Cantare Photo 2

Cantaré: Music Rhythm and Roots from Latin America

Sing and dance on this Latin American tour exploring the Indigenous, European and African cultures that shape its music. Share Cantaré’s captivating Spanish and Portuguese songs and rhythms and experience fascinating instruments – donkey jaw, goat toenail rattle and armadillo shell guitar. Themed programs include Carnaval, Navidad, Rainforest, Native American Roots and Latin American Folktales). Performance highlights include National Museum of Women in the Arts, Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Smithsonian Discovery Theater and Wolf Trap.

The Washington Area Music Association nominated Cantaré 7 times for Best Children’s Group or Best Latin Group, and Cecilia Esquivel 5 times for Best Latino Vocalist. She received the WAMMIE award in 2004, 2007 and 2008. Cantaré is a 2006 Parents’ Choice Recommended award winner for their CD, Al Agua Pato. A larger ensemble is also available.

This program was a first for our school… The musical selections were very engaging, informative, and fun. We will definitely invite them back again.

– Teacher, Cross Country Elementary Middle School (Baltimore City Public Schools)

A brilliant tribute to Latin American music…. highly talented..a dazzling variety of instruments.

– Joseph McLellan, Washington Post

Cecilia Esquivel

In her native Argentina, Cecilia Esquivel studied at the National Conservatory of Music. She moved to Washington in 1984 to continue her studies in vocal performance.

Cecilia holds a BA in Music Performance from the University of Maryland, where she studied classical vocal performance under Carmen Balthrop and jazz under Ronnie Wells and Ron Elliston. She also holds an MSW degree from the Catholic University of America. In her performances and workshops, she combines her knowledge of music and social work to reach individuals with a variety of learning styles, educational challenges and emotional difficulties.

As a member of Cantaré, Cecilia performs Latin American music for audiences of all ages in schools, libraries, festivals and major public venues. She also teaches workshops and residencies.

In addition, Cecilia is very active in the Washington area music scene. She performs both as a soloist and with ensembles, and does studio work as a singer, arranger and recording producer. Her work has earned her repeated recognition from the Washington Area Music Association (see Awards below).

Artist’s website: Cantaré Music

Virtual program options may be available – contact us for more information.


¡Feliz Navidad! – Latin American Holiday Celebration
Enjoy songs and stories from holiday traditions rooted in our Indigenous, African and European heritage. Hear villancicos from the Andes, festejos from Peru, parrandas from Puerto Rico, African chants from Brazil, Hanukah songs from Spain and more. Audiences sing, play instruments and dance. Piñata song and activity can be included by special arrangement.

The Legend of Viracocha – Pre-Columbian Music
Take a journey back in time to experience the rich music and culture of the Indigenous people of Latin America. Haunting tales, melodies and rhythms from the Andes, the Rainforest, Central America and the Caribbean. Audiences sing, play instruments and participate in the folktales.

¡Mucha Música! – A musical journey to Latin America
Audiences are transported to Latin America to experience the many rhythms and unique instruments from different regions, while learning about the three cultures that shaped Latin music: Indigenous, European and African. Audiences sing, play instruments and dance salsa.

Rainforest Air
Music and magical tales from the heart of the rainforest. A powerful ecological message from the animals, plants and people that live in the rainforests of South America, Central America and Puerto Rico. Audiences sing, play instruments and dance merengue.

¡Vamos al Carnaval!
Experience the excitement of Carnaval (the Latin American version of Mardi Gras) with joyful rhythms from different Carnaval traditions such as carnavalito from Bolivia, festejo from Peru, plena from Puerto Rico, conga from Cuba and samba from Brazil. Audiences sing, play instruments and dance the conga.

Madre Africa- African Heritage in Latin America
Learn how African cultures influenced and inspired fascinating rhythms, instruments and musical styles, such as candombe, festejo, tango, and salsa. As we travel through South America and the Caribbean, hear how each country developed its own blend of cultural and religious traditions while sharing a similar African heritage. Tracing migration through music, geography and social studies become lively subjects that are especially relevant in today’s diverse school and work environments!

This fast paced musical tour is interactive with clapping, dancing and African-style call and response. Audience members can join the group on stage to try instruments and dance steps.

Single $675/Back-to-Back $850

Larger ensemble available – contact us for pricing and information.

NEW – Shake Your Bones! In this playful and highly interactive presentation, Cantaré introduces preschool and Kindergarten audiences to songs, rhythms and instruments from Latin America. Students sing in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, dance, and play percussion instruments with the artists. (35-minute performance)

Single $400 / Back-to-back $700

Fees are for daytime school programs in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Northern Virgina only.

Evening, weekend, workshop and non-school fees differ – please contact us.

Additional travel fees apply.

Workshops and Other Programs

¡Baila! – A beginner’s Latin dance workshop
A fun activity for a school or workplace International Day. Participants learn basic steps for some of the traditional Latin dances such as salsa, merengue, bolero, cha cha cha and cumbia, among others. Single or partner steps are taught, depending on audience size, age level and setting.

How Night Came from the Sea – Latin American Folktales
Children are transported to Latin America to participate in interactive folktales that provide magical explanations for the origins of the first night, the first eclipse, how the turtle got its shell, and how the armadillo learned to sing, among others. Audiences take part in the stories by using call and response, creating sound effects, singing and playing some instruments. A visual arts component can be added for smaller groups (turtle paper puppets, story illustrations, small shaker).

More than Maracas – Visual Arts from Latin America
A good complement for any musical or cultural activity. Participants make one of the following projects: Brazilian shakers, Mexican Amate bark paintings, Mexican Huichol yarn paintings, Central American Ojo de Dios (eye of God), Mexican papel picado, Central American woven placemats.

Please contact us for Program Fees.

Additional travel fees apply.

Audience, Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Children & Families, Adults

Art Forms, Storytelling, Visual Arts, Dance, Music

Program Type, Residency, Performance, Workshop

Curriculum/Theme, Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, Green

    Thank you for your interest in Artivate's professional teaching artists. We are excited to work with you to bring high-quality performances and workshops to your community.

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