PBS Welcomes Back LATIN MUSIC USA, A Celebration of the Latino Contribution to the American Songbook
Discover the fascinating musical fusions that propelled Latin music to the top of the US charts with LATIN MUSIC USA, coming back for audiences on Fridays, April 28th and May 5th at 9:00 P.M. ET (check local listings). Produced by public media leader WGBH Boston in co-production with the BBC, this two-part, four-hour documentary explores the Latin rhythms that influenced jazz, rock, country, and rhythm and blues, highlighting the enduring contributions made by Latino musicians to the American songbook.
LATIN MUSIC USA invites audiences into a vibrant musical conversation that has helped shape the history of popular music in the United States. The re-broadcast of the series recognizes the contributions of Latinos to the United States, celebrating their heritage and culture, which is integral to understanding popular music in the U.S.
This encore broadcast of LATIN MUSIC USA is accompanied by a bilingual social media and mobile-responsive campaign, initiatives that are new since the series’ original broadcast in 2009. Content and episodes will now be more accessible to music lovers everywhere, as well as fans of American history and Hispanic culture.
“We’re bringing back LATIN MUSIC USA with a fresh take that includes an ambitious social media campaign that will reach a new and more diverse audience,” said Adriana Bosch, Co-creator and Senior Producer of LATIN MUSIC USA. “With generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, audiences are immersed in how Latin music is such an influence on the American music scene.”
Hour one, “Bridges,” begins with the rise of Latin jazz, the explosion of mambo and cha-cha-chá—a new wave of music and dance styles that swept across the nation from New York City to San Francisco—and continues with the Latino infiltration of R&B and rock n’ roll in the 1960s. The second hour looks at the salsa revolution in New York, a hybrid sound created by Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latinos in the city.
Continuing this musical journey, the third hour, “The Chicano Wave,” highlights the contributions of Mexican-Americans in California, Texas, and the Southwest and reveals how music and artistic expression played an important role in the American civil rights movement. In the final hour, “Divas and Superstars,” Latin pop explodes, becoming a global phenomenon with chart-topping songs from dynamic artists and inventive producers. At the turn of the century, reggaetón, a hot new sound with the style and swagger of hip hop, speaks to young Latinos.
Woven throughout the series are the sounds and stories of an extraordinary range of musical artists and influencers: Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Pérez Prado, Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Ritchie Valens, Selena, Shakira, and Tito Puente to name a few. LATIN MUSIC USA also features Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the Tony® Award-winning musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. The life experiences of these and many other unforgettable artists reveal how Latinos have reinvented music in the United States, while never losing sight of their own rich traditions.
Narrated by acclaimed actor Jimmy Smits (24 Legacy, Dexter, The West Wing), LATIN MUSIC USA airs in English and a Spanish-language track is available.