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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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“Invasión Del 80/¡Yo Vine Del Mariel!”

“Invasión Del 80/¡Yo Vine Del Mariel!”

The Musical Impact of the Mariel Boatlift

(p.279) Chapter 7 “Invasión Del 80/¡Yo Vine Del Mariel!”
New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990

Benjamin Lapidus

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the immediate musical impact of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift by examining some of the dancers and musicians who arrived in New York City at that time: Orlando “Puntilla” Ríos, Manuel Martínez Olivera “El llanero solitario” (The Lone Ranger), Roberto Borrell, Rita Macías, Xiomara Rodríguez, Félix “Pupy” Insua, Pedro Domech, Daniel Ponce, Fernando Lavoy, Gerardo “Taboada” Fernández, Gabriel “Chinchilita” Machado, and many others. The chapter highlights the musical activities of these people and other musicians and its long-term effects on the folkloric and Latin popular dance music scenes in New York and the greater United States, not only in the performance realm but in many cases also as teachers for subsequent generations of Cuban and non-Cuban musicians, particularly Puerto Ricans in New York City. This group of artists who arrived during El Mariel would also serve as important points of connection for the next major wave of newly arriving musicians and dancers in the early 1990s, known as the balseros (raft people). Ultimately, the chapter provides an analysis of and insight into this overlooked era of Cuban musical history in New York and how it would impact Latin music in New York and elsewhere.

Keywords:   Mariel Boatlift, folkloric music, Latin popular dance, Puerto Ricans, El Mariel, balseros, Latin music, folkloric music

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