Friday, November 30, 2012
Flores (New York University) examines how the contagious musical and dance appeal of salsa tends to obscure its powerful political content and context. Even the pachanga and boogaloo crazes of the earlier and mid-60s, which appears to be no more than party exhortations and novelty tunes, were born of an intensely political reality and harbor an intrinsic call for social change and cultural affirmation. Later in the decade, in the sounds of Willie Colon, Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri, the political agenda became more explicit, accompanying as it did the militant movement of the Young Lords and revolutionary voices of the Nuyorican Poets. In his talk, Juan Flores fills in this context, by putting this vibrant stage in New York’s Latin music in its place in the broader story, and listening to what some of the classic salsa songs actually say across the political ages.