Exploring a Musical Latin Roots of New York City

How many times have we hopped on a Conga line to “chachacha” during a wedding? As a kid, we substantially schooled many Christmas songs for that annual holiday concert—among them being “Feliz Navidad”. Hairbrush in hand, teenage we (and maybe even grown adult you) belted your heart out in front of a mirror, to Christina Aguilera’s “I Am Beautiful”,  memorized a lyrics to Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From a Block”  or danced like nobody’s examination to Enrique Iglesias’ “Livin’ la Vida Loca”. And today? You’re substantially listening to “Despacito” as you’re reading this post, right now.

The Hispanic change on a American landscape is both definite and deep-rooted– generally a impact it’s had (and still has) on American music. From a birth of Latin jazz to salsa and Latin cocktail to reggaeton, when it comes to Latin song it’s unfit to pronounce about a story though mentioning New York City.

So, in jubilee of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re holding we on a discerning debate of some spots in a Big Apple where absolute Latin roots gave approach to an bomb new song theatre with implausible low-pitched fusions time-transcending genres, and general popstars that still thrives and grows today.

We wish we brought your dancing shoes.

East Harlem

Park Plaza and Park Palace


#tbt #EddiePalmieri #ElMaestro 🎹🎶

A post common by Eddie Palmieri (@eddiepalmieri) on Sep 14, 2017 during 7:35am PDT

Dubbed a hearth of New York Latin dance music, in a 1920s New Yorkers from all over a city came to Park Plaza to get their slit on.  From rhumba to mambo to cha-cha-cha, a once primarily Jewish and Italian East Harlem solemnly gave approach to Puerto Rican “El Barrio” and as a outcome a Palace was reborn, apropos a remarkable epicenter of Latin nightlife. This partial of a bar (park plaza) was a main, high-ceilinged gymnasium on a second floor, that hold 1500 people (whoa)!

Latin people from all opposite backgrounds and communities came here to dance to a song of their homelands and to bask in a memories and nostalgia of their local countries. It was a place where people felt during home, enjoying a facile pleasures of eating their normal dishes and song of their cultures. So since is it such a large deal? Latin song legends and trailblazers such as Tito Puente, Joe Cuba, and other good singers started their song careers in this really establishment, sparking a start to a new epoch of Latin song and dance.

Down a stairs from a Park Plaza was a Park Palace —  a smaller space ideal for and mostly used as a venue village amicable events. Like a upstairs neighbor, a Park Palace (now a abounding Museum for African Art) helped launch a careers of Latin song prodigies such as Machito and a Afro-Cubans, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri. A artistic partnership of song bounced from a walls of both a Park Plaza and Park Palace, mixing Cuban rhythms, outspoken melodies from Puerto Rico and African drum beats. The New York appetite pulsed by a song and by a heartbeats of a mambo and salsa dancers, and by a 1940s and 1950s, these venues had constructed a particular New York sound, formulating a much-loved and internationally famed Latin song genres such as mambo, rhumba, salsa, Latin jazz and so many more!

The Salsa Heroes Wall

East Harlem, also famous as Spanish Harlem, is mostly referred to as a hearth of a Latin song revolution. A New York City area that spawned such implausible talent out of a operative category newcomer past, that a artists, a song and a enlightenment would withstand a exam of time and space. On a dilemma of 104th Street and Third Avenue, you’ll find one of Spanish Harlem’s many remarkable outside artworks is a picture depicting a “Salsa Heroes”. This picture facilities Ismael Rivera, Hector Lavoe, La India, Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Tito Rojas, and Gilberto Santa Rosa– New-York based, Puerto Rican salsa idols of a past and present. Adding to this already star-studded and historically poignant square of art, is of march a artist himself: eminent travel artist James de la Vega.

Midtown Manhattan

Winter Garden Theater

Image around Flickr CC – Jason Hickey

The Winter Garden Theater was initial non-stop in 1911 and given afterwards has turn a home to some of a many eminent museum Broadway productions ever made—among them being a 6-time Tony Awards-nominated prolongation of West Side Story. Following in footsteps of a Latin informative series that swept a New York City (and a nation) in a 1940s, this groundbreaking musical, stoical by Leonard Bernstein, initial strike a theatre on Sep 26th, 1957… and done history. The low-pitched debuted a day after a forced formation of Central High School in Little Rock, creation a musical’s story of secular dispute both radical and argumentative while opening a doors (and eyes of many) to a much-needed conversations about a multiplying farrago via a nation—especially in New York City. The story is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet reversed onto 1950s Upper West Side, New York. A adore event between Tony– a Polish American, and Maria–a Puerto Rican sparks controversy, tensions and heated adversary touching on a stories of vital among a civic credentials of interracial crusade during a time. Of course, a song alone is a something to be noted, braggadocio a multiple of renouned American song and a new call of colourful Latin tunes and rhythms.

