Latin Music USA - A Multi-Media Event Premieres on PBS

From Latin Jazz and Mambo to Salsa, Tejano, Chicano Rock, Latin pop, and
Reggaeton, Latin Music USA tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and reveals the often overlooked influence of Latin music on Jazz, Hip Hop, Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll - and on all of American culture. It's a fresh take on our musical
history, reaching across time and across musical genres to embrace the
exciting hybrid sounds created by Latinos, musical fusions that have deeply
enriched popular music in the US over more than five decades.

The series features memorable characters and vibrant music and dance
showcasing the impressive range of Latin music in the US, including, among
others, Salsa greats Willy Colon and Marc Anthony; the Latin-inflected
sound found in much of sixties Rock and Roll from the Drifters to Motown to
the Rolling Stones; the genius of Texas accordion player Flaco Jimenez;
Carlos Santana; Linda Ronstadt; the legendary Chicano rock band Los Lobos;
megastars Gloria and Emilio Estefan; Ricky Martin and Juanes; Miami rapper
Pitbull; and Reggaeton performers Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderon. The life
experiences of these and many other unforgettable artists will reveal how
Latinos have reinvented music in the United States and forged new
identities within this country, while never losing sight of their own rich

Produced by a world-class production team at WGBH and the BBC, Latin
Music USA "invites the audience into the vibrant musical conversation
between Latinos and non-Latinos that has helped shape the history of
popular music in the United States, " says series producer Adriana Bosch.
The multimedia project is anchored by a four-hour documentary series that
premieres on January 21, 2009 on PBS stations nationwide.

"Latin Music USA has the potential to be a cultural milestone,
advancing Americans' understanding of Latino rhythm and music as a dynamic
player in shaping American society past, present and future, " said John F.
Wilson, senior vice president and chief television programming executive,
PBS. "And music, the universal language, communicates this phenomenon in a
most irresistible way."

Strategic Partnerships

PBS co-producer WGBH is also proud to announce an online and
in-magazine partnership with People en Espanol, the top-selling Hispanic
magazine in the United States, and its website The
partnership will include exclusive editorial features and content across
both brands. "The relationship with People en Espanol has allowed a
remarkable extension of the series. Exclusive online content on the People
en Espanol website and in the magazine will give both visitors and readers
a sneak peek of interviews and concert footage, " says Margaret Drain, vice
president national programming WGBH. "We are thrilled to be working with
them on this project."

Latin Music USA has also joined with the Smithsonian Institution's
Latino Center to develop programming and a celebration of Latinos and
Latino culture in the United States, centering on an event on January 27th,
2009 at a Smithsonian venue in Washington, DC. The program will kick off
with a symposium about Latin Music USA and include program producers,
musical artists, musical historians and others who will talk about the film
and highlighted artists.

"The storyline of musica Latina - its history, diversity, challenges,
triumphs, and connections to contemporary social issues - is as engaging
as its sound, inviting us to explore more deeply the American Latino
experience, " says Daniel Sheehy, Ph.D., acting director of the Smithsonian
Latino Center.

"Our vision for this project has always been ambitious - to extend to
multiple platforms in both English and Spanish - to invite as many people
as possible to celebrate Latin music and the rise of Latino culture in the
United States, " says Elizabeth Deane, series executive producer. "The
collaborations with both People en Espanol and the Smithsonian's Latino
Center have certainly brought our goals to fruition." In keeping with the
multi-media, bilingual project approach, Latin Music USA is planning major
events for the project in LA, DC, NY, and is working with PBS stations to
develop Latino heritage events around Latin Music USA in a number of
communities leading up to the series premiere. Also, the project is
currently in dialogue with other media partners in the arenas of radio,
Spanish-language television, and music print and online.

Latin Music USA Series

Latin Music USA is a story about American music. Fusions of Latin
sounds with jazz, rock, country, rhythm and blues - music with deeper roots
and broader reach than most people realize.

The series will air in two parts:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS

- Program One: The first program traces the rise of Latin Jazz and the
explosion of the Mambo and the Cha Cha Cha as they sweep the US from East
to West. Latin Music infiltrates R&B and rock & roll through the 1960s.

- Program Two: Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in New York reinvent
the Cuban son and the Puerto Rican plena, adding elements from soul and
jazz to create Salsa, which becomes a defining rhythm for Latinos the world

January 28, 2009 (9:00pm-11:00pm) on PBS

- Program Three: In California and across the Southwest, a new
generation of Mexican Americans, raised on rock, rhythm and blues
surrounded by country and western music reaffirm their cultural identity in
Tejano, Chicano rock, and Latin Rock.

- Program Four: The last program in the series looks at the Latin pop
explosion of the turn of the century, focusing on the success of artists
like Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Shakira in the English-language
market in the context of an increasingly Latinized US. As studios focus on
star-driven pop, Latino youth gravitates toward urban fusions - Spanish rap
and Reggaeton - while rising numbers of Latinos entering the US create new
markets for Mexican regional music and Rock en Espanol.

About PBS

PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every
walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through
television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 65 million
people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history,
nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row
seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs
has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award
competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to
PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to
life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site,, are
parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing
curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is
available at, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the

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