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September 02, 1990|MIKE RAMOS

Kick up your heels and dance the night away as Latin sounds fill the air. The second annual Salsa y Samba Festival will return to Shoreline Aquatic Park on Sunday Sept. 9, with a variety of salsa, lambada, samba and merengue performers.

Miami-based singer-composer Willy Chirino will headline the festival's musical program. Chirino is credited with "the sound of Miami," a combination of Latin salsa, American rock influence and a touch of Brazilian sound.

Johnny Martinez and the Hollywood Salsa Machine will head the list of Latin music groups at the festival. Martinez's career dates to the '40s and '50s, when he played with Xavier Cugat. He will be given the "Godfather of Salsa" award at 3 p.m. Sept. 9.

Other performers include the L.A. Merengue Kings, the Susie Hansen Band and Long Beach's Salsa Connection. Sambin and LaBoom will provide the samba and lambada music.

The festival will feature dance contest finals in L.A. salsa, U.S. salsa and lambada, with contestants from Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

This year's music festival is being combined with the 1990 Los Angeles Festival of visual and literary art from Southern California and around the world. Ben Valenzuela, known for his Long Beach murals, will coordinate the art exhibit.

The Salsa y Samba Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Shoreline Aquatic Park, Shoreline Drive and Pine Avenue.

Tickets are $10 in advance through TicketMaster, $12 at the event. Children under 12 are free. For more information, call La Playa Events Inc. at 435-3482.

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