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Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave & Divas And Superstars

Airs Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A man with a guitar standing next to a colorful street mural that reads "Chicano Rock." Design by eatdrink and James Adamé.

Exploring the Music

In this interactive feature, click on a key musical genres to start exploring!

"Latin Music USA" is a four-part documentary. From Latin jazz and mambo to salsa, Tejano, Chicano rock, Latin pop and reggaeton, "LATIN MUSIC USA" tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and reveals the often overlooked influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll — and on all of American culture. It’s a fresh take on America's musical history, reaching across time and across musical genres to embrace the exciting hybrid sounds created by Latinos, musical fusions that have deeply enriched popular music in the U.S. over more than five decades. Jimmy Smits narrates.

"The Chicano Wave:" Mexican Americans in California, Texas and throughout the Southwest created their own distinct musical voices during the second half of the 20th century. This episode shows how their music played an important role in the struggle for Chicano civil rights and ultimately propelled them from the barrio to the national stage.

"Divas and Superstars:" The final hour focuses on the Latin pop explosion of the turn of the 21st century and the success of artists like Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira in the English-language market. As studios concentrate on star-driven pop, Latino youth have gravitated toward urban fusions like Spanish rap and reggaetón, as well as rock en Español.

Video

Video Excerpt: Latin Music USA

Above: "Latin Music USA" is a four-part documentary. From Latin jazz and mambo to salsa, Tejano, Chicano rock, Latin pop and reggaeton, "LATIN MUSIC USA" tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and reveals the often overlooked influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll — and on all of American culture. This video clip features Selena.

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