SUPER LATIN FEST at the CNE Bandshell (Exhibition Place), Friday and Saturday (August 24 and 25). $6-$9. 416-263-3800. Rating: NNNNN
Toronto Latin music and culture party Super Latin Fest expands to the CNE Bandshell this year, offering some of the best in salsa, timba and mariachi over two days.As always, music is the main attraction, with bands from Cuba, El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico represented. Here are some highlights.LAURA MARIA, Friday, 8 pm. El Salvadoran cumbia crooner Laura Maria should get the fest off to a smooth start.
VIBRASON, Saturday, 4 pm. Fiery Toronto salsa orquesta led by conga slapper Marcus Chonsky will hit hard and get the dance floor churning with their rootsy Latin rhythms.
MARIACHI AMIGO, Saturday, 6 pm. Jorge Lopez fronts this lively Mexican mariachi ensemble.
CINDY G, Saturday, 7:45 pm. Hyped as the hottest new Latin pop star, Colombian pop singer Cindy G has the distinction of being managed by Dick Scott, one of the men behind New Kids on the Block.
CUBAN EXTRAVAGANZA Saturday, 8:30 pm. The uninspiring name aside, the Cuban blowout led by brilliant Havana-schooled piano pounder and Jane Bunnett sidekick Hilario Duran should provide an explosive finale to the fest. Joining Duran are Alberto Alberto, Mario Del Monte and fabulous former Las Perlas del Sol singer/guitarist Yaritza Martinez, who'll be playing everything from classic son to the wired-up new timba swing that's tearing Cuba apart these days.