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Smithsonian's Exhibit: American Sabor

The traveling exhibition, showcasing the Influence of Latinos in American popular music is on display at CSULA, Nov. 16 - Feb. 9

By Veronica Gonzalez
Published on LatinoLA: November 7, 2013


Smithsonian's Exhibit: American Sabor


The traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian titled American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music will be opening on November 16, 2013 at Cal-State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). American Sabor, a traveling exhibition that showcases the profound influence Latino musicians have had on traditional genres of music in the U.S., will be on display Nov. 16 through Feb. 9, 2014 in the CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, and will be free admission. The University will host a public open house Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (agenda below). The day-long celebration will include guided tours of the exhibition, and feature Latino music, art, film and dance.

Developed by EMP Museum and the University of Washington, and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES), American Sabor, its national tour and related programs are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund. The exhibit showcases the musical contributions of Latinos from the 1940s to the present and the influence they have had on such genres as jazz, rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, punk, and hip-hop. American Sabor also explores the social history and individual creativity that produced renowned musicians and performers, such as Tito Puente, Ritchie Valens, Cannibal and the Head Hunters, Celia Cruz, Carlos Santana, Girl in a Coma, and Selena. Musician Mark Guerrero, a CSULA alumnus and son of the legendary Mexican American musician Lalo Guerrero, is also featured in the exhibit.

"I am thrilled that my research is coming home to East Los Angeles to honor the musicians and fans who invented the Eastside Sound and influenced the sound of early rock and roll so deeply! I'm equally thrilled that my graduate student Martha Gonzalez of Quetzal, who is in the exhibit, recently won a Grammy, and proving that the Eastside Sound continues to thrive and influence," said Michelle Habell-Pall?n, co-curator of American Sabor, and co-founder and co-director of the acclaimed University of Washington Libraries Women Who Rock Oral History Archive http://content.lib.washington.edu/wwrweb/.

American Sabor (sabor is the Spanish word for taste or flavor, commonly used to describe good music) is a 2,500-square-foot learning experience designed for smaller museums and cultural centers. With engaging bilingual (English and Spanish) text panels, striking graphics and photographs, a dance floor and compelling listening stations and films, the exhibition celebrates the true flavor, or "sabor," of Latin music in the United States.

American Sabor focuses on five major centers of Latino popular music production--New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco--that represent the remarkable diversity of this music. Each city section explores the broader histories and cultures that created the music from those areas, including how the musical innovations of Latino youths crossed ethnic and racial boundaries and helped shape American popular music, how immigration and migration influenced Latino and U.S. popular music and the ways in which Latinos have musically expressed their experiences as Americans.

Nov. 16 Open House Agenda:
10 a.m. American Sabor opens to the public Fine Arts Gallery
10 a.m. Salsa Performance Walkway Concert Area
11 a.m. Latin Drumming Workshop Music Recital Hall
11:30 a.m. Cha Cha Dance Workshop King Hall Dance Studio 1
12:30 p.m. CSULA Mariachi Ensemble Walkway Concert Area
1:30 p.m. Salsa Dance Workshop King Hall Dance Studio 1
2 p.m. Latin Jazz Music Workshop Music Recital Hall
3 p.m. CSULA Salsa Club Performance Walkway Concert Area
4 p.m. Salsa Dance Workshop King Hall Dance Studio 1
5:30 p.m. CSULA Afro-Latin Ensemble Walkway Concert Area

The exhibition at CSULA is bolstered through dynamic community and educational programs. For a listing of the music concert series, speaker forums, dance workshops, film series and a music contest, go to: http://www.americansabor.org/exhibition/venue/1534.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter at #AmericanSabor.

The exhibit is located in CSULA's Fine Arts Gallery, building 9A.The University is located at 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 Freeways. Exit Eastern Avenue from the 10 Freeway. Free parking permits for the media are available at the Info/Welcome Center on Paseo Rancho Castilla Ave. Park in Parking Structure C or Lot 5. For a campus map: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/campus_map.pdf .

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