Friday, August 1, 2008

Latin Music USA to Premiere on PBS

Produced by a world-class production team at WGBH and the BBC, Latin Music USA “invites the audience into the vibrant musical conversation between Latinos and non-Latinos that has helped shape the history of popular music in the United States,” says series producer Adriana Bosch. The multimedia project is anchored by a four-hour documentary series that premieres on January 21, 2009 on PBS stations nationwide.

Latin Music USA has the potential to be a cultural milestone, advancing Americans' understanding of Latino rhythm and music as a dynamic player in shaping American society past, present and future,” said John F. Wilson, senior vice president and chief television programming executive, PBS. “And music, the universal language, communicates this phenomenon in a most irresistible way."

The series will feature a wide range of Latino/a musical styles including Latin Jazz, Mambo, Salsa, Tejano, Rock en Espanol, Latin pop, and Reggaeton. The series will also explore the impact that Latino/a artists and style has had on the “American” musical forms of Blues and Rock and Roll. Expect appearances and footage from Willie Colon, Marc Anthony, Flaco Jimenez, Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Juanes, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderon.

Latin Music USA will air on two days with two episodes on each day. Here’s the schedule so far…

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS
  • Program One: The first program traces the rise of Latin Jazz and the explosion of the Mambo and the Cha Cha Cha as they sweep the US from East to West. Latin Music infiltrates R&B and rock & roll through the 1960s.
  • Program Two: Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in New York reinvent the Cuban son and the Puerto Rican plena, adding elements from soul and jazz to create Salsa, which becomes a defining rhythm for Latinos the world over.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS
  • Program Three: In California and across the Southwest, a new generation of Mexican Americans, raised on rock, rhythm and blues surrounded by country and western music reaffirm their cultural identity in Tejano, Chicano rock, and Latin Rock.
  • Program Four: The last program in the series looks at the Latin pop explosion of the turn of the century, focusing on the success of artists like Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira in the English-language market in the context of an increasingly Latinized US. As studios focus on star-driven pop, Latino youth gravitates toward urban fusions - Spanish rap and Reggaeton - while rising numbers of Latinos entering the US create new markets for Mexican regional music and Rock en Espanol.

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