Thanks to professional photographers Eric Smith and Robert Berlin.  Also thanks to Teresa Mabry Reed, photography teacher at Pellissippi State Community College, and her students including Katie Norrell and Halley Stevenson

These photos and bios represent only a sampling of the many events during the Festival. See the full schedule of events under the pull down menu "about the 2015 Hola Festival."


Ballet Folklórico is a celebration of the traditional music and dance of Mexico and considers themselves as artistic ambassadors. The mission of the company is to build greater awareness and understanding of Latino culture through the arts, and to bring unity to our diverse communities through the beauty and fun of traditional Mexican music and dance. 

Jimmy Bonilla and Orchestra - Jaime “Jimmy” Bonilla established Jimmy Bonilla Enterprises to promote Hispanic cultural events in Europe. In 2008, retired from United States Army, Bonilla returned to Nashville area and created his own band “ La Orquesta D’ Jaime Bonilla.” Bonilla has recorded two demo songs and performed at Nashville, Louisville, Austin Peay State University, and at ASACAP Awards in Nashville.  He was a special guest performer at the Nashville Jazz Workshop for four consecutive years. Currently he is the Executive Musical Producer for La Orquesta La Solucion, Willie Crespo, Mario Velez y los Clásicos de la Salsa, and Wito Rodriguez y su Orquesta.

Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre is a cultural and educational non-profit organization with the mission to spread and share their Latin American culture through the visual arts in order to create a unifying bridge for the wide-ranging community, stressing the importance of being bilingual and the richness of our diverse cultures.  The theatre company began preparations for their first production and in April 2011, Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre presented Ramón, by playwright Sergio Belbel, under the direction of Mónica Sánchez, actress and artistic director of Cazateatro. This production inspired others to join the group and share in the Spanish-English theater experience. The Cazateatro will present two performances of a short play “Three Little Pigs with a Latin Flavor” (children’s area)

Dr. Al Hazarichemist, science educator, anda professor at the University of Tennessee, will present a special science show. His chemistry “magic shows” have been enjoyed by countless kids and adults for over 25 years. There is a very special magic in the shows because of his bringing in the element of fun and excitement that children would not associate with a scientific lecture. Dr. Hazari has dedicated much of his professional life to generating excitement in science among students and teachers. He lives by this simple motto: "Science is for anyone ages 2 to 102."

The festival Heritage Tables displayed information about many of the Hispanic countries.  The Festival Passport book allowed children to visit each country's table and get special country stickers to past in the passport book.

The SalsaKnox Dance Company, owned by Waldo and Jacqueline Solano, is the first and only LA style Salsa Dance Company in Knoxville.   Not only do Waldo and Jacqueline travel all over the Southeast to teach and perform, they also continue to focus on community culture and growth here in Knoxville.  Their goal is to continue to spread the love of Latin dance and culture to all age groups and ethnic groups and bring diversity to the community. SalsaKnox will present a modern Bachata routine, a Salsa/Bachata routine mixed with Thriller, and a professional Salsa routine. Following the performance, they will give a 30-minute Salsa/Cumbia lesson inviting audience members to participate.  

A highlight of the 2015 HoLa Festival was the many local Hispanics who wore their native dresses and costumes.

Chinito Catu, inspirational singer, was born in 1978 in the poverty stricken Guatemala City and spent most of his youth in an orphanage. After graduation from college, he played professional soccer although he continued singing and made the decision to follow his musical career. He has made four successful CD’s. Today, Chinito loves to sing and see people having fun dancing and singing.

Pasión Flamenca dance group, directed by Lucia Andronescu, is dedicated to sharing the rich tradition of Spanish dance, music, and culture. For the past nine years Pasión Flamenca dancers have been entertaining Knoxville audiences with traditional flamenco music and dance and continue to bring educational programs to local schools and organizations interested in learning more about flamenco music and dance, typical to Andalucia (Spain). Pasión Flamenca has performed at the Children’s Museum, the Fantasy of Trees, Pellissippi Community College, Rossini Festival and Dogwood Arts Festival and has performed at several past HoLa Festivals.  



SangriaDance is a troupe of passionate dancers , practicing and promotingtraditional, modern and fusion international folk dances in Knoxville area.  Sangria's dance style is built on a strong flamenco and ballet foundation and also  includes Gypsy, European, Oriental, Russian folk and fusion components.  It features dynamic choreography, strong technique, intricate formations, expressive movements and active use of props, such as castanets, tambourines, skirts, shawls, flowers, fans and more.


USA representative in the PARADE OF NATIONS

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Activities for children are an important and very special feature of the annual HoLa Festivals. Below photo of the very popular puppet in a special show by the local SonLight Puppeteers. 

USA representative in the PARADE OF NATIONS