Concert Celebrates the Afro-Cuban Flavored Bebop of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo!

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And on the drums...Calixto Oviedo
When Afro-Cuban musician Mario Bauzá introduced Dizzy Gillespie to Havana-born percussionist Chano Pozo in 1947, it paved the way for the emergence of Latin Jazz. Gillespie didn't know what a conga drum was called, but the trumpeter sure knew he liked its sounds. The BeBop jazz legend invited Pozo to join his band. That moment broke down barriers between Latino and swing-era bands, a shift in the soundscape that will be celebrated this weekend at Long Beach's Museum of Latin America Art.

"At that time, the jazz public was unaware of music from the Caribbean," says musical director Paul De Castro. "This is the first time the American jazz public started listening to authentic Cuban percussion."

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De'Anza is Latin Alternative's New Leading Lady

Categories: Español Music

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Jorge Espinosa
With a last name that means walls in Spanish, De'Anza Paredes knows about breaking boundaries. With the traditional, Mexican stringed instrument called a vihuela, she is knocking down cultural barriers.

"Sometimes doors are closed for me because people say I'm a Latin artist," Paredes says. "They are also opened. It's interesting because it's not like we're playing salsa or every song is a cumbia."


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The Gospel of El Buki, Marco Antonio Solís

Categories: Español Music

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Courtesy of The Honda Center
No one hates Mexicans more than Mexicans, and the proof is in the words we use to insult one another's social station. Pochos are what we call assimilated Mexicans; fresas is used to ridicule snobs. Naco is the barb to denigrate poor urbanites, while vendido is reserved for the sellouts. But the one class of Mexicans that universally gets the burnt end of the enchilada is recent Mexican immigrants. Our hatred for the recently arrived is so endemic that different regions of the U.S. have different slurs for them. Mojado, chúntaro and paisa are the universal terms, but they call such people brazers in Chicago, cheddars in Denver, fronchis in El Paso and oaxaquitos ("little Oaxacans") in Oxnard, the latter being an epithet so insulting that students are banned from uttering it in schools.

Here in Orange County, of course, our word to ridicule Mexican immigrants is "wab." But when I was attending Anaheim High School during the 1990s, we had an even-worse term for wabs: bukis. "Bukis" was reserved for the lowest of the low, the poor kids who sold burritos out of their backpacks for extra money or huddled together during lunchtime along the hallways, resembling beggars on the streets of Calcutta. The term referenced Los Bukis, a mega-popular Mexican group from the 1980s that no self-respecting Mexican teenage boy would ever admit to liking. They were the kings of a genre called balada romántica, synth-heavy pop ballads only moms and tías loved. Leading the way was singer/songwriter Marco Antonio Solís, whose beard and lion's mane of a haircut made him look like Jesus and whose booming tenor cried out songs with names such as "Quiéreme" ("Love Me"), "Y Ahora te Vas" ("And Now You Leave Me") and "Como Fuí a Enamorarme de Ti" ("As I Was in Love With You")--about the uncoolest group around, and hence a perfect palabra with which to ridicule those wabs.

See also: Bachata King Romeo Santos is the Greatest Latin Lover of Them All

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Bachata King Romeo Santos Is the Greatest Latin Lover of Them All

Categories: Español Music

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Omar Cruz
So Nasty!
For more than a century, every generation of American women has had their Latin lover, their tanned man that provoked swooning and screaming and spontaneous chonis melting. Flappers had Rudolph Valentino; the Mad Men generation threw woo at Ricardo Montalbán. Ladies of the 1980s went crazy over Julio Iglesias, while their daughters went nuts for Enrique Iglesias and Antonio Banderas.

That's a lot of hombre there. Yet the lot of them seem like chavalas when compared to the titan of testosterone that is Romeo Santos--yeah, the pretty boy wearing the cute sweater in the photo above. With that precious earring and pout. None of the other smoldering señores sold out Yankee Stadium two nights in a row, as the 33-year-old did last year. Ninguno of the men re-defined a genre twice in the way of the self-proclaimed King of Bachata. While all Latino superstars have tried to cross over to American tastes, Santos has superstars cross over to him; his last album featured cameos by Nicki Minaj, Drake and even Kevin Hart, all of whom know that the best way to crack into the Latin market is by latching on to Santos.

