Latin Music in America

Latin Music in America
Ch. 7!
Peruvian Flute Bands
Louis Moreau Gottschalk
 (1829-1869)
 Composer and pianist who was America’s first classical
music star, toured South America and the Caribbean.
Upon his return he composed several piano pieces
Patting Juba
 A slave practice in which they tap out tricky rhythms on
their thighs, chest, and almost any other part of the
body that’s “slappable”
 Percussion instrument made by putting handles on
dried, seed-filled gourds; the shaking of seeds against
the interior walls of the gourd makes the distinctive
Ricky Ricardo
 Main character in the popular tv show “I Love Lucy”
 Ricky led a Latin band at the Tropicana night club
Clave Rhythm
 Pronounced clay-vay
 Defining rhythm of Afro-Cuban music
 Bo Diddly and Ricky Ricardos bands used this rhythm
seemingly unintentionally
 Latin music influenced Popular American Honky tonk
and Mo town
 Marvin Gaye’s version of I heard it through the grape
vine, showed the seasoning of Latin influence
Assimilation of Latin Music
 Lasting until the early 1940’s Latin syles emerged as
dance fads that departed from the mainstream.
 As they became popular in America they moved away
from their native forms.
Assimilation of Latin Music
 Lasting from the 1930s to 1950s was the emergence of
hybrid or transformed styles. These grew out of the
interpretations of Latin music into Latin styles
Assimilation of Latin Music
 Lastly was the coincidence of rhythm, blues and rock
and roll. Latin music was becoming part of the fabric of
dominant styles.
 Rock made distinguishing Latin styles separate from
rock styles less clear in the mainstream.
The Habanera and Tango
 It’s characteristic rhythm is one of the first recorded
instances of African influence on European music.
Entered the US through Mexico, where it became
popular in the 1870’s. Habanera went south to
Argentina where it evolved into the rhythmic basis of
The Rumba
 The success of Don Azpiazu’s 1930 recording of “El
Manisero” triggered the second of the Latin dance crazes,
the rumba. This was a spectacular exhibition dance, but
often times rumbas were simplified for social dancing
 The rumba grew out of the Son, an Afro-Cuban dance.
 Clave rhythm: five irregularly spaced taps, spread over two
four beat measures.
 The rumba and son would utilize reverse clave rhythm,
where the second half of the rhythm comes first
Americanized Latin music: Porter,
Cugat, and the Latin song
 With the success of “El Manisero”, Latin music gained a
toehold in the pop world.
 American songwriters showed a greater sensitivity to
Latin style.
 Writers such as Cole Porter and Xavier Cugat were
amongst those embracing the “Latin Song”
 Americanized Latin music used a music tool known as
triplets which divide the beat or other rhythmic unit into
three equal parts
Cole Porter
 Cole porter was one of the great Tin Pan Alley
songwriters, and the most open to the sound of Latin
music, or at least the commercial Latin music that
Xavier Cugat played.
 Porter wrote several Latin songs, beginning in the
1930’s, identifying the rhythm as rumba or “beguine”.
 What is noteworthy about porters songs, is that their
lyrics have nothing to do with Latin culture
Xavier Cugat
 Xavier Cugat’s orchestra was among the first to record
“Begin the Beguine”. Cugat helped establish a
commercial Latin style, initially through long term
engagements at the Waldorf Hotels in New York and
Los Angeles and performances on network radio show
Let’s Dance.
The Mambo: An American AfroCuban Music
 The mambo was the 3rd Latin dance fad of the 20th century, but it was the first
to develop on American soil. 1949’s the mambo began to attract notice
outside of uptown New York. Downtown ballrooms like New York’s Palladium
dance hall served as venues for this new dance fad
 The presence of two “mambo kings” in the 50’s brings to light the division
between commercial and Afro-Cuban Latin music. For white audiences pianist
and band leader Perez Prado was the king. For Latins the “king of the
mambo” during the 50’s was Tito Puente.
 In Afro Cuban rhythm, it is a repeated riff conforming to the clave rhythm, and
several layers of percussion, to produce a dense texture with considerable
rhythmic conflict. The bass plays the off-beat tumbao pattern, while the piano
plays an active pattern called a montuno.
 The other Cuban-inspired dance fat in the 1950’s was
known as the cha-cha-cha. It became popular among
white Cubans in the early 50’s and it’s popularity
quickly spread to the US.
 Both the rhythm and the dance step of the cha-cha-cha
were simpler than the mambo and its tempo was
Mainstreaming Latin Music
 Top pop singing stars occasionally dabbled in the idea
of Latin music
 Both Perry Como and Nat “King” Cole recorded a song
called “Papa Loves Mambo”. It was a million seller for
Como in 1954.
 Stars such as Dean Martin and Rosemary Clooney
also had their go at Latin Music
Latin Music and Jazz
 Latin/jazz fusions flourished in the 1950’s. although the
impact of Latin music on jazz dates back from the time
of it’s origins, latin music has had little impct on jazz
before 1945.
 When bebop jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie formed a
big band in the late 40’s he hired Chano Pozo, a latin
percussionist. This spared the development of cubop, a
true latin jazz style. Throught the 1950’s Latininfluenced jazz maintained a consistent if modest
Terms to know
 Patting juba
 Maracas
•Reverse Clave rhythm
 Clave rhythm
 Habanera
•Cubop mambo
 Rumba
 Son
 Claves