Palladium Ballroom

Papa loves mambo, Mama loves mambo
Look during ’em lean with it, gettin’ so happy with it
Shoutin’ Olé with it, wow!

You’ve listened of Perry Como’s “Papa Loves Mambo” and Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5”… though do we know where a disturb for this Afro-Cuban inspired, song and dance genre started?  The story goes something like this: The Palladium Ballroom had a hilly start, opening in post-WWII America. To save it Maxwell Hyman, a Jewish tailor, and owners of a establishment, introduced Latin song to a ballroom on a pointless Sunday night; it was an present success. The initial miss of seductiveness was soon incited around as America gifted a biggest Hispanic immigration spike of a time. The large liquid of immigrants from Cuba, a Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Mexico and other South American countries introduced bursts of uninformed moves, memorable rhythms and new notions of nightlife to a NYC dance scene, and a Palladium Ballroom became a tact belligerent for a new song disturb forging  peppy Cuban rhythms with African folk beats — a.k.a a mambo.

The mambo, now a world-renowned Latin dance character still renouned today, gained a wildfire recognition interjection to a Palladium Ballroom. Unlike many of a posh nightclubs that were popping adult around midtown Manhattan, a amicable banking to get into this corner was never category or color; it was your ability to dance. Back in those days, there were really no DJs, so large bands and distinguished musicians such as Arsenio Rodríguez and his band, Celia Cruz, Beny Moré, La Lupe, Tito Rodriguez, Machito, and Tito Puente played live for hours to keep adult with a final of a bar dancers (like Desi Arnez, Millie Donay and Pete Aguilar)—now that’s impressive!

The Bronx

P.S. 52

Most famous as a propagandize that 65th U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell attended as a child, though there’s another famed temperament to this facile school; it was a operation space where Latin song legends met and achieved creation it a site of extensive low-pitched creativity and talent during a tallness of a Latin song epoch in New York.

In a 1950s, a organisation of teenagers was personification stickball in front of this propagandize building motionless to form a band. Eddie Palmieri, Orlando Marín, and Joe Quijano started rehearsing during P.S. 52 since it had a piano and adequate space to accommodate a sound of a band’s trumpets. At a time, these Latin song legends were usually dreamers, vehement for a event play their song and have a space to emanate new sounds and rehearse; tiny did they know that in this tiny room in a Bronx facile school, they were creation history. In sell for operation space, a rope played during a school’s Friday night dances and during a circuitously Police Athletic League. With their definite talent, a rope fast built a immeasurable following and started to personification bigger gigs via New York City (like Park Palace), and before we knew it, they went from a few teenagers practicing in a tiny classroom to a inhabitant sensation, revolutionizing a Latin song scene.  

Casa Amadeo

If you’re a song emporium lover, we’re certain that you’ll adore Casa Amadeo. Originally non-stop in 1927, this emporium goes down in story as a oldest, invariably run Latin song store that is still open to this day.  It is also one of a few remaining total sites connected with New York City’s postwar Latin song scene. While her hermit Rafael stoical music, Victoria Hernandez, a strange owners of a store, ran a place on her possess apropos one of a initial and usually lady entrepreneurs in a Puerto Rican village in a 1920s. So since is this place on a list, over being on both a State and inhabitant Registers of Historic Places, this song store was distant some-more than a place to buy annals and instruments. Stores like Casa Amadeo were entertainment places for musicians both to hang out, as good as a place to find employment, as bandleaders and record companies busy these spots, looking for event players for large bands and conjuntos (bands stoical of 4 categorical instruments: a symbol accordion, acoustic guitar, an electric bass, and conga drums). This place binds a special place in a Latin village and a stress to a Latin song theatre in New York City and a purpose in a Puerto Rican emigration experience, creates it a must-see mark in a Big Apple.

Have any places you’d like to supplement to a list? Let us know all about them in a comments below!

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