetime event […] It will celebrate a spectacular range of musical genres, styles and eras while including some of the most iconic artists in the history of modern music.”

Davis, who was raised in Brooklyn, is co-producing alongside Live Nation. Restauranteur Danny Meyer, the recently-appointed chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corporation board of directors, is also involved, as is Universal Hip-Hop Museum executive director Rocky Bucano.

“We’re so honored to be part of this event,” added Live Nation regional president Geoff Gordon. “I too have goosebumps after hearing that, even though we’ve been involved in lining this up. Live music has the unique ability to bring us all together, which is really what we’re doing. There’s nothing like a live music experience.”

Tickets for the concert go on sale on Monday, August 2 at 10:00 a.m. EST on the new NYC Homecoming Week website, and the Great Lawn has a capacity of 60,000. The 20% of tickets not designated as free are VIP tickets available for purchase. De Blasio said that event workers will be checking for proof of vaccination as attendees enter, with more details to come. Asked by a reporter whether the vaccination requirement means the concert is for attendees aged 12 and over only, de Blasio said, “right now, that’s a fair assumption.”

The event will cap off a reopening celebration dubbed NYC Homecoming Week, during which the City of New York will host concerts in each of the five boroughs starting August 14, leading up to the Great Lawn spectacle on the 21st. The lead-up concerts will be held Aug. 16 at Orchard Beach in The Bronx; Aug. 17 at Richmond County Bank Park in Staten Island; Aug. 19 at Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn; and Aug. 20 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.

Julian Castro to Serve as Political Analyst on NBC News & MSNBC

Julian Castro is ready to examine our political landscape…

The 46-year-old Mexican American lawyer and politician, who was the youngest member of President Barack Obama‘s cabinet when he served as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a political analyst.

Julian Castro

Castro ran for president in the 2020 cycle. Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski announced his new role in an appearance on the show on Monday, as Castro joined to talk about voting rights and the debate over amending the filibuster.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) has called on President Joe Biden to support changes to the U.S. Senate rule.

“The problem is that we really haven’t seen any activity. We haven’t seen any push from the Oval Office on this issue, and you can see that, you know, that the impatience is growing among Democrats,” Castro said on Morning Joe.

Castro served as HUD secretary from 2014 to 2017, after serving as mayor of San Antonio. He launched his presidential campaign in January, 2019, one of the first candidates to get in the race, but dropped out almost a year later. He went on to endorse Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Castro is one of the few 2020 presidential contenders to go on to cable news gigs, given the sheer number of candidates who still hold elective office. After he dropped out of the presidential race, Andrew Yang joined CNN as a political commentator, but he then went on to run for mayor of New York.

Gloria Estefan to Perform at ‘Vax India Now’ COVID-19 Vaccine Support Livestream Event

Gloria Estefan is helping to raise awareness and money for COVID-19 vaccine support in India.

The 63-year-old Cuban singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman will perform during the Vax India Now livestream event.

Gloria Estefan

Estefan joins a roster of performers that includes Sting and Josh Groban.

Andrea Bocelli, his son Matteo Bocelli, Yo-Yo MaDavid Foster, Alan Walker, Asif Mandvi, Nishat Kahn and the Ranjani Gayatri Sisters are also slated to perform.

Anuradha Palakurthi, who runs her own foundation in New England that promotes Indian culture, organized Vax India Now, which is primarily funded by the Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit that encourages and facilitates charitable giving by high-profile individuals and organizations.

“When our longtime Board member Prashanth Palakurthi proposed doing something truly significant on a worldwide scale to help his native India at this critical time, we jumped at the chance to help,” Giving Back Fund president and founder Marc Pollick said in a statement. “This is what we are built for – to mobilize quickly and provide assistance and philanthropic administration to help those in need. At this moment in time, the need in India must become the center of the universe.”

India’s second wave of the virus in February has resulted in 30 million total confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. On June 10, the nation reached its record-high total of deaths in one day with 7,374 lives lost. Earlier this week, Al Jazeera reported on the unsustainable distribution of the COVID vaccine in India after the world’s second-largest country received a record 8.6 million doses on Monday.

Vax India Now will be livestreamed on Wednesday, July 7, on CNN and Dreamstage.live. Fans can also view the program on vaxindianow.com and CNN’s YouTube channel.

Ana Cabrera to Anchor CNN’s “CNN Newsroom” During the Week

Ana Cabrera is expanding her role at CNN

The cable news network has announced changes to its weekday morning and dayside lineup, with the 38-year-old Mexican American broadcast journalist joining the roster.

