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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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“This Guy Does Not Look Latin”

“This Guy Does Not Look Latin”

The Panamanian Connection, Race, Ethnicity, and Musical Identity in New York City

(p.151) Chapter 4 “This Guy Does Not Look Latin”
New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990

Benjamin Lapidus

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter covers the overlooked legacy of the Panamanian musical community of Brooklyn and the greater New York metropolitan area. It explores how Panamanian musicians positioned themselves and were positioned both musically and socially by their Latino and non-Latino colleagues in New York. As Latinos of Black West Indian descent, the New York Panamanians encountered racism among both Latinos and African Americans, but worked with these groups of musicians and others in a variety of settings. The chapter presents numerous Panamanian musicians who successfully negotiated classical, jazz, Broadway, Caribbean, and Latin music scenes (often simultaneously) and created a considerable body of work that has not been previously analyzed or contextualized. Ultimately, the chapter demonstrates a number of the themes discussed in the introduction, including engagement with jazz, musical biculturalism, inter-ethnic collaboration, emphasis on music education, and family lineages of musicians.

Keywords:   Panamanian musicians, Brooklyn, New York metropolitan area, racism, Latinos, African Americans, New York Panamanians

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