La Santa Cecilia to headline the Warren Morrow Latino Music Festival


The 5th Annual Warren Morrow Memorial Concert to become the first Latino Music Festival in Iowa

 When Warren Morrow died unexpectedly at the age of 34, his friends wanted to find a way to continue his legacy. A community leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist and mentor to many, Morrow was also a music lover who wanted to bring more live Latin music to Des Moines. Over the past four years the Warren Morrow Memorial Concert brought together Rock en español, samba-infused beats, salsa, and regional Mexican music. But Warren was a visionary, and he saw potential in everything and everyone, and his friends wanted to do the same. This year they took their idea from concert to a music festival with 7 bands including headliner, La Santa Cecilia, a Grammy-winning Latinx band from the streets of East Los Angeles.

“This year we wanted to do something big for the Des Moines’ music scene,” said Amner Martínez, one of the concert organizers. “Warren was a visionary and he left an impression on me and others. We want to make this Iowa’s premier Latin Music Festival, and we’re excited to kick that off with La Santa Cecilia, a band that’s won many awards, including a Grammy for Best Latin Rock album, Alternative or Urban.”


Date: Saturday, August 6th

Time: 4PM – 10PM

Place: Des Moines Social Club – 900 Mulberry St.

About the Headliner, La Santa Cecilia:

La Santa Cecilia, named for the Patron Saint of music, is comprised of lead vocalist ‘La Marisoul’, accordionist and requinto player Jose ‘Pepe’ Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña, and percussionist Miguel ‘Oso’ Ramirez. Known for their hit ICE (El Hielo) which focuses on immigration and won Video of the Year at Premio Lo Nuestro, their music is a blend of social commentary, with elements of soul, flamenco, reggae, pop, jazz, cumbia, tango, and their unique spin that comes from growing up in Los Angeles. La Santa Cecilia has performed at music festivals across the country, for the first lady, Michelle Obama, and on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, but have never performed in Iowa. Their recent album, Buenaventura dropped in February, 2016 and is already making waves.

Other bands performing at the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival include Izcalli and El Cro bringing rock en español and Urbano from Denver, local salsa and cumbia favorites Parranderos Latin Combo, Banda Oro and La Inseparable Perla Del Sur with banda from Marshalltown, Des Moines’ own Laradee & The Positives with Reggae, and 4 DJs spinning the latest in English and Spanish dance beats throughout the Des Moines Social Club. There will also be a music-infused fashion show by local designer, Laura Rodriguez. For the night owls and Latin dance lovers, there will be an after-party hosted by Parranderos Latin Combo. Admission for the after party is included in the $20, or you can come just for that portion for $10. This party is for adults 21 and over.


There are lots of Latin music festivals around the country, but none in Des Moines. “This is a chance to show the rest of the Midwest that there are Latinos in Des Moines, and they contribute in many ways, including the music scene,” said Martinez. “Never before have so many Latino musicians from this many cities come together in Central Iowa for a celebration of music like this. There’s something for every music taste and it’s an all-ages show.”

A festival of this magnitude costs upwards of $15,000. The organizing committee is currently in a campaign to raise the funds so that all the money from the entrance can be donated to local charities that align with Warren’s life passions of leadership development and financial education for underserved populations. You can pre-purchase tickets and make a donation on the website: Admission to the music festival is $20 per adult, kids 14 and under are free.


Since the first concert in 2012, the concert has raised a little over $10,000 and each dollar has been invested in the Latino community.

For more information, about the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival, or to arrange media interviews with the bands, please contact Christina Fernandez-Morrow, or visit the festival’s website:


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