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

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

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

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

Synopsis

The Tejano superstar Selena and the tango revival both in the dance clubs and on Broadway are only the most obvious symptoms of how central Latin music is to American musical life. Latino rap has brought a musical revolution, while Latin and Brazilian jazz are ever more significant on the jazz scene. With the first edition of The Latin Tinge, John Storm Roberts offered revolutionary insight into the enormous importance of Latin influences in U.S. popular music of all kinds. Now, in this revised second edition, Roberts updates the history of Latin American influences on the American music scene over the last twenty years. From the merengue wave to the great traditions of salsa and norte¿a music to the fusion styles of Cubop and Latin rock, Roberts provides a comprehensive review. With an update on the jazz scene and the careers of legendary musicians as well as newer bands on the circuit, the second edition of The Latin Tinge sheds new light on a rich and complex subject: the crucial contribution that Latin rhythms are making to our uniquely American idiom.

Excerpt

The first edition of this book was greeted with enthusiasm by Latinos, who had known all along what I was for perhaps the first time pointing out to the U.S. mainstream: the enormous importance of Latin music in U.S. popular music of all kinds. It took longer for non-Latin music enthusiasts and ethnomusicologists to warm to it, perhaps because it took some time to absorb the fact that what had largely been regarded as a now- and-then side issue had in fact been central to American musical life.

I am happy to say that in the last 20 years, other researchers have confirmed much of what I asserted or speculated back then. I'm flattered that many of them have attributed the arousing of their interest to The Latin Tinge. An increase in interest is one reason for this revision. The other is, of course, that a great deal has happened since 1979: without spoiling the surprise, in fact, I can say here that almost every- thing that seemed permanent when Oxford University Press published that first edition has proven ephemeral. New nations have staked a claim on American musical soil, and entirely new idioms have grown up within the United States itself, inspired by the kind of constant cross-fertilization that was the underlying theme of the original edition. As before, this description merely scratches the surface of a rich and complex subject. I hope that once more it will inspire others to dig deeper and to more effect than I have been able to do.

I have given inadequate thanks to various individuals in the Acknowledgments, but the larger truth is that I owe an enormous debt to countless people, both for their factual and analytical input and for their encouragement. Back in 1979, 1 very much felt as though I was marching resolutely to left field. It's nice to have so much company there!

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