MOLINE — People in the Quad Cities recognize the importance of Latin music in Hispanic culture.
El Mercado on Fifth in Moline showcases Spanish songs in the outdoor market.
On any given Friday summer night in Moline, you’ll find Latino musicians and their audience belting out some of their favorite songs in Spanish.
Or simply, dancing the night away.
“We love music it’s in our blood,” Mercado on Fifth music organizer Abel Zertuche.
The Floreciente neighborhood is the birthplace of the Mercado on Fifth . An outdoor market that provides the Latino community a space to share their love of food, music and dance.
“Its very important, it keeps us together,” said Zertuche. “Where there’s music that’s where we’re going to be at.”
Abel Zertuche is responsible for booking the live Latin musical entertainment. that helps bring in the crowds.
“Live music, DJ, we have a lot of different groups. Different types of music,” he said,
These live music performances and bands all have roots in the Quad Cities.
“We have groupo Fantasia, Groupo Realidad,” Zertuche said.
And musicians playing a diverse range of styles like cumbia, nortenas and mariachi.
Before the Mercado on Fifth, there wasn’t an outdoor space that offered this on a weekly basis.
“Other than our events that we do with VIVA and the Mexican Independence Day Fiesta I guess it was just the clubs where people like to dance. The quinceañeras, the bautismos, the bodas,” Zertuche said.
For the last 4 years, 5th street has been jammed packed from May to September.
“We celebrate together we drink together, we party together so you know its a good thing to have music,” Zertuche said. “Doesn’t matter what type of music but we all dance.”
No matter the style, it’s all beautiful music to Cindy Garcia’s ears.
Garcia has performed everything from traditional Mexican tunes to other Latin genres as well.
“I started singing actually in the church,” said singer Cindy L. Garcia. “And then I was also in a musical group called Instincto. I was one of the singers there.”
She says music has always been an important part of her culture.
“Whenever you’re cooking or cleaning you have to have Mexican music in the background. I definitely grew up listening to the songs and I want to keep the tradition going,” she said.
A tradition that Zertuche wanted the younger generation to understand.
That’s why he, with the help of a few others. started The Glenview Middle School Mariachi Band.
Using this style of music to connect Mexican kids to their traditional roots.
“Supporting my people. Like people out there that I can relate to in a way,” said GMS Mariachi Band violin player Draven Zertuche.
And also bringing people of different cultural groups together.
“You know what we do have Anglo American people, we have African American people that come out to dance to Mexican music. It feels good to get them involved in our community,” said Zertuche.
While the Mercado on Fifth has created an inclusive atmosphere for anyone that stops by.
Zertuche says, he hopes to bring more Latin music.
“Like salsa, some merengue,” he said.
To encourage the celebration of all Latino cultures and representation.
“Latin music brings life to us, whenever we hear music we want to dance. It’s just the life of living,” said Garcia.
El Mercado on Fifth is closed for the season.
Organizers hope to to build a permanent structure to turn it into an indoor market.