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New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990$
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Benjamin Lapidus

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831286

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831286.001.0001

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Sonny Bravo, Típica 73, and the New York Sound

Sonny Bravo, Típica 73, and the New York Sound

(p.82) Chapter 3 Sonny Bravo, Típica 73, and the New York Sound
New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990

Benjamin Lapidus

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on an in-depth study of Elio Osácar a.k.a. Sonny Bravo, whose career as an arranger and performer began in the 1950s. It examines the rise, fall, and return of Típica 73, a pan-ethnic salsa group representative of the period 1973–80 that featured musicians from Panama, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and New Yorkers of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Mexican descent. The chapter recounts the story of a group who covered contemporary Cuban songs and pushed the boundaries of tradition through their instrumentation and performance. It introduces some key band members such as Sonny Bravo and Johnny Rodríguez who represented important New York–based familial and musical lineages. Their success was a direct result of musical innovation and negotiation. The band came to an abrupt end after a career-defining trip to Cuba, where they recorded with Cuban counterparts. Upon their return to the United States, they were branded as communist sympathizers. Ultimately, the chapter presents musical transcriptions of Bravo's arrangements and solos and places his music and his family, via his own father's musical career, within the historical context of early-twentieth-century Cuban migration to Tampa, Miami, and New York.

Keywords:   Sonny Bravo, Típica 73, contemporary Cuban songs, Johnny Rodríguez, musical transcriptions, migration, Elio Osácar

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