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Listen to Puerto Rico's national instrument come alive at the Cuatro Festival.

The annual celebration of puertorriqueño music highlights professional players of the ten-stringed cuatro as well as introducing a new generation of players to this uniquely Puerto Rican instrument.

For many Puerto Ricans, the cuatro – developed and refined over hundreds of years by the island's rural population, or jibaros – represents the musical heart of their culture.

It was these memories of home that drove Orlando Rivera and his brother David to found the Chicago Cuatro Orchestra in 1996. The first cuatro festival followed two years later and has blossomed since, packing the beautiful Chicago Theatre with thousands of eager listeners.

Related Links

See what else is going on in the Puerto Rican community at the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Illinois

Find cultural events in Chicago and surrounding cities at Puerto Rican Power.

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Watch as the Cuatro Festival delights music lovers and brings the pulse of the Caribbean to Chicago.


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Students of all ages give a guitar and cuatro recital at Roosevelt High School.

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Dressed in white, Hector Quique Domenech plays the cuatro at the 2005 Festival. Courtesy of Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.

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Are these tomorrow's cuatro masters?


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