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 Colon 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 Jimenez; 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 Calderon. 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 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."
PBS co-producer WGBH announced an online and in-magazine partnership with People en Espanol, 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 Espanol has allowed a remarkable extension of the series. Exclusive online content on the People en Espanol 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."