Pop Music and Culture: CuBop, Up-Rock, Boogaloo and Banda. Latinos Making Music in the United States

Pop Music and Culture: CuBop, Up-Rock, Boogaloo and Banda. Latinos Making Music in the United States

CFA MH333/433 A1

MWF 12-1 CFA (855 Commonwealth) B36

Prof. Michael Birenbaum Quintero

Surveys the musical styles of Latinos in the US. Discusses the role of these musics in articulating race, class, gender and sexual identities for US Latinos, their circulation along migration routes, their role in identity politics and ethnic marketing, their commercial crossover to Anglo audiences, and Latin/o contributions to jazz, funk, doo-wop, disco and hip hop. Case studies may include Mexican-American/Chicano, Puerto Rican/Nuyorican and Cuban-American musics; Latin music in golden age Hollywood; Latin dance crazes from mambo to the Macarena; rock en español; the early 2000s boom of Latin artists like Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Jennifer López; reggaetón, race politics, and the creation of the “Hurban” market; and the transnational Latin music industries of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The club scene: disco, freestyle, Hi-NRG, voguing

In New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Latinos played a central role in the formation of disco and its hip-hop- and electro-influenced successors.

Joe Bataan was born in 1942 to a Filipino father and an African-American mother, grew up in Nuyorican East Harlem and was culturally Nuyorican, even leading a Puerto Rican gang as a young man. His music would always have a primarily Latino audience. Like many of his peers, he was influenced by doo-wop and, later, boogaloo, as can be seen in his 1967 boogaloo cover of "Gypsy Woman" by the (Jewish Mambo influenced) African-American R&B/doo-wop group The Impressions (where Curtis Mayfield got his start). He signed with Fania records and did a number of R&B influenced Latin recordings in English and Spanish (like "Para Puerto Rico Voy.") In the 1970s his work on the SalSoul record label was primarily influenced by funk and disco (which was popularized by Italian-American, Puerto Rican, and some African-American dancers), with musicians who were fluent in both those forms and salsa.
At the time, Latinos, making the post-disco, post-hip hop music called freestyle or Hi-NRG, which was basically an early electronic dance music.
Some musicians, like Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam would do fairly well

… and this is the scene that Madonna would eventually emerge from. The gay discos of black and brown NYC also birthed voguing, which Madonna celebrated/ripped off. Freestyle has been partially resurrected as part of the electro revival. This was true among New York Puerto Ricans, who were often working within the music industry. In Los Angeles too, a Latino DJ scene evolved as well, often with the same music - the Southern California Backyard jams are commemorated in this great website.

A new, more youthful kind of salsa also came out of the freestyle scene in the '90s, with artists like La India and Marc Anthony.

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