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Port of Entry Podcast: Tracing Latin Music Roots Back To Africa

Jorge Gonzalez deejays at the Mexico in the Bottle annual mezcal and food festival in Logan Heights in this photo taken in March 2020.
Ferron Salniker
Jorge Gonzalez deejays at the Mexico in the Bottle annual mezcal and food festival in Logan Heights in this photo taken in March 2020.
Latin music has deep connections to Africa. In our recurring “Moved by Music” series, we talk to border people about music from both sides of the border. Today, Jorge Gonzalez takes us on a mini trip through the evolution of Latin music, helping trace some of its roots and influences back to West Africa. It’s like a playlist with a side of history lesson. Gonzalez is the director of the Afro-Mexican department at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in San Diego and a researcher of Afro-Mexican history. He's also a longtime crate digger and deejay. Port of Entry Playlist https://open.spotify.com/playlist/36075g71vs22og6334SmAK?si=2IfdPH7MTbKnxjcWk6q9Cw Books: Music, Race, and Nation: Musica Tropical in Colombia by Peter Wade From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity by Juan Flores Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary Stewart Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae (Studies In Latin America & Car) (3rd Edition) by Peter Manuel (Author), Michael Largey (Author) LP Compilations w/ Liner Notes: Africa Boogaloo: Latinization Of West Africa Diablos Del Ritmo: The Colombian Melting Pot 1960-1985 (Part 1 & 2) Son Palenque: Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers From KPBS and PRX, “Port of Entry” tells cross-border stories that connect us. Follow “Port of Entry” online at www.portofentrypod.org, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/portofentrypodcast) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/portofentrypod). Support our work at www.kpbs.org/donate. If your business or nonprofit wants to sponsor our show, email podcasts@kpbs.org. Text or call the "Port of Entry" team at 619-452-0228‬ anytime.

Jorge Gonzalez is a crate digger. He’s a big-time collector of vinyl records, mostly Latin and African bands.

And on top of his love of music, is his deep love and interest in history. Gonzalez wrote his master’s thesis on Afro-Mexican history and he now serves as the director of the Afro-Mexican Department at the World Beat Center in San Diego.

In a new episode of the KPBS border podcast “Port of Entry,” Gonzalez combines his love of music and history by taking listeners on a mini trip through the evolution of Latin music, helping trace some of its roots and influences back to West Africa.

Tracing Latin Music Roots Back To Africa