Want final proof he's the greatest Latin Lover of them all? Last year, noted sportscaster Beto Duran texted me that he had scored tickets to Santos' concert at the Staples Center but had never heard of him. "There's no 10s here," Beto wrote, referring to the caliber of shrieking chicas at the sold-out show. "They're all 12s and 13s!"

"EXACTLY," I texted back.

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Santa Ana Singer's Music Video About Violence in Mexico Selected in Mexican Art Exhibit

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Ruby Castellanos
The music of Ruby Castellanos answered the call when Fenómeno 43, a socially conscious Mexican exhibit, asked for artistic expressions to "wake Mexico up" in the face of rampant violence. The '43' refers to the 43 disappeared students in Ayotzinapa last year whose remains, save for one, have yet to be unearthed. The Santa Ana singer's music video for her single "Todo Sana" (Everything Heals) fit perfectly with sought after submissions. It's been selected and will be part of Fenómeno 43 in Puebla, Mexico this week.

See also: Ruby Castellanos Experiences the Healing Power of Trova

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Los Tigres Del Norte Tackle Controversial Subjects, From Immigration Reform to Gay Rights

Categories: Español Music

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Photo courtesy of the artist
Los Tigres Del Norte
By: Pablo Chacon Alvarez

There is very little that Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte haven't done. With over 30 million records sold, the ensemble has earned six Grammy Awards, six Latin Grammys, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Active since 1968, Los Tigres Del Norte have released over 20 albums, with the most recent one, Realidades, coming out in October 2014.

From the very beginning, lead vocalist and accordion player Jorge Hernandez has been the group's creative director. The Weekly spoke with Hernandez (in Spanish -- all direct quotes have been translated) about the band's new album, their ongoing U.S. tour and the song "Era Diferente," which recently earned Los Tigres Del Norte a Special Recognition Award at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The track, a cut off of Realidades, tells the story of a lesbian teenager who falls in love with her best friend.


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Fernanda Ulibarri Will Make You Fall in Love With Her Latin Alternative Polkas

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Santiago Ruiseñor
Fernanda Ulibarri achieved what Family Matters TV nerd Steve Urkel could never do: make polka cool. The Latin Alternative songstress returns to the scene with Polkas de Amor. The four-song EP bounces along with tales of romance sung in Ulibarri's high-pitch, sugary sweet vocals. The Mexico City-born musician based in Los Angeles is reading a preview of her newest work in SanTana this weekend ahead of the EP's official release show.

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Las Cafeteras Get Remixed Into 'Conscious Clubbing!'

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Hector Flores leads the crowd during the premiere of "El Chuchumbé" Remix
Las Cafeteras crossed another musical border Wednesday night hosting an exclusive release party for a remix EP of their songs. La Junta Sound System deejays radically re-imagined cuts off the son jarocho-flavored Latin Alternative band's popular 2012 It's Time debut album. Las Cafeteras, having already carved out an identity as hybridistas, premiered the songs designed to get the social justice club turnt up before a sold out crowd at East LA's Cities Restaurant & Lounge.

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Adíos, La Rockola, the Best OC Radio Station You Never Listened To

Categories: Español Music

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Los Angeles de Charly
Many media outlets reported this past November that Liberman Broadcasting was selling KHJ-AM 930 to a Catholic radio network. The station, of course, was a legendary frequency in Southern California during the 1960s and '70s, home to the mighty "Boss Radio" format that launched an army of famous LA DJs. Those November reports mentioned that history, with some noting that 930 had broadcast Spanish-language music since the 1990s under the nickname "La Ranchera," featuring nothing but classic corridos, norteñas and more Vicente Fernández than your mustache can ever handle.

A smaller amount of reporters noted that Liberman was moving La Ranchera to its FM station, Santa Ana-based KWIZ-FM 96.7. But only one newspaper, a trade website, mentioned the format it was replacing: "La Rockola," which AllAccess.com described as playing "regional Mexican" music.

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Jenni Rivera Estate Sues Learjet Company Two Years After Fatal Crash

Categories: Español Music

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Jenni Rivera--RIP
The memory of Jenni Rivera's tragic death resurfaced Monday when her estate filed a negligence lawsuit against the owners of the Learjet that crashed near Monterrey, Mexico, killing the Long Beach-based singer and former Weekly cover girl and four members of her entourage in 2012.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Starwood Management LLC a day before the second anniversary of the entertainer's death. Also named are Learjet Inc. and Bombardier Inc., which serviced the aircraft, according to the suit.

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