Latin Music USA — a Multi-Media Event — Premieres January 21, 2009 on PBS

SOURCE:

WGBH

2008-07-15 11:27:00

Latin Music USA — a Multi-Media Event — Premieres January 21, 2009 on PBS

Series Reaches Out to Broad Audiences in Both English and Spanish; BBC/WGBH Project Launches on Air, Online, in Print, and in the Community via Strategic Partnerships With People en Español and the Smithsonian Latino Center

LOS ANGELES, CA and ALEXANDRIA, VA–(EMWPresswire – July 15, 2008) – 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 and Roll — and on all of American

culture. It’s a fresh take on our 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 US

over more than five decades.

The series features memorable characters and vibrant music and dance

showcasing the impressive range of Latin music in the US, including, among

others, Salsa greats Willy Colón and Marc Anthony; the Latin-inflected

sound found in much of sixties Rock and Roll from the Drifters to Motown to

the Rolling Stones; the genius of Texas accordion player Flaco Jiménez;

Carlos Santana; Linda Ronstadt; the legendary Chicano rock band Los Lobos;

megastars Gloria and Emilio Estefan; Ricky Martin and Juanes; Miami rapper

Pitbull; and Reggaeton performers Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderón. The life

experiences of these and many other unforgettable artists will reveal how

Latinos have reinvented music in the United States and forged new

identities within this country, while never losing sight of their own rich

traditions.

Produced by a world-class production team at WGBH and the BBC, Latin Music

USA “invites the audience into the vibrant musical conversation between

Latinos and non-Latinos that has helped shape the history of popular music

in the United States,” says series producer Adriana Bosch. The multimedia

project is anchored by a four-hour documentary series that premieres on

January 21, 2009 on PBS stations nationwide.

“Latin Music USA has the potential to be a cultural milestone, advancing

Americans’ understanding of Latino rhythm and music as a dynamic player in

shaping American society past, present and future,” said John F. Wilson,

senior vice president and chief television programming executive, PBS. “And

music, the universal language, communicates this phenomenon in a most

irresistible way.”

Strategic Partnerships

PBS co-producer WGBH is also proud to announce an online and in-book

partnership with People en Español, the top-selling Hispanic magazine in

the United States, and its website PeopleEnEspanol.com. The partnership

will include exclusive editorial features and content across both brands.

“The relationship with People en Español has allowed a remarkable extension

of the series. Exclusive online content on the People en Español website

and in the magazine will give both visitors and readers a sneak peek of

interviews and concert footage,” says Margaret Drain, vice president

national programming WGBH. “We are thrilled to be working with them on this

project.”

Latin Music USA has also joined with the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino

Center to develop programming and a celebration of Latinos and Latino

culture in the United States, centering on an event on January 27th, 2009

at a Smithsonian venue in Washington, DC. The program will kick off with a

symposium about Latin Music USA and include program producers, musical

artists, musical historians and others who will talk about the film and

highlighted artists.

“The storyline of música latina — its history, diversity, challenges,

triumphs, and connections to contemporary social issues — is as engaging

as its sound, inviting us to explore more deeply the American Latino

experience,” says Daniel Sheehy, Ph.D., acting director of the Smithsonian

Latino Center.

“Our vision for this project has always been ambitious — to extend to

multiple platforms in both English and Spanish — to invite as many people

as possible to celebrate Latin music and the rise of Latino culture in the

United States,” says Elizabeth Deane, series executive producer. “The

collaborations with both People en Español and the Smithsonian’s Latino

Center have certainly brought our goals to fruition.” In keeping with the

multi-media, bilingual project approach, Latin Music USA is planning major

events for the project in LA, DC, NY, and is working with PBS stations to

develop Latino heritage events around Latin Music USA in a number of

communities leading up to the series premiere. Also, the project is

currently in dialogue with other media partners in the arenas of radio,

Spanish-language television, and music print and online.

Latin Music USA Series

Latin Music USA is a story about American music. Fusions of Latin sounds

with jazz, rock, country, rhythm and blues — music with deeper roots and

broader reach than most people realize.

The series will air in two parts:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS


--  Program One: The first program traces the rise of Latin Jazz and the

    explosion of the Mambo and the Cha Cha Chá as they sweep the US from East

    to West. Latin Music infiltrates R&B and rock & roll through the 1960s.

    

--  Program Two: Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in New York reinvent the

    Cuban son and the Puerto Rican plena, adding elements from soul and jazz to

    create Salsa, which becomes a defining rhythm for Latinos the world over.

    

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS


--  Program Three: In California and across the Southwest, a new

    generation of Mexican Americans, raised on rock, rhythm and blues

    surrounded by country and western music reaffirm their cultural identity in

    Tejano, Chicano rock, and Latin Rock.

    

--  Program Four:  The last program in the series looks at the Latin pop

    explosion of the turn of the century, focusing on the success of artists

    like Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira in the English-language

    market in the context of an increasingly Latinized US.  As studios focus on

    star-driven pop, Latino youth gravitates toward urban fusions -- Spanish

    rap and Reggaeton -- while rising numbers of Latinos entering the US create

    new markets for Mexican regional music and Rock en Espanol.

    

About PBS

PBS, with its 355 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk

of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through

television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 73 million

people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history,

nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row

seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs

has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award

competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to

PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to

life. PBS’s premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org,

are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing

curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is

available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the

Internet.

About WGBH Boston

WGBH is America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of

fully one-third of PBS’s prime-time lineup, along with some of public

television’s best-known lifestyle shows and children’s programs and many

public radio favorites. Its production menu is diverse, including Nova,

Frontline, American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, Masterpiece Theatre,

Arthur, and Curious George on PBS and The World and Sound & Spirit on

public radio. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys,

Peabodys, duPont Columbia Awards… even two Oscars.

About People en Español

People en Español was launched in 1996 as a special issue, and today has

become the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the United States. Published 11

times a year, People en Español’s guaranteed circulation is 500,000 and

reaches over six million readers every month with its editorial mix of

Hispanic and popular entertainment, fashion and beauty trends, and

compelling human-interest stories. People en Español delivers original

editorial content that captures the values, contributions and impact of

today’s Hispanics in the U.S. For daily news, photos, blogs, exclusive

behind-the-scenes video and celebrity scoops, visit PeopleEnEspanol.com —

now also available in English.

About Smithsonian Latino Center

The Smithsonian Latino Center is a division of the Smithsonian Institution

that ensures Latino contributions to art, science and the humanities are

highlighted, understood and advanced through the development and support of

public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational

opportunities at the Smithsonian and its affiliated organizations across

the United States and internationally.