Monday, July 25, 2011

Latin Music U.S.A.

This past week I was watching the PBS Documentary series, Latin Music USA. The series attempts to chronicle the various periods of Latin music recorded by artists in the United States throughout the decades beginning in the 1930s. It also seeks to illuminate the influence this music has had on U.S. popular culture and other forms of music in this country. Represented are the beginnings of the introduction of Afro-Cuban rhythms into Jazz and bee-bop, the socially and sexually liberating Latin dance crazes of the Mambo and Cha Cha Cha, Chicano inspired rock n' roll, the explosive combination of conga drums and electric guitar blasted out over an audience of half a million people at Woodstock, the birth of Salsa in New York City heralded by Puerto Rican immigrants or Nuyoricans during the early 1970s, on through to more recent Latin dance styles such as Reggaeton. Below I've listed some artists that currently fascinate me. All are readily available via the Austin Public Library.

Fania All Stars:

Fania Recording:
El Barrio

Hector Lavoe:
El Cantante: The Originals (includes Che Che Cole; one of my all-time favorite songs)
El Cantante (movie based on Hector Lavoe's life starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez)

Ruben Blades:

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