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Old 09-28-2006, 02:09 PM
Richie_Rumbero Richie_Rumbero is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York City
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by vm2110

I'd like to thank you for all the time you put into your response, and for your expertise. It was extremely helpful. I'm wondering what your response --and everyone else's-- is to some of the films aired recently on Channel 13's Cantos Latinos? The Boys Harbor film (Mi MAmbo) hasn't aired yet, but i expect it to have mixed reviews (particularly among the kids i know who were in it!)

Hi Victoria,

I had every intention of seeing MI MAMBO on PBS, but unfortuantely, I missed it. I completely forgot about it. What did you think of it?

I was particulary bowled over by "From Mambo to Hip-Hop: A south Bronx tale. Did anyone else see that? What was going on between the south bronx and east harlem in that time? I know the musicans travelled all over the place--but what about the music was specifially tied to one neighborhood or another.

I saw this and enjoyed it as well. There's a lot that wasn't covered, but with only one whole hour, they did manage to fit in alot of the important historical aspects.

What was going on between the South Bronx & East Harlem was the 6 train.

In the 1920s through the early 40s, East Harlem was THE community conclave for Puertoricans. Everything was going on there that was musically, socially, politically and culturally relevant to the stateside Boricua. Prior to East Harlem, Brooklyn was a stomping ground for newly arrived Puertoricans. As time passed, families residing in Brooklyn and East Harlem began to relocate more and more into the area of the South Bronx. Which, as you saw from the Documentary, was not always the bombed out war zone that it eventually became in the 60s & 70s. As Bobby Sanabria pointed out in the Documentary, Robert Moses' vision of creating the Cross Bronx Expressway ended up carving up beautiful Bronx neighborhoods in half and killing its vibrant communes altogether.

What tied the music specifically to one neighborhood were the musicians themselves. In those days, Latin musicians weren't necessarily touring the world as many are doing today. Most never even left the city until years later. The majority of these orchestras sprang up locally and they honed their craft by playing local venues. So it's no coincidence that when you have Machito, Rafael Hernandez, Noro Morales, Los Happy Boys, Antonio Marcano, Alberto Socarras, Augusto Coen, Miguel Matamoros, Davilita, Panchito Riset, etc. living simultaneously in the same neighborhood, you're going to have a multi-cultural musical mix between Cuba and Puerto Rico, on top of everything else that's going on (Jazz/Swing, Tango, Pop, Merengue, Samba, Boleros, etc.).
As more and more Puertoricans relocate to the Bronx, what you have is a new generation of musicians who emerge and are predominantly influenced by Afro-Cuban oriented music. Mambo, Son, Guaracha, Rumba, and especially Charanga. Men like Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Charlie Palmieri, Manny Oquendo, Joe Quijano, Orlando Marin, Johnny Pacheco, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, etc.

After the height of the Mambo craze, all of what later becomes popular dance trends in New York City: The Cha-Cha-Cha, The Pachanga, The Latin Hustle and B-Boy/Breakdancing, all have their genesis in the Bronx, interpreted by Bronx residents of Puertorican descent, and manages to travel beyond NY and influence other cities and even countries....

And I'm desperately looking for the song "Se le Quema la Casa", about the fires in the south bronx. i don't know who sang it or wrote it.

SE TE QUEMO LA CASA was a huge hit for Orlando Marin. You can purchase a copy at CASA LATINA located at E. 116th Street between Lexington & 3rd Avenue...

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