Best Local Acoustic Performer - 2000
Victor Manuel "Chocolatin" Casanova
In 1979 Victor Manuel Casanova left Peru with a group of musicians for a tour of the United States that never ended. Over the past twenty years, this Afro-Peruvian singer, guitarist, and caja or "box" player, has performed for Miami's ever-growing Peruvian population. A petite man with dark skin and a powerful voice, Chocolatin often exclaims with pride for his race and national origin. He learned to sing and play largely from his family during childhood, beginning a career that has spanned nearly three decades. He has mastered an array of international standards and Peruvian favorites, including "La Flor de Canela" ("Cinnamon Flower") by the Andean nation's most beloved composer Chabuca Grande. The rich tones of Chocolatin can be heard every Saturday at the Peruvian Grill in Kendall.