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Rhythms of RaceCuban Musicians and the Making of Latino New York City and Miami, 1940-1960$
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Christina D. Abreu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620848

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620848.001.0001

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Race and the Roots/Routes Traced by Latin Musicians

Race and the Roots/Routes Traced by Latin Musicians

(p.20) 1 Race and the Roots/Routes Traced by Latin Musicians
Rhythms of Race

Christina D. Abreu

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the development of the earliest Latino communities in New York during the 1940s and 1950s. It explores how music played a role in the growth of the community, looking into the musical and cultural contributions of musicians Mario Bauzá, Marco Rizo, and many others. These musicians discussed topics about musical innovation, authenticity, and commercialism which disrupted “Cuban,” “Afro-Cuban,” and “Latin” as static or singular musical genres and identity categories. Racial ideas and practices, as well as cultural traditions and expectations, informed these conversations and prompted individual and collective desires for social mobility and racial equality, especially among Cuban musicians. The chapter highlights the role of race and class in shaping the stories of the musicians, describing their migration, participation in entertainment, and their sense of racial and ethnic identity.

Keywords:   Latino communities, New York, Mario Bauzá, Marco Rizo, Cuban musicians, singular musical genres, identity categories, race, class, migration

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