What better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month but with music?! It’s a wonderful way to move our bodies, to deal with the chaos in the world, and to celebrate the diversity and richness of artists who bring us words of encouragement, joy, love, and hope. We honor not only those who have made historic contributions but have shared the love of culture, language, and the art of expression. I’m going to highlight two artists, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and Santana, in this blog, and then I encourage you to explore further my list of many more creative and inspiring musicians.
I start this post with the one and only Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (1971-1995), Queen of Tejano music. Born and raised in Texas, she was a singer as well as an entrepreneur, fashion designer, and model. What was unique for Selena’s music was her ability to sing music that was influenced by her Mexican roots such as classic cumbia, mariachi, rancheras, and tejano rhythms, and blend it with pop and rock. Her music had universal appeal; she made music on her terms and was not afraid to be creative, not just in her music but in her style. Her life was cut short at the age of 23 in 1995, when she was killed by her former fan club and boutique manager. Her legacy lives on today through her family, fans, and music. To read, watch, or hear more of Selena, check out books, the movie on her life and music in our Flatirons Library Consortium catalog and from libraries statewide using your library card and Prospector.
Carlos Santana, a Mexican-American musician who began playing in a band in the 1960s in San Francisco when his family moved from Mexico, has been successful for decades and continues to play today. He started by playing the violin at age five and by age eight he switched to the guitar. His success can be attributed to his ability to mix sounds from all genres such as blues, rock, and Latin music. As a performer he has touched generations of people due to his ability to bring in music from various cultures. An example is his use of instruments like the conga and timbales as well as mixing sounds of Afro-Latin-Blues, rock, and pop, his music solidifying him as a World Musician. I can’t imagine the world without Carlos Santana’s music and influence.
The list of Latina, Latino, and Latinx artists includes not only singers but also actors and entrepreneurs owning their own businesses. Here are just a few examples of music I wanted to share with you. Send Lafayette Public Library your thoughts on what music you are inspired by or are listening to this month for Hispanic Heritage Month:
- J. Lo (Jennifer Lopez) – actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer, and businesswoman
- Selena Gomez – singer, songwriter, actress, and producer
- Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) – rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer of reggaeton, Latin hip hop, and crunk
- Camila Cabello – singer and songwriter
- Luis Fonsi (Luis Alfonso Rodríguez López-Cepero) – singer, songwriter, and actor
- Bad Bunny (Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) – Puerto Rican singer, rapper, and songwriter of Latin Trap and Reggaeton (see below Grammy Nominees 2019
- Ozuna (Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado) – singer of Reggaeton and Latin Trap