Friday, September 23, 2011

American Sabor: Rich Contributions of Latins to American Music!

There is no denying that the musical contribution of Latins is enormous and varied.  I was fortunate to first see this special exhibit while on a day trip to Sacramento and was happy to see that it was scheduled next for the main library in San Francisco, where it will be until Nov. 13. Hopefully, it will continue touring around the country, so that others can experience this wonderful inter-active delight:

The exhibit covers the early days, strongly focusing on the 40's, '50s and on through the present.  All genres are covered...from Tex-Mex (Freddy Fender - "King of Tex-Mex")

to doo-wop, where many groups had Latin members...such as The Crests:

to '60s groups, which also included girl-groups such as The Sisters (all Chicana):

to Rock, with groups like Santana:

and it goes on and on....big bands, present day hip-hop & rap and everything in between.

The exhibit points out that while some Latins tried to remain mainstream by blending in, hiding their heritage in the process...there are also many examples where well-known pop singers such as Linda Ronstadt went the other direction, recording several albums devoted to their roots:

I could go on and on about this enlightening and fun exhibit, complete with sound clips you can listen to, video segments, trivia games, etc. Not only does this exhibit highlight the music, but also the fashions and cultures built around it...often beginning in the Latin neighborhoods but eventually branching out, becoming permanently cemented in American culture.

In addition to the main exhibit, there are other locales & venues contributing toward this showing by having separate events such as small film festivals, local artists performing, etc.

For more information about this fantastic exhibit, please go to the following site. There is a list of scheduled cities and tour dates for this event, sponsored by The Smithsonian. While it appears limited at this point, perhaps there is a way to get in a request to have it continued and add more cities to the schedule.
This site includes some of the photos, videos, trivia that are part of the touring exhibit:
Website for "American Sabor"

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