978-0-19-512101-8 / 9780195121018

The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States


Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA



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About the book:

When it comes to 20th-century American pop music, "virtually all of the major popular forms--Tin Pan Alley, stage, and film music, jazz, rhythm and blues, country music, and rock--have been affected throughout their development by the idioms of Brazil, Cuba, or Mexico." So writes eminent musicologist John Storm Roberts of the often-overlooked role that Latin American rhythms, musical forms, and musicians have played in shaping American culture. The Latin Tinge shows how musical trends from Spain and Africa evolved into the Cuban son, bomba y plena in Puerto Rico, Argentinean tango, and the samba in Brazil. Roberts highlights pioneering Latin American performers who popularized Afro-Hispanic music in the United States: Cuba's Pérez Prado and Mario Bauzá, for example, swung New York dancers to the beat of the rumba, mambo, and Latin jazz in the '30s and '40s. Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim combined his native country's samba percussion with jazz structures and European harmonies and launched the bossa nova craze of the mid '60s; Mexican American superstars Carlos Santana and the late songstress Selena blended Afro-Cuban, rock, blues, Tejano, and Tex-Mex folk styles into an upbeat American hybrid. Roberts also details the Puerto Rican contribution to the making of salsa, the pivotal role of Puerto Rican Americans in creating rap, and the fast-growing popularity of merengue from the Dominican Republic. Even an American standard like the theme to I Love Lucy, Roberts reminds us, was shaped by the Latin influence. --Eugene Holley

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