The Cuatro is regarded as the national instrument of Puerto Rico and is revered by the Puerto Rican community as an important part of our history. It is recognized and acknowledged as “our guitar” and holds important traditional and historical value. The Emmy Award-winning Annual National Cuatro Festival (NCF) is a unique music event that brings the best Cuatro musicians “Cuatristas” from Puerto Rico and the mainland to Chicago for a one-of-a-kind concert experience. This cultural event highlights the national instrument of Puerto Rico as an important part of our heritage and history.
Each year there is a special dedication and one of the highlights of the concert is an opening performance showcasing students from the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance’s Latin Music Project Ensemble. It is more than a concert, it as a gathering of Chicago’s most long time Latino residents, the Puerto Rican community, and an opportunity to join together with pride to celebrate the beauty of the Chicago’s diversity. Preserving Puerto Rican traditions is at the heart of PRAA’s work and the National Cuatro Festival is a key part of our cultural and educational initiatives.
Over the years the National Cuatro Festival has presented great cuatristas like Yomo Toro, Pedro Guzman, Alvin Medina, Luis Sanz, Prodijio Claudio, Christina Nieves, Manny Trinidad, Emma Colon Zayas, Madibel Delgado, Juradito, Quique Domenech, Javier Mendez, among others. Additionally, great iconic popular and folk music singers/groups such as Victoria Sanabria, Tavin Pumarejo, Odilo Gonzalez, Felito Felix, Andy Montañez, Yolandita Monge, Charlie Aponte, Ismael Miranda, Jose Nogueras, Los Cantores de Bayamon, Mapeye, La Rondalla de Humacao, Puerto Rico Philharmonic, Angel Cucco Peña, Jose Luis Ortiz, Los Hermanos Olvarria, Andres Jimenez, Modesto Nieves, Angel Luis Torruellas, Los Hermanos Sanz and Danny Rivera have graced our stage.
This year due to the pandemic COVI9 19, the Harris Theater has instituted some audience safety protocols.