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Raices: The Roots of Latin Music in New York City

Exhibition @ the Museum of the City of New York - October 5, 2002 - January 26, 2003

September 29, 2002
Copyright © 2002 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All rights reserved. 

New York City has played a pivotal role in the development of America's Latin music heritage. In this unique exhibition, the Raices Latin Music Museum of Boys & Girls Harbor, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, joins forces with the Museum of the City of New York to document the evolution of the Afro-Caribbean music known as "Salsa" through photographs, broadsides, posters, programs, instruments, and costumes. The story of the music's development is the story of diverse immigrant groups, historic places and events, and individual musical geniuses both famous and unknown. Curated by musician, folklorist and RAICES Founder, Louis Bauzo, assisted by ethnomusicologist, Roberta Singer, the exhibition highlights the musical influences of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, seminal musicians such as Machito (Frank Grillo), Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez, famous dancers such as Cuban Pete, composers, arrangers, dancers, and the important venues associated with the evolution of New York's Latin music in the twentieth century, including the Palladium Ballroom, the Puerto Rican Theater in the Bronx, and Park Palace/Park Plaza in East Harlem.

The RAICES exhibition is made possible with support from GOYA Foods, Reed Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the New York State Council on the Arts.


The RAICES Public Programs are made possible with generous support from the MetLife Foundation.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

The Roots of Salsa, Lecture/demonstration

Museum of the City of New York, 104th Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

3:00 PM

The program is free with suggested MCNY admission contribution.

The seeds of popular Latin music were planted during the 1920's and 1930's by Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants to New York. Musician, folklorist, and RAICES curator Louis Bauzo traces the path of Latin music from its origins in West Africa through its transformations in the various islands of the Caribbean to "salsa," its present form in New York City. Mr. Bauzo will be accompanied by the Raices Ensemble.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Mambo in the Catskills: The Latino-Jewish Connection in Latin Music

Panel Discussion/Concert

Makor/Steinhardt Center 35 West 67th Street, Manhattan

4:00 PM

Admission to the panel discussion is $18; the panel, music and dancing is $30; music and dancing alone are $18. Call the Y-Makor box office for reservations: 212 415-5500.

From the early Sephardic Jews who left Spain for Cuba to Palladium owner, Max Hyman, and the great musician, Larry Harlow to the thousands of eager dancers in New York clubs and Catskill resorts, there has always been a strong connection between Jews and Latinos through music. A panel composed of musicians, entrepreneurs and journalists will discuss this connection. Journalist and Latin music historian Aurora Flores will moderate. Panelists include: "El Judio Maravilloso" Latin music legend Larry Harlow, Martin Cohen, Founder of LP Music Group, Josue Noriega, lead singer of "Hip Hop Hoodios" a Jewish/Latino Hip Hop Collective and historian Ruth Glasser, author of "My Music is My Flag." The panel will be followed by dancing to the music of the Harbor Latin Big Band directed by Louis Bauzo. Mambo in the Catskills is presented in partnership with MAKOR, a program of the 92nd Street Y and The Museum of the City of New York.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

That Latin Beat: A Short History of Latin Music from the 1930's to the 1960's.


Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Ave. at 104th Street, Manhattan

2:00 PM

The program is free with suggested MCNY admission contribution.

A rare collection of films and video music segments dealing with Cuban and Puerto Rican musical artists and bands. This rare, historical footage, filmed in Mexico, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, has not been seen by the public in many years. Featured performers include Don Azpiau and his Orchestra with Antonio Achin on vocals, Machito and his Afro-Cubans, Miguelito Valdes and his Orchestra, Jose Curbelo and his Orchestra, Cortijo y su Combo, Beny More, Bobby Capo , Perez Prado,and many others. Researcher and collector Henry Medina will host the screening and answer questions. For over 24 years, Mr. Medina has presented film and video festivals throughout the United States and Europe. His collection has been featured in motion pictures and documentaries throughout the world. Collected over thirty years, Mr. Medina has amassed rare films, documentaries, videos, movie memorabilia, photographs, historical documents, rare records and radio broadcasts dealing with Latin music.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Dance Mania: The Palladium Ballroom as a Cultural Phenomenon.

Panel Discussion/Performance

Boys & Girls Harbor Gymnasium, One East 104th Street, Manhattan

3:00 PM

The program is free with suggested MCNY admission contribution. Ask for passes when entering the Museum.

Since World War I, the music industry has tapped Latin music for styles ranging from mambo, to merengue, to cha-cha-cha. In the 1930's, when movie musicals featured rhumba dancers, Arthur Murray spread the craze to dance halls nationwide. By the 1950's the Palladium Ballroom was one of the most famous of these dance halls, attracting art and literary figures, Hollywood stars, and dancers of diverse ethnic backgrounds and from all over the city. The legendary orchestras of Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez played there. A panel of Palladium dancers, Pedro "Cuban Pete" Aguillar, Barbara Craddock, Tony "Peanuts" Aubert and Carmen Cruz will share their memories and techniques, moderated by Robert Farris Thompson, noted historian and professor at Yale University. Dancing to the Harbor Latin Big Band will follow. This event will be held in the gymnasium of the Harbor Conservatory, directly across 104th Street.

Raices Public Programs Coordinator: Nina Olson, Raices Latin Music Museum

The RAICES Latin Music Museum is a program of the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, a division of Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. RAICES, established by Ramon Rodriguez, Louis Bauzo and Joe Conzo in 1979, is now an unprecedented 15,0000-piece collection of photographs, scores, manuscripts and original parts, audio recordings, rare and out-of-print books and magazines, oral histories, artist bios, instruments, videos, posters, artifacts and other memorabilia. The Harbor's ultimate goal is the establishment of the RAICES Latin Music Museum as a new cultural institution in East Harlem dedicated to preserving the music's history, developing exhibitions, education programs and performances and to serve as the primary center for research on Latin music. RAICES has been declared an American Treasure by the White House and National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian. Collectors, musicians and dancers are all invited to donate materials to RAICES for preservation.

The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is a division of Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. and is now celebrating 32 years as a pre-professional performing arts institution offering high caliber, low-cost training in music, dance and theater to over 1,000 students annually. The mission of Boys & Girls Harbor is to empower children and their families to become fully productive participants in society through education, cultural enrichment, science and social service. During its long history Boys & Girls Harbor has always believed in the primacy of the performing arts in the quest for a holistic and satisfying life for children. RAICES exemplifies the Harbor's commitment to developing programs that celebrate the Latino cultural heritage of its surrounding East Harlem community.

The Museum of the City of New York is a private, not-for-profit, educational corporation founded in l923 for the purpose of presenting the history of New York City and its people as a significant learning resource. The Museum advances its mission through exhibitions, educational activities, and publications and by acquiring, preserving, and documenting original cultural materials which reflect New York City's history.

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