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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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La Prensa’s Musical Popularity Contests and Fund-Raising Festivals

La Prensa’s Musical Popularity Contests and Fund-Raising Festivals

(p.110) 4 La Prensa’s Musical Popularity Contests and Fund-Raising Festivals
Rhythms of Race

Christina D. Abreu

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the musical popularity contests and fund-raising musical showcases sponsored by La Prensa, New York's largest and longest-running Spanish-language daily newspaper, from 1941 to 1959. It analyzes the presence of black and white Cuban singers, musicians, and dancers that were figured prominently in these contests and festivals. Their involvement serves as early examples of the role Cuban musicians and Cuban ethnic identity played in the development and broadcasting of Hispano/a and Latino/a identity that was both local and hemispheric. The chapter also situates La Prensa as an ethnic institution that shaped ideas and practices related to Afro-Cubanness and Hispanidad. The Concurso de Popularidad and the Gran Festival sponsored by the newspaper are examples of transnational traditions that constituted both a lived social practice and a symbolic reconnection to the homeland.

Keywords:   musical popularity contests, musical showcases, La Prensa, Spanish-language daily newspaper, Concurso de Popularidad, Gran Festival, Afro-Cubanness, Hispanidad

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