Watch Latin Music USA

"Latin Music USA" is the documentary that aired on public television and tells the history of Latin Music in American Culture. The origins of Latin Music, becoming part of the identity of American Music, can be traced back to the 1960's with the musical styles of Cha Cha Cha and Mambo. Around the same time period these styles began to start penetrating other musical genres like Rock&Roll and R&B. This wave of Latin infusion swept coast to coast, paving the way for future Latin artists later in the 20th century. From the Caribbean the music style of Salsa started to influence the music being played in cities like New York and Miami.

By the 1970's Mexican musical styles were growing in popularity, they were coming north from the Mexican Border along with the later half of the Civil Rights Movement. In the city of Chicago, where the demographics of music began to expand greatly in the 1980's, Pop music began to dominate radio charts. Latin Pop became equally popular with artists like Gloria Estefan leading the trend in this genre. At the dawn of the 21st century, Latin Music has become engrained in popular culture that has made the American music scene more diverse than ever before.

From the trailblazers that played Mambo and Salsa almost fifty years ago to the hot musical beats of today's Latin Pop Artists, Latin Music has been assimilated into American Culture. This will help create new avenues of musical expression that can be heard on the Radio.

PBS
1 Season, 4 Episodes
October 12, 2009
Documentary & Biography
7.3/10
Cast: Jimmy Smits
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Latin Music USA Full Episode Guide

  • "Divas and Superstars" highlights the Latin pop explosion that propelled Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira to success in the English-language market. It also examines the music forms that are attracting Latino youth, including Spanish rap, reggaetón and rock.

  • Explores the role that music played in the push for Chicano civil rights during the late 20th century, when Mexican-Americans developed a distinct musical voice.

  • "The Salsa Revolution" recalls the origins of salsa, which came about when Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in New York added soul and jazz elements to son cubano and the plena music genres from Cuba and Puerto Rico.

  • A history of Latin music and its influence on jazz, country, rock and R&B begins with "Bridges," which focuses on the rise of Latin jazz, the popularity of the mambo and the cha-cha, and Latin music's effect on R&B and rock and roll through the 1960s.

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