Ana Cabrera

Cabrera, who has anchored CNN’s weekend newscasts for the last four years, will now anchor CNN Newsroom weekdays from 1:00 – 2:00 pm.

The news network also unveiled new roles for Jim Acosta and Boris Sanchez on weekends, with all changes effective in April.

Sanchez will join Christi Paul as co-anchor of Weekend New Day on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sanchez previously served as a CNN White House correspondent.

Acosta will anchor CNN Newsroom on Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Acosta had previously been named the network’s chief domestic correspondent. Prior to this new role, he covered the White House for CNN for the past seven years, having served as Chief White House Correspondent since 2018.

Rachel Campos-Duffy to Serve as One of the Rotating Hosts of “Fox News Primetime”

Rachel Campos-Duffy will be pulling hosting duties in the near future.

The 49-year-old Mexican American television personality, a former cast member on MTV’s reality television series The Real World: San Francisco, has been added to the list of rotating hosts who’ll anchor Fox News Primetime, which is set for its debut in the 7:00 pm ET hour as part of a plan to fill the slot with opinion programming.

Rachel Campos-Duffy

Campos-Duffy, who has been a regular contributor to Fox News, joins a roster of rotating hosts that includes Maria Bartiromo, Brian Kilmeade, Trey Gowdy, Katie Pavlich and Mark Steyn.

Back in October, Fox News said that they were planning new formats “as appropriate after the election.” But since election day, much has been made of the growth of Newsmax’s viewership, particularly in the 7:00 pm hour, as Greg Kelly Reports was a platform for pro-Donald Trump guests to advance unfounded claims of election fraud.

Fox News topped other cable networks in viewership last year, but CNN has seen gains post election. In the first week of January, CNN topped primetime with an average of 4.18 million viewers, to 3.78 million for MSNBC and 3.19 million for Fox News.

Campos-Duffy was a guest host on the ABC talk show The View, before moving onto Fox News, where she has guest-hosted the show Outnumbered.

Campos-Duffy has served as the national spokesperson for the LIBRE initiative, a non-profit organization that promotes ideas about constitutionally limited government, property rights, rule of law, economic stability, and free market capitalism to the Hispanic community.

Eva Longoria to Take Part in Presidential & Vice Presidential Inauguration Special “Celebrating America”

Eva Longoria is celebrating America in a special way…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and producer will introduce segments during the two-hour Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration special that starts at 8:30 pm ET on January 20th.

Eva Longoria

While Tom Hanks will serve as the official host the program, Longoria and Kerry Washington will reprise their duties from last summer’s semi-virtual Democratic National Convention, which had the same producers.

The Celebrating America television special will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and more next week.

Biden and Harris are scheduled to give remarks of their own during Celebrating America.

The finale for the five-day America United themed event in a deeply and violently divided nation, Celebrating America has already made public that Justin Timberlake will be busting a move or two onstage. Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and that other Garden State superstar Jon Bon Jovi will be performing also.

More acts and big names are expected to be revealed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in the next few days.

Along with the TV networks, Celebrating America will be seen on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse as well as the PIC’s social media feeds.

Jim Acosta Named Weekend Anchor/Chief Domestic Correspondent for CNN

Jim Acosta will be working on the weekend…

CNN announced a series of changes to its Washington, D.C. lineup, including a new role for the 49-year-old half-Cuban American journalist.

Jim Acosta

Acosta will switch to a new role from chief White House correspondent to anchor and chief domestic correspondent for the network, with more details on his weekend anchoring duties to be announced.

Acosta tweeted about the changes.

“On to the next adventure! After eight years at WH, I’m moving into a new role as anchor on weekends and chief domestic correspondent for @CNN, a new challenge I’m very excited about. Will miss my WH colleagues. But I know they’ll be great covering the Biden admin. See you soon!”

Meanwhile, Arlette Saenz will serve as a correspondent covering the White House.

Soledad O’Brien to Talk About The Media on This Week’s Episode of Peacock’s Late-Night Comedy “Wilmore”

Soledad O’Brien is ready to talk ship with Larry Wilmore.

The 54-year-old half-Afro-Cuban American broadcast journalist and executive producer will appear on this week’s episode of Wilmore, the Peacock late-night comedy fronted by Wilmore.

Soledad O’Brien

The episode, which will focus on the media, will also feature The West Wing star Bradley Whitford and Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd.

