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Latin Music USA

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

LATIN MUSIC USA highlights the great American music created by Latinos, and celebrates the Latin rhythms at the heart of jazz, rock, country, and rhythm and blues. It's a fresh take on American musical history, reaching across five decades to portray the rich mix of sounds created by Latinos and embraced by all. Narrated by Jimmy Smits.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: Pamela A. Aguilar, Daniel McCabe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KJ7OG2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
First things first. I feel that I need to respond to the previous moron's review. A person named Garcia should really do some deep study, not only on Latin Music but also on his/her own Latin culture. To say that Selena brought Latin music to the awareness of the American and Hispanic people is a travesty and an insult to pioneers like Richie Valens, Desi Arnaz, Celia Cruz, Xavier Cougat, Santana and the list goes on and on. Please Garcia, try to sound somewhat intelligent and don't sound off at all. Thank you!

That off my chest, I give this series 5 stars. It has been presented well with research and documentation. It truly gives the background through the eyes of the artists themselves and those who worked with them. It shows how Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and others influenced the Latino music culture in the U.S. I watched this series on PBS and I highly recommend it whether you are Hispanic, African-American, Anglo or any other culture that wants to find out the background to one of the great music genres that melt in to the great American music melting pot.
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Format: DVD
This four-part, four-hour documentary was shown over various PBS stations around the country. In some cities - Philadelphia, for instance - they only aired the last two parts - since these cover rock and roll and the huge crossover artists like Serena and Ricky Martin. But here you get the whole story from the beginning. Actually the series doesn't quite start with the earliest years. In a clever, and successful, effort to draw non-Hispanics into the story, writer/director Daniel McCabe (obviously not Latin) uses Carlos Santa's performance at Woodstock as the opening shot. This episode, titled "Bridges", then takes the viewer back to the artists who came to the US from Puerto Rico and Cuba and planted the seeds of a musical movement which now garners its own Grammy Awards show on prime time TV.

Earlier this year I reviewed an excellent - though much shorter - DVD documentary, "From Mambo to Hip Hop", and gave it five stars. Then this DVD came out and now I've seen two five-star productions on this often overlooked subject.

There is literally something here for literally everyone, though pop and jazz are the prime focus. There's not much here on those artists who brought traditional Latin folk music to the US and kept it in the same form. The emphasis is on how the Latin music melded with the American musical culture to form something new. There will be some surprises for most who only know the obvious Latin acts like Martin, Richie Valens, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades and Prez Prado. The moment for me was learning of the Fillmore's Bill Graham's Latin heritage and why, and how, he booked Carlos Santana. You'll find your own discoveries.
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Format: DVD
This dvd covers Latin music in the USA as comprehensive as possible. If there's another documentary that's better they've buried it forever. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had always thought Salsa music originated in either the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. After viewing Latin Music USA, I realized I was totally wrong. As this skillfully produced documentary reveals, Salsa music is primarily an American invention. Although it has Afro-Caribbean roots, Salsa music got its commercial start in New York City. Surprised? I was. Goes to show you how important it is to pay attention to fine documentaries like Latin Music USA. This documentary doesn't just focus on Salsa. It covers the entire range of Latin music, from Merengue to Tex Mex to Chicano music of the 1960s and 1970s. Very interesting and worthy of purchasing if Latin music interests you.
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Format: DVD
Latin Music USA is an amazing DVD documentary of some of the greatest American music composed by Latinos. The history of modern Latin music is traced through four episodes - "Bridges", following the rise of Latin jazz and its influence on rhythm & blues; "The Salsa Revolution" about the creation of salsa the rise (and fall) of the legendary Fania Records, "The Chicano Wave" in which a new generation of Mexican-Americans experienced rock and rhythm & blues and added their own cultural twist, and "Divas & Superstars" of Latin pop, ranging from Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Gloria Estefan to Daddy Yankee and rapper Pitbull, to "rock en Espanol" star Juanes. A celebration of great music styles, the people who composed unforgettable songs and the glamorous individuals who peformed them, Latin Music USA is a joy to watch and highly recommended for both Latin music lovers and public library DVD collections.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I wish the Mavericks and the Texas Tornadoes had been mentioned. Apart from that I loved this series. The salsa section reminded me of being at university in the late 1970s and early 1980s and hearing El Gran Combo's Aqui no se sienta nadie and Willie Colon and Reuben Blades Siembra. My best friend had roomates from Venezuela and Panama who played these albums at parties. I was interested in knowing more about Cuban music and love traditional Mexican music. Iwas also glad to see Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Juanes mentioned.
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