Friday, March 4, 2022

La Bamba: The Afro-Mexican Story

La Bamba: The Afro-Mexican Story

Much has been made of Mexico's rich Spanish and indigenous heritage, but until recently there's been little talk of Mexico's so-called "Third Root": Africa. Africans came to Mexico with the Spanish as soldiers and slaves -- so many that by 1810, the black population of Mexico was equal to that of the United States. Today, African heritage persists throughout Mexico, yet for a variety of reasons, Black history has long been silenced. In this Hip Deep episode, we use music to explore that history as we take a road trip across the country in search of sonic traces of Afro-Mexico.

We visit the state of Veracruz to learn the history of the Afro-Mexican son jarocho sound, made famous by Ritchie Valens' 1958 hit cover of "La Bamba," a traditional jarocho tune. Then, we visit the Costa Chica of Guerrero, where Afro-Mexican communities are fighting for government recognition to help preserve faltering musical traditions. And we'll stop by the golden-age dance halls of Mexico City, where the Afro-Cuban danzón thrives far from its ancestral home in Havana. Along the way, we hear from top scholars in the field such as Ben Vinson III and Alejandro Madrid, as well as Afro-Mexican music stars past and present, from Los Cojolites to Las Cafeteras. ¡Que padre!



The Grammy Award-winning Tuareg desert rocker Tinariwen's first commercially released album turns 21 years old this year. The group has come a long way since they were recording it in between power outages in a Malian radio studio. To celebrate, Wedge Records is reissuingThe Radio Tisdas Sessions and its follow-up, Amassakoul, on March 25. Check out where to preorder and hear a previously unreleased tune right here.

Edy Brisseaux is known in the Tri-State area as the "King of Raklasikobop," a phrase which refers to his uniquely Caribbean fusion of styles (rasin, classical, konpa and bop). Brian Dring interviews Brisseaux about making a go of it as a Haitian trumpet player in the Nutmeg State, Connecticut.

Shows Around New York

Fri., March 4 
Fatoumata Diawara and Chimurenga Renaissance at Carnegie Hall
A very African night for the Afro-futurist festival!

Sat., March 5
Apollo Music Café: Africa Now! Nkumu Katalay and DJ YB
Africa Now! at the Apollo Theater kicks off with a performance
from our local Congolese maestro, Nkumu Katalay.

Palladium in the New Millennium at Lehman Center for the Arts
This concert reminisces on the era in the 1950-'60s
when Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodríguez headlined as
"The Big Three" at the Palladium Ballroom.
The event features the sons of those legends:
Tito Rodríguez Jr., Mario "Machito" Grillo, and Tito Puente Jr.

Tue., March 8
Henrique Eisenmann and Lívia Nestrovski LP Release at Rockwood Music Hall
Some very cool avant-garde Brazilian music in an intimate space--
Say you "saw them back when"!

Thurs., March 10
Book Launch: Dona Ivone Lara's Sorriso Negro by Mila Burns
An online event celebrating the release of Burns's new book,
the latest entry into the famed 33 1/3 series,
 exploring Lady Ivone Lara's 1981 groundbreaking samba record.

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