Latin Music USA

May 1, 2017

Fri. May 5 at 9pm on WKAR-HD 23.1  | This four-part series 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 'n' roll - and on all of American culture. Includes The Chicano Wave, from WKAR and MSU's John J. Valadez.

Latin Music USA
May 5, 9pm

Part 3 | The Chicano Wave
From filmmaker John J. Valadez, WKAR producer and professor of practice at MSU, this episode explores how Mexican Americans in California, Texas and throughout the Southwest created their own distinct musical voices during the second half of the 20th century. See how their music played an important role in the struggle for Chicano civil rights and ultimately propelled them from the barrio to the national stage. Featured in Valadez’ film are musicians and performers such as Selena, Ritchie Valens, Los Lobos, Linda Ronstadt, and more.

Part 4 | Divas and Superstars

Focus on the Latin pop explosion at the turn of the 21st century and the success of artists like Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira in the English-language market. Learn why Latino youth have gravitated toward urban fusions like Spanish rap and reggaetón, as well as rock en Español.

Previous Episodes | April 28, 9pm

Part 1 | Bridges
Trace the rise of Latin jazz and the explosion of the mambo and the cha-cha as they swept the U.S. from East to West and see how Latin music infiltrated rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll through the 1960s. 

Part 2 | The Salsa Revolution
Learn how Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in New York reinvented the son cubano and the plena from Puerto Rico by adding elements from soul and jazz to create salsa — which became a defining rhythm for Latinos the world over.

More about John J. Valadez

Peabody Award winning filmmaker John J. Valadez has written and directed a dozen nationally broadcast documentary films for PBS and CNN over the past 18 years.  Two of his feature films for PBS – Passin’ It On and The Longoria Affair – have received Emmy nominations. Valadez recently joined WKAR and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU as a media producer and professor of practice.

View the Complete Series

Latin Music USA can be viewed on-demand at video.wkar.org and on many TV streaming devices, as one of many benefits available to WKAR donors who qualify for WKAR Passport.