Latin America, which covers everything from Baja on down to Cabo de Hornos, is a considerably larger area than English-speaking North America, and it encompasses an incredible amount of countries and cultures. Yet as far as jazz is concerned, you can pretty much boil the entire area down to two distinct locales: Cuba and Brazil. Leaving the Mexican mariachi and Argentine tango for another discussion, it's the Cuban salsa and the Brazilian bossa nova that have made the most profound impacts on world popular music. Both forms were represented in New York this week at their highest levels when the Brazilian-born singer Rosa Passos sang at the Allen Room and the Latin Jazz All-Stars, under the direction of trombonist Steve Turre, arrived for a week at the Iridium in memory of two fallen amigos. Although both forms are associated with dance music, Cuban music is easily the more dynamic. One very wise Cuban musical philosopher once proclaimed that the essence of his country's music was … [Read more...] about Passos, Latin All-Stars: Two Different Ways to Learn Latin
Major League Soccer has a selling job to do, not merely with its players, or even its teams , but with the sport itself. It has to convince substantial numbers of Americans that soccer is attractive, interesting, and exciting enough to take a place alongside baseball, football, and basketball. It's a tricky assignment, because soccer is a notoriously fickle activity that comes in many forms, from sparkling to downright boring. This is a crucial fact that MLS has not handled particularly well. In its debut year, 1996, the league imported a number of skillful and colorful Latin Americans Bolivia's Marco Etcheverry, Colombia's Carlos Valderrama, El Salvador's Mauricio Cienfuegos, and Mexico's Jorge Campos. But these were players signed not by coaches, but by the league's deputy commissioner, Sunil Gulati. Within two years, coaches had taken over the business of signing players. As most of the coaches were European by birth, or Euro-oriented in their soccer tastes, the foreign … [Read more...] about Latin American Flair Will Boost MLS Popularity
Veteran conguero Sammy Figueroa is steeped in the heritage of Latin music (he’s the son of 1940s Puerto Rican bolero singer Charlie Figueroa), but 50 percent of his sound is jazz. In that world, he’s worked with artists such as Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Sonny Rollins as a sideman, and he’s made his mark on pop as well, providing persuasive percussion behind mainstream artists such as Mariah Carey and Dr. John. But even with all these bona fides in place, Latin percussion is always the backdrop, adding quite a bit to his sound. His most recent release, 2015’s Imaginary World (Savant), sometimes gets too slick, particularly on slower numbers such as “He Didn't Know,” but his band, the Latin Jazz Explosion, picks up steam on the burners, notably “Bittersweet.” In a live setting, thankfully, the group has extra intensity at any tempo. v … [Read more...] about Latin-jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa balances the sum of his influences on Imaginary World
And just in case you aren't 100% sure about the difference between the two, here's a little refresher: Latinx: A new gender-neutral term used to describe a person of Latin American origin or descentLatin America: The cultural cluster of countries and dependencies that speak a latin language (like Spanish and Portuguese) and those in the Americas (South and Central), Caribbean, and Mexico. … [Read more...] about Which Latinx And Latin American Movies Are You Obsessed With?
Laboratory scientists will get an assist from the Bunge and Born Foundation and the Williams Foundation upon their return to Latin America. © Dave K. Cooper/The Pew Charitable Trusts Three Pew Latin American fellows have been awarded grants by the Bunge and Born Foundation and the Williams Foundation to help launch their laboratories in Argentina. These grants will augment awards from the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences for scientists to study in the U.S., with additional funds to purchase equipment to start their own labs when they return to their native countries. Since 2011, Pew has partnered with the Bunge and Born Foundation to contribute additional financial support to fellows returning to Argentina. This year, the Williams Foundation joined the effort. Combined, Bunge and Born and Williams awarded three grants of $35,000 each: Javier G. Magadán, Ph.D. (2007 fellow) is an assistant professor at the Institute of Histology and Embryology … [Read more...] about Pew Latin American Fellows Receive Boost in Funding