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Sounding Latin Music, Hearing the Americas

How is Latin American music heard, by whom, and why?
In the United States, Latin American musicians are heard by non-Latinx listeners to make “Latin music”—which carries with it a whole host of assumptions, definitions, and contradictions. In their own countries, these expatriate musicians might generate immense national pride or might trigger suspicions of “national betrayals.” “Latin music”-making, -sounding, and -hearing brings into being the complex array of concepts that make up “Latin Americanism”—both its fissures and paradoxes, but also its universals. Taking as its center musicians from or with declared roots in Latin America, Jairo Moreno presents us with an innovative analysis of how and why music emerges as a necessary but insufficient shorthand for defining and understanding Latin American, Latino, and American experiences of modernity.
This close look at the growth of music-making by Latin American and Spanish-speaking musicians in the United States at the turn of the century reveals diverging understandings of music’s social and political possibilities for participation and belonging. Through the stories of four musicians—Rubén Blades, Shakira, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Miguel Zenón—Sounding Latin Music, Hearing the Americas traces artists’ reliance on music to produce worlds and senses of the world at the conjunction of Latin America and the United States.

416 pages | 16 line drawings, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2023

Big Issues in Music

Latin American Studies

Music: Ethnomusicology, General Music

Table of Contents

1 Reckoning with Letters: “Pedro Navaja” and Aural Equality
2 Crossing Under (and Beyond)
3 Shakira’s Cosmopolitanisms
4 Histories and Economies of Afro-Latin Jazz
5 Act, Event, and Tradition: Miguel Zenón and the Aurality of the Unthinkable

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