Latin boogaloo might not be a widely known genre, but most people have probably heard its tunes. Boogaloo began in the 1960s, when musicians from East Harlem, the South Bronx, and areas in Brooklyn started to mix Latin and American musical styles — jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and Afro-Cuban beats — with lyrics sung in both English and Spanish. A recent documentary directed by Mathew Ramirez Warren, We Like it Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo, traces the rise of this musical movement and how it became a political tool for young Latinos to assert their identities and presence in the city. “Boogaloo was so good that the status quo was terrified of it,” says one of the interviewees in the trailer.
The movie is screening for free this Friday at El Museo del Barrio, in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, as part of the Metro Mashup: New York Meets Havana series of events. Through interviews, musical recordings, and archival footage of live performances, learn how Latin boogaloo has endured despite being eclipsed by salsa, and how contemporary DJs carry on these musicians’ legacies. Some legendary musicians will be present for a Q&A following the screening, including Johnny Colon, Joe Bataan, and Benny Bonilla, whose conversation will be moderated by Bobby Sanabria. And, while you’re at it, I encourage you to check out the movie’s excellent soundtrack.
Registration is currently full, but there is a wait list; to be placed on it, e-mail email@example.com.
When: Friday, March 31, 6–9pm
Where: El Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Avenue, East Harlem, Manhattan)
More info here.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.