Boston Banda de Paz (Peace Band) El Salvador will march on Sacco Vanzetti Commemoration Day 2015
The Boston Banda de Paz El Salvador, based mostly in East Boston, has agreed to march with us on this year's Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Day. All 40 plus members of the band are immigrants, the majority from El Salvador, who relate clearly to what it means to be an immigrant worker here in the U.S. Sacco and Vanzetti were discriminated as Italian immigrants in their time. Many of the witness statements during their trial were simply not considered truthful because the witnesses were Italian. It will be a pleasure to have the company of these musicians and dancers on the day that we honor the memory of Sacco and Vanzetti. An article by Lowell Sun of last year gives us more information on the band itself.
Boston Banda de Paz El Salvadoran marching band
The Lowell Sun, 7/24/2014
In the wake of El Salvador's civil war (1980-1992), a mass emigration of Salvadorans led many to East Boston, which now has one of the largest populations of the diaspora.
The tradition of marching bands in El Salvador was born of colonialism; marching bands, combining the European tradition with Caribbean rhythms, have existed since the 1800s. After the civil war, the bands became bands of peace (bandas de paz). Each city and town in El Salvador has a band that participates in competitions. Bandas de paz typically include three parts: cachiporristas (cheerleaders), marching band with drum line, and ballet (dancers dressed in traditional attire). Their repertoire combines indigenous songs popularized by composers in the 1920s with traditional dances.
Director Omar Contreras founded Boston Banda de Paz in 2012 and since then, its enrollment has greatly increased. Boston Banda de Paz has performed at regional events, and has received several state and national accolades. Most meaningful to Contreras is the band's promotion of Latino folklore in the city of Boston.