O’Brien is the host of Matter of Fact, a nationally syndicated talk show produced by Hearst Television. She is chairwoman of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production company and distributor that she founded in 2013. She’s also a member of the Peabody Awards board of directors, which is presented by the University of Georgia‘s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 

She previously worked as an anchor for CNN, and has worked as a correspondent for Al Jazeera America and HBO‘s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Wilmore is going into his sixth show since launching on the streamer. Other topics he has tackled include protests, voter suppression, police, class, and comparing where we are to the 2016 presidential election.

Guests have included U.S. women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Charlamagne Tha God, Andrew Yang, Roy Wood Jr. and Chloé Hilliard as well as his Peacock peer Amber Ruffin.

Carlos Santana Producing Sony Music Latin & Tiger Turn Productions’ Border-Blurring Music Documentary “Fandango at the Wall”

Carlos Santana is folking up things at the U.S.-Mexico border…

Sony Music Latin has partnered with Tiger Turn Productions for the feature music documentary Fandango at the Wall, executive produced by the legendary 72-year-old Mexican guitarist.

Carlos Santana

The feature, directed by Varda Bar-Kar, follows Grammy-winning musician and Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra founder Arturo O’Farrill and Grammy-winning producer Kabir Sehgal as they prepare to record a live album at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

In addition to Santana, the documentary is executive produced by Quincy Jones and Andrew Young.

Fandango at the Wall

 “When I first learned about this film, I knew we had to be part of it. We’re excited to partner with the production team and to share this powerful story with the world,” said Ruben Levya, Senior Vice President at Sony Music Latin, leading artist services and premium content.

“The film explores the roots of Latin music and, in particular, Afro-Mexican music known as son jarocho.It is both timely and timeless, as it looks at the issue of immigration between the United States and Mexico,” said Sehgal, who’s also a producer on the film. “We’re thrilled to partner with Sony Music Latin, which has long been the vanguard of creative content throughout the Americas.”

Combining art and advocacy, the film is inspired by the “Fandango Fronterizo” annual music festival which unites people in son jarocho‘s song and dance on both sides of the Tijuana-San Diego border. 

Fandango at the Wall

Before recording, “Fandango Fronterizo” organizer, Jorge Francisco Castillo, took O’Farrill and Sehgal on an inspiring journey of Veracruz, Mexico, where son jarocho, the 300-hundred-year-old folk music called combining indigenous, Spanish, and African traditions originated. As they travel to the far regions of the Veracruz coast, they meet legendary son jarochomusicians and artisans and recruit them for the upcoming festival. Their travels culminate at the annual border celebration, promoting peace, and celebrating unity.

“I’ve been captivated by the spirit of Mexico’s vibrant son jarochomusic community throughout the magical journey of making Fandango at the Wall,” said Bar-Kar. “I love making and watching music films, and I’ve long admired and appreciated the works that Sony Music Latin has brought to life.”

Fandango at the Wall features son jarocho legends Patricio HidalgoRamón GutiérrezWendy Cao RomeroTacho UtreraFernando GuadarramaAndrés Vega and Martha Vega.

It also includes special appearances by Regina Carter, multi-Grammy nominee and MacArthur Foundation FellowDouglas BrinkleyCNN Historian; Mandy Gonzalez, who performs in Broadway’s Hamilton; The Villalobos BrothersRahim AlHaj, Grammy nominee; and Sahba Motallebi.

The film was produced in partnership with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. Sony Music will also represent the film to third party distributors, platforms, and services.

Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz’s Rosita to Participate in “Sesame Street” & CNN’s “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism” Town Hall

Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz is helping raise awareness on racism in America…

The 58-year-old Mexican puppeteer’s beloved Sesame Street character, Rosita, will be part of the long-running PBS series town hall addressing racism in partnership with CNN. The event comes in  response to protests around the world after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz's Rosita

Big Bird will join CNN’s Van Jones and Erica Hill to moderate the Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism town hall, which will cover topics of racism, protesting, embracing diversity, and being more empathetic and understanding.

In addition to Rosita and Big Bird, Sesame Street’s Elmo and Abby Cadabby will join experts to answer questions from parents and children.

The 60-minute special will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10:00 am ET. The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español. It will also stream live on CNN.com and on the CNN app, without requiring a cable log-in.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled into his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The incident was caught on video by multiple bystanders and released across social media, leading to an intense response from residents in cities across the U.S., as well as other countries, calling for justice and an end to police brutality against black people.

Osbahr-Vertiz’s Rosita is a 5-year-old turquoise Hispanic female monster Muppet character on the children’s television series. Fluent in English and Spanish, she’s the first regular bilingual Muppet on the show. Osbahr-Vertiz has voiced Rosita since 1991.

Sesame Street and the news network also combined forces in May for a town hall discussing COVID-19.

To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
  • Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
  • Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.