Salsa, merengue, bachata and bolero all are on tap for the ninth annual Conga Caliente Festival in Tampa.
Among the performers this year: Milly Quezada, Oro Sólido, from the Dominican Republic; Alvaro Torres, from El Salvador; and Karisma, a musical group based in Miami.
Conga Caliente also will include domino tournaments, Colombian humorists Mouse and Chocolate, and an exhibit of plastic arts.
"We always like to bring musical variety, but also to make the public laugh," said Alex Cora, producer of the festival and owner of Coda Sound. "Ever since we created Conga Caliente, we thought about producing a good-quality event the whole family could participate."
Dominican singer Quezada, known as the "Merengue Queen," will headline this year's festival.
Quezada was born in the Dominican Republic, and grew up in New York, where she began her career singing meringue.
"When I started, I had to work real hard to stand out in a musical world dominated by men," Quezada said in a telephone interview with Centro Tampa, from Santo Domingo. "At that point there were no women singing merengue. The most important part is that we have been able to stay solid."
With more than 30 albums under her belt, Quezada has won two Latin Grammys. Her recent recording, "Here I Am (Aquí estoy yo)," has been nominated for a 2012 Latin Grammy Award for Best Tropical Contemporary Album category. Her duet with Juan Luis Guerra, "Take my life (Toma mi vida)," is a nominee for Best Tropical Song.
The singer waited three years to launch her latest album and invested $50,000 of her own money.
"The music industry is not easy," Quezada said. "You need to have the right opportunity to be able to respond to the market, which is no longer the same, when recording companies would back up artists financially. Now you have to participate and invest yourself in many ways."
For information on free tickets to Conga Caliente, visit www.congacaliente.com.
CONGA CALIENTE FESTIVAL
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave., Tampa
Tickets: Free; go to Congacaliente.com for information