INTERVIEW

Migration Part 2

Featuring: Juan Flores
Time: 1:46 minutes
Excerpt:"Instead of talking about an immigrant community now you’re really talking about an ethnic community that’s part of the fabric of U.S. society and that becomes demographic based and it also becomes a source of a new generation of musicians."
full transcript

 

The migration was of crucial importance because it wasn’t just a matter of the music, musical qualities becoming familiar to say American musicians and American listening public, dancing public, but here you had an entire communities of people that sat over there in the United States and of course brought their music with them so that the presence of Latin features in the music was not just a musical matter, it was a social matter.

You have a community that this music is based on and over here you have on this side, New York, you have of course the Puerto Rican community became the basis for Latin music, the demographic, social basis for the music, not just musicians that come over and record in studios and get, jam with the American musicians, but you have a huge base of communities and that music can be composed and written and performed in a way that’s exactly the way that it was in Puerto Rico or in Cuba and you have a natural audience and dancing public for that music right, located right here, you don’t have to go anywhere. They’re here, they’re part of American society in the 1940s and the 50s when the Puerto Rican migration gets sort of unleashed and becomes a mass migration where a million people flock into the city and instead of talking about an immigrant community now you’re really talking about an ethnic community of community that’s part of the fabric of U.S. society and that becomes demographic based and it also becomes a source of a new generation of musicians.

No longer were they immigrants, they were born here and they were a part of this society, they grew up in the streets of New York City. So that’s another change that has to do not only with the music but also with the whole social experience that we’re